Vidya Balan has led various female-centric roles since 2010 to move ahead with the movement of films focusing on female characters and their lives in the Indian Cinema, for instance, Kahaani, Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, and Tumhari Sulu– but these movies apart from progressing with the concentration on the lives of the women also demonstrated
Vidya Balan’s spectrum of acting skills. Majority of her films have made crucial contributions to enriching the heart of Hindi Cinema’s women-oriented movies.
With her roles in Dil Dhadakne Do, Delhi Crime, Human and the most recent one with Ajeeb Daastaans, Shefali Shah has also expressed that age is just a number when it comes to acting and cinema. For the Amazon Prime Movie Jalsa, Shefali Shah and Vidya Balan, both being one of the legendary actress’ of the industry, teamed up with Suresh Triveni as the director. Suresh Triveni also directed Tumhari Sulu which obtained acclaim from the audience.
Jalsa revolves around a hit-and-run case involving Ruksana’s daughter. Shefali Shah plays the role of Ruksana, who is a helper at Maya’s (Vidya Balan) house and takes care of her son who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Maya Menan, who is an ambitious journalist, and sticks to her ethics and morals regardless of the situation seems to know something about the incident but is unwilling to reveal the truth right away.
Surya Kasibhatla is a child actor of Indian origin residing in Texas who plays the role of Maya’s son. The bond demonstrated between Maya’s son and Ruksana becomes one of the many reasons why the determined journalist is seen fighting with her own guilt.
The major theme of the movie remains the fight for conscience and truth. All of us love boasting about our principles, but do principles remain the same in the face of adversity? While you won’t discover a direct confrontation throughout the film, the inner war going inside the hearts of the two women where for Maya it takes the shape of guilt, regret and shame and for Ruksana pain and suffering, the silence of the two women tells a story of its own.
The cinematographer Saurabh Goswami also performs his job well while showcasing two different environments connected with the life of two diverse ladies.
The film is wonderfully led by Shah and Balan who take the centre stage with their dialogues, acting, accent and expressions. The two women belonging to different backgrounds find each other on the same page when it comes to motherhood. The power of the two actresses to act without acting, to speak without speaking and show without literally showing exhibits their potential. The rest of the supporting characters were also successful in giving a remarkable performance.
One of the things worth mentioning is the misleading nature of the trailer. The first impression netizens obtained from the trailer was that of a psychological thriller. But far from it, Jalsa is an intense human drama that focuses entirely on human emotions and both its complexity and vulnerability.
Another drawback of the film was its attempt to fit in too many themes in just two hours and end up with leaving many of them in between. Nevertheless, it touches upon important subjects even though it wasn’t able to give some of them the force it actually wanted to.
With the screen time of a little more than two hours, Jalsa is bound to keep you hooked to the screen, especially with its climax that is too good to be spoiled!