Jai GangaaJal Review: Priyanka Packs A Punch In This Overbearing Action Drama

Jay-Gangajal[tps_footer]Priyanka Chopra is relegated to playing second fiddle to Prakash Jha, who steps in front of the camera and grinds his teeth as a corrupt cop, in this hinterland drama. Jai GangaaJal is as much a vanity project for Jha as yet another over complicated script with random characters that stretch this drama to over 150 minutes. There are so many tracks that need resolution that the viewer needs a guide as to who is who and why they must all be hung from trees! The residents of this tortured, lawless town, where money and muscle talk have been held hostage by corrupt politicians in a close nexus with the men in khaki for too long. They finally find a beacon of hope with the arrival of the young, idealistic and energetic SP Abha Mathur (Priyanka Chopra). But their misplaced Dutch courage leads to the frustrated townsfolk staging ‘sooside-murders’ – publicly lynching wrongdoers from trees and calling it suicide.

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Mathur makes many speeches on the sanctity of the uniform and rule of law as she tries to weed out evil from her new assignment. There story also comments on big business buying out land through the real estate mafia, shortchanging the farmer and stifling them into submission, sometimes driving the impoverished and indebted to death. Another track follows Jha’s corrupt cop B N Singh and his redemption story as he suddenly grows a conscience and sets out to avenge the criminality and power of local politician Babloo Pandey (Manav Kaul), his equally corrupt brother and fixer Dabloo (Ninad Kamat) and effeminate henchman (Murli Sharma).

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The money scene is Priyanka Chopra taking her lathi and whacking the s*** out of thugs in the market place. However it’s not enough to distract from her neatly painted lips, perfectly made up visage and tightly fitted shirt. She is sincere indeed, and brings shades to Mathur, yet one can’t help but feel she may have been miscast. Jha too is limited in his abilities and once more, you wonder, would you have cared more for Singh with a more nuanced actor at the centre? It’s then left up to the baddies to deliver and Kaul, Kamat and Sharma do not disappoint even though the narrative borders on tiresome.

Rating: **[/tps_footer]