Cast: Vidya Balan, Shefali Shah, Manav Kaul
Director: Suresh Triveni
Rating: 4 stars
The plot revolves around acclaimed journalist-single mom Maya Menon (Vidya Balan) and her cook Ruksana (Shefali Shah), whose lives are turned upside down by a horrific tragedy. Jalsa’s plight encourages one to look within and questions our ideals of truth, morality, and survival.
The film begins with a young couple enjoying a joyride on a two-wheeler. The night ends in tragedy. Maya runs over the teenage girl and races away on her way home from work in the wee hours.
It turns out that the girl Maya abandoned in a pool of blood is Ruksana’s daughter. The whole story starts from here.
There is no doubt about the expertise of the duo. Both Vidya Balan and Shifali Shah have won the role and did full justice to the character.
Shefali, in the role of Ruksana, communicates through silence rather than words. Her wrath or dismay might be seen in her body language while performing the role. Her stare tells you everything you need to know about how she feels without the need for words.
When it comes to winning the characters’ words fall short for Vidya. She shows off her flawless line delivery and so subtle yet so powerful emotional range.
Kani Kusruti plays Rohini, a trainee journalist looking for a ground-breaking story. While she becomes the conduit for major revelations, her tale is not given the attention it deserves.
Jalsa is about two women from different classes who are on the ready to break down for various reasons.
The filmmaker and his team combine the screenplay so thoroughly in the actual world that these characters become three dimensional for the audience from the first few scenes. Mentions of Alia-relationship with Ranbir’s or the current state of journalism strengthen the audience’s connection. And, after a while, you forget you’re watching a movie.
The writers arrange characters so neatly in the scheme of things that their impact is likely to be seen 40 minutes later and everything will make sense. Every frame has been intervened and serves a purpose. Every person walks with an agenda to fulfil, whether it is a police officer who claims to be the most honest and is about to retire, or the one who accepts and justifies a bribe. Even the most insignificant events have a purpose.
The dialogues by Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal are on point. And overall it is a must watch.