Jai Gangaajal Review by Indicine
Jai Gangaajal is a film that has its heart in the right place but falters due to the uneven narrative. The story elements and cases of torture shown in the film have all been seen before. Coming down to it, Jai Gangaajal doesn’t offer anything new. The screenplay is a test on the nerves especially in the second half. The dialogues, however, are ingrained in the Hindi speaking milieu of the setting. Technically, Jai Gangaajal is well aligned with the nature of the film. The cinematography captures the rough terrain of the land, the editing is decent. The action scenes seem a bit unrealistic which takes the audiences farther away from the film. The background music also blares too loudly and sometimes it becomes difficult to even hear the dialogues.
Jai Gangaajal Review by Bollywood Hungama
When it comes to directing of films belonging to the ‘political thriller’ genre, Prakash Jha has been very good at it. JAI GANGAAJAL only acts as yet another testimony to the same. While the story establishes itself in the engaging first half, the second half revolves around the confrontation between Priyanka Chopra and corrupt villains. In the second half, the camera is not on Priyanka Chopra, but on Prakash Jha, which totally takes focus away from the central character. Despite all the odds, Prakash Jha manages somehow to keep the viewers on the hooks with his engaging narrative.
Jai Gangaajal Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
Director Prakash Jha, who makes an attempt to act with his rogue cop role, should stick to what he does best: direct his actors. He’s endearingly earnest, but he lacks charisma — that intangible quality that makes actors magnetic on the big screen. Also, he sounds a lot like veteran actor Nana Patekar. Jai Gangaajal is crammed with issues such as corporate greed, debt-ridden farms, lawless cities and frustrated civilians, but there’s no particular direction to all that chaos.
Jai Gangaajal Review by Sreeju Sudhakaran on Bollywood Life
The film’s biggest failure is that it doesn’t offer anything new in terms of plot. In fact, it uses the same narrative as the original Gangaajal – a honest cop wanting to cleanse the system, a malicious villain, a rogue cop turned good and public becoming lynchers. Though the film is promoted in Priyanka’s name, she is saddled with bad characterisation and scenes that don’t make much of an impact. The film looks more like Prakash Jha’s acting vanity project, as his character is the only rounded one here, and he walks away with the best scenes and dialogues. After the aforementioned lynching scene, the film just meanders on and on, testing our patience and also turning unintentionally funny at times. The climax, for lack of better words, is horrible, especially when Prakash Jha suddenly turns Superman! Unlike the original film, there is a lack of sense of realism here even when topical subjects are discussed. The film also has glaring loopholes like Prakash Jha’s car having an MP registration though the film is set in Bihar, a child killing a hefty man etc. Actors like Kiran Karmarkar and Rahul Bhatt are wasted in miniscule roles.
Jai Gangaajal Review by Mehul S Thakkar on Deccan Chronicle
Director Prakash Jha puts himself in front of the camera as a corrupt officer who wakes up to moral values too late in the day. He gives himself a last chance after a shocking incident turns into an eye opener for him. However, there are few concerns about the film. Prakash is dealing with too many issues at the same time and that leads to the film losing its steam. Also, during the film one expects to see more of Priyanka and her cop role. However it takes you to a personal self discovery route of Prakash’s character which felt far stretched.
Jai Gangaajal Review by Martin D’Souza on Glamsham
Prakash Jha gives himself a chance to play a cop, a crooked one who has a change of heart towards the end. There’s Manav Kaul as the local thug turned politician with scores of his goons and then there is Priyanka Chopra, the Dabaang police officer, Abha Mathur, who does a Bajirao Singham on screen. There’s much maara-mari, draamebazi before the film culminates the way you expected it to.
Jai Gangaajal Review by Zeenews
‘Jai Gangaaja’ triumphs, but sadly, only at places – at other times you are inevitably reminded of ‘Gangaajal’, only wishing if the movie had the same flesh and rawness as the one before. That said, watch ‘Jai Gangaajal’ merely for its performance by Jha and Chopra and some of the other supporting cast. As far as the story is concerned – it’s the same old wine in new bottle.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
It is Prakash Jha’s omnipresence in his acting debut that doesn’t quite fall in place. Out of the 2 hour 38 minutes that Jai Gangaajal runs for, Jha is ubiquitous in a way that gets unbearable after a point of time. Get the man out of the frame for some minutes, and Jai Gangaajal is a decent watch. The one person you want to see more of on screen is Priyanka Chopra. And that is where the film fails to satisfy its viewer. On his part, Manav Kaul impresses as the diabolical Babloo Pandey. Ninad Kamat, on the other hand, never quite manages to strike fear even when he’s at his menacing best. Rahul Bhat’s social worker-ish avatar is believable, but seems out of tune at times. Jai Gangaajal falters in getting its point across, if there is one, that is. The film works in parts, largely because of the fabulous performances of Chopra and Kaul. But then, the problem that seems to have found a place in Prakash Jha films of late – that of losing way thanks to a convoluted plot – plagues Jai Gangaajal as well.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Priyanka Chopra, who is nearly always in neatly starched police attire and appears far too glossed-up for the role, does her very best to lend the character the requisite gravitas. But even when she is at her most admirable, for her action-star persona is unable to propel the film out of its inertia. Prakash Jha has a perpetual all-knowing smirk on his face in the early portions of the film – well, he is the director and he should know – but his performance gets infinitely better after Bhola Nath Singh is assailed by a wave of qualms in the second half. Jai Gangaajal is likely to be a letdown for those who expect it to be a worthy follow-up to Gangaajal. But if you go in without too many expectations, you might find parts of its fairly palatable.
Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
Prakash Jha is the hero of Jai Gangaajal if screen time is our consideration. In any case, you need to spread wings to make a 158-minute film engaging. But, it has to be said that Jha has done justice to his role. He is restrained in dialogue delivery and really effective in emotional scenes. The narrative keeps dragging with strange terms such as ‘Madam Sir’ and ‘Suicide Murder’. It seems the idea is to create an isolated world which is uncertain about its future and the usage of words. The constant urge to back these terms up with scenes also hampers the flow of the narrative. As a result, a powerful scene comes up and then vanishes into oblivion without providing a build-up to the next one. In the process, we get individual sequences that work on their own, but couldn’t gel as a whole.
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
Priyanka Chopra’s too-sophisticated unmade-up-make-up is very distracting, even in her few convincing moments. And the film goes on for far too long, even when we know how all of it will end, and even when we are thoroughly enjoying Jha’s authentic’ leheja’ : ‘aap ko koi galat misguide kiye hain’, he says, and we smile.
Review by Shubha Shetty-Saha on Mid-Day India
The story (by Jha) tackles an extremely disturbing trend of mob lynching, but what is also disturbing is that the story teller himself seems to be sympathetic with the mob and appeared to have no clear ethical stand on it. Manav Kaul is very good as ever, but it is Ninad Kamat who steals the show as he brilliantly plays the role of ruthless Dabloo Pandey, who wouldn’t stop at anything to achieve what he wants. One must admit here that Jha surprises with his ease in front of the camera and decent acting abilities, but quite often the camera focuses a little too indulgently on him. Jha yet again successfully revisits the world he’s so familiar with, the rampant hooliganism, the fascinating and colourful lingo that we are all familiar with, largely thanks to Jha’s earlier films. At two hours forty minutes, the film is a bit too long and tends to get predictable at many parts.
Jai Gangaajal Review by Indiaglitz
‘Jai Gangajaal’ is not a bad film and has some enjoyable scenes to cherish. Sadly, the repetitive screenplay, half-baked characters and dragging length makes the movie look like a never ending stale drama.
Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff
Once Jai GangaaJal loses sight of all else to become only about his half-baked atonement it drags and dodders from the weight of its stocky dialogues, tediously cosmetic revolt and a leading man of very limited screen presence hogging all the limelight.
Review by Bryan Durham on DNA India
Prakash Jha debuts as an actor with this film. And one has to say, he’s a natural at it. But enough about him. This is Priyanka Chopra’s film. And while she does justice to her role as Abha, it is her doggedness that shines through. As the director, Jha builds the framework in which to let Abha grow and develop her character, even though the graph is a tried-and-tested one. Strong female cops are no novelty in Bollywood, but they are rare, and Jha’s attempt to bring PC in to be the lynchpin of his good-vs-bad drama deserves applause. That and of course, his social commentary through the film.
Review by Srijana Mitra Das on The Times Of India
In contrast, Manav Kaul, usually a sure-shot scene stealer, appears distracted, briefly coming into his own, licking his lips as he savagely beats BN, but lacking consistent power. However, the dynamics between BN and Dablu convey crackling tension, their face-off electric. While Ninad nails wicked, waddling Dablu, fattened on the gory good life, Prakash comfortably portrays a character happy with shades of grey – until he discovers khaki.
Review by Rajeev Masand on IBNLive
Jai Gangaajal doesn’t offer anything you haven’t seen before, especially in the director’s own previous films. It’s also interminably long at nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes. Priyanka Chopra and Prakash Jha’s performances keep you engaged and invested despite the familiar narrative, but by the end you’re overcome by the unmistakable feeling of exhaustion.
Review by Saumil Gandhi on Mumbai Mirror
The film is technically average and the dubbing is noticeably off on several occasions. Mr Jha’s “supporting role” probably gets equal, if not more screen time than the actual lead, and could have done with a sharper edit. The shots, in general, lack inspiration. If there’s only one way to show Priyanka’s jeep leaving the police station, or reveal a hanging body, why show the scene so many times? Small things like varying the physical setting of certain scenes could have lifted the film, and it’s detailing like this that is missed the most. Prakash Jha before the camera has an undoubtedly better run in Jai Gangaajal than Prakash Jha behind the camera. It may be by design or by default, but it leaves the film on middling ground.
Review by Sonia Chopra on Sify
Prakash Jha is superb as the cop who is content being corrupt till Abha Mathur inspires him to do better. Manav Kaul is delightfully menacing and makes for a formidable villain. Ninad Kamat plays power-hung W Pandey wonderfully, and Murli Sharma is fabulous as Munna Mardaani, who ruthlessly beats up people, but weeps when he sees his boss defeated. The rest of the supporting cast does well. The film is a comment on honest officials vs. ruffian politics in mofussil India, but then we’ve seen this so many times before. What sets the film apart is Jha’s sure-footed storytelling (though he sticks to his tried-and-tested formula) and Priyanka Chopra’s dazzling performance. This one straddles the two worlds of being a reasonably accomplished film as well as a crowd-pleaser.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
He takes almost two and a half hours of film footage even though Priyanka Chopra is propped up as the hero of the film. And no matter what the scene is, no matter how cool Priyanka Chopra is trying to be, the multi tasking director-savior steps into the scene. It’s such a self-indulgent, self promotional film for Prakash Jha, it’s a tragic waste of the supposed INR 100 crore budget. After a while, you start checking out if the baddies change clothes through the movie. They don’t. And you don’t care.
Review by Subhash K Jha on Bollyspice
There is nothing seriously wrong with Jai Gangaajal. Prakash Jha’s heart bleeds for the downtrodden. The problem is, so do the characters. Everyone is shown running with or away from lathis and hockey sticks. Jha gets battered and thrown into a drain. Jai Gangaajal begs for ruminative moments. These are never granted in a film that pelts down brutality mercilessly.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
There is another character in the film that is vying for your attention. All. The. Time. The background score. It is relentless. It is loud. It doesn’t go with the film. There were a few scenes in the second half when it takes a break and they are beautiful. Those scenes made me want to see the film once again with the background track turned off. It wouldn’t be a surprise, if the film becomes better manifold. As it stands though Jai Gangaajal engages you while you are in the theater – maybe making you a little fidgety towards the end because it is over 2.5 hours. But once you are out and think about it, if at all, you realise it is not too out of the ordinary. Except that you want to watch more of Prakash Jha as an actor.
Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Movietalkies
Prakash Jha, who makes his acting debut with this film, has done a decent job and is sure to impress. Notwithstanding the fact that his character more or less resembles that of Mukesh Tiwari’s Bacha Yadav, we truly liked Jha for his underplayed intensity and his realistic portrayal of a cop from North India. Unfortunately, Manav Kaul lacks the gravitas required of a Bollywood baddie and is not an effective villain at all, though Ninad Kamath as the debauched Dabloo Pandey gave us a pleasant surprise with his performance.
Average critic ratings of other movies released in 2016
- Tere Bin Laden Dead Or Alive – 2.3 stars
- Aligarh – 3.6 stars
- Bollywood Diaries – 2.5 stars
- Neerja – 4 stars
- LoveShhuda – 2 stars
- Ishq Forever – 1.4 stars
- Fitoor – 2.3 stars
- Sanam Re – 1.6 stars
- Ghayal Once Again – 2.4 stars
- Sanam Teri Kasam – 1.6 stars
- Saala Khadoos – 2.6 stars
- Mastizaade – 1 stars
- Airlift – 3.7 stars
- Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 – 1 stars
- Wazir – 2.5 stars