MOVIE REVIEW: Jalsa
Starring: Vidya Balan, Shefali Shah, Rohini Hattangadi
Director: Suresh Triveni
A slow pace and a flaw here or there notwithstanding—the climax may not appeal to some in the audience—Jalsa makes for a riveting watch, courtesy the two powerhouse performers and a gripping screenplay that unfolds almost like a psychological thriller. At the heart of the plot are two women from disparate worlds grappling with conflicting emotions and serious questions of morality.
Vidya Balan (in terrific form as always) plays Maya Menon, a hotshot television anchor who prides herself on her integrity; while Shefali Shah is Rukhsana, Maya’s cook and maid, who takes care of Maya’s autistic son. There is a terrible hit-and-run accident involving Rukhsana’s 19-year-old daughter Aliya, and suddenly everything turns topsy-turvy.
It’s nice to see Rohini Hattangadi (she plays Vidya’s mother) back on the screen after a hiatus. Vidhatri Bandi, playing the enthusiastic trainee journalist hell-bent on exposing the truth, does a great job. But it is Shefali Shah, as the wounded and raging mother, who almost overshadows the others with her outstanding act. Special mention must be made of Surya Kasibhatla, the 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy in real life, who plays Maya’s disabled son, Ayush.
So do watch Jalsa. It’s a movie which makes you question your own inner moral compass.
(Jalsa is streaming on Amazon Prime Video)
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