Movie review: Bobby Jasoos is simplistic but positive

  • Vidya Balan, Dia Mirza

    Vidya Balan in one of her looks for Bobby Jasoos poses with producer Dia Mirza. (Photo: Twitter/Deespeak)

  • Vidya Balan, Bobby Jasoos

    Vidya Balan in one of her looks in Bobby Jasoos.

  • Bobby Jasoos

    Produced by Dia Mirza and directed by Samar Shaikh, Bobby Jasoos stars Vidya Balan, Ali Fazal, Supriya Pathak and Tanvi Azmi.

  • Bobby Jasoos

    In this still from Bobby Jasoos, Vidya Balan is seen in her usual traditional avatar.

  • Bobby Jasoos

    Going by the look of it, Vidya Balan would be seen in another hatke avatar in Bobby Jasoos.

  • Vidya Balan

    Vidya Balan on the sets of Bobby Jasoos.

Direction: Samar Shaikh
Actors: Vidya Balan, Ali Fazal, Kiran Kumar, Rajendra Gupta
Rating: ***

Bobby Jasoos was never about creating an Indian version of Sherlock Holmes or James Bond. The fictional detective Karamchand played by Pankaj Kapur in the ’80s may, in fact, be responsible for a childhood fixation; the sort most kids get over, but one that Bobby (Vidya Balan) — or Bilkis Bano, held on to.

The fixation, however, has a larger purpose, for Bobby must prove her independence and her worth in a conservative family where the men earn and provide and the women stay home and look to get married. That is why, with no training, little education, and in defiance of a vehemently discouraging father (“My house will not run on women’s incomes,” he says), Bobby holds on to her dream of becoming a jasoos.

She has little going for her in terms of work experience or capital. But things change when a mysterious rich man (Anees Khan, played by Kiran Kumar) seeks her out and offers her a case. Bobby has wit, and more gutsiness than all the male characters put together. But her approach is more hit-and-miss than clinical, and she stumbles and goofs up on occasion. This only serves to make the amateur detective more credible.

Balan has done such films in the past and deserves credit for pulling it off again. The overall story remains simplistic. But it serves its purpose — of shining a light on a community that is underrepresented in Bollywood films, and extracting a positive story of hope. And, of course, of showcasing Vidya Balan.


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