No One Killed Jessica (2011)
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Critic Reviews for No One Killed Jessica
At a time when Indian officials are immersed in kickback scandals and violence against women remains endemic, No One Killed Jessica deserves to be seen -- and heard.
One of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in Indian legal history is dynamically dramatized.
A hybrid of fact and fiction, this Delhi-based thriller packs a punch no matter the label.
Even when the two leads finally join forces after the intermission break, they still seem like they are inhabiting two different films.
Audience Reviews for No One Killed Jessica
Based on the true story of Jessica Lal murder case in 1999, this film points finger at the corrupted and outdated justice system in India.
The plot and theme of the movie is powerful and meaningful. But disappointing, even pathetic performances from the main cast spoil the party and even kind of took the edge off the movie. Vidhya Bhalan is toned down to such an exaggeration that, more than often her character looks like a retard. Although the intention was to present a strong independent woman, Rani's character looked pretty stupid with all that excessive swearing.
Just for denying to serve the drinks since it was past the bar time, Jessica Lal gets shot by a politician's son - Manish (aka Manu), accompanied by his 2 friends and in the presence of around 300 people. When TV news reporter Meera (Rani Mukherjee) is asked to cover the news, she denies it saying that being an open-and-shut case (considering there were around 300 witnesses), it's out of her league. However, during interrogation, while Manu confesses that he shot her unintentionally, most of the people deny their presence at the party at the time of murder, and hence having not witnessed it. Following that, Manu's father uses his political influence to turn over whatever few witnesses were ready to testify and manipulates the evidences. Jessica's sister Sabrina (Vidya Balan) tries her best and struggles a lot to get justice done, but in vain. Eventually, the court rules in the favor of the defendants and they're set loose. As a result, Sabrina loses her faith in getting justice and gives up. On the other hand, when Meera comes to know about the court ruling, she's taken aback. She decides to take over the issue and draws the media's attention to the case. She brings the fact in public and asks for their support for the cause of justice. It leads to a massive uproar among the public and they join the campaign against injustice. Eventually, the high-court declares suo moto and asks the police to reopen the case.
Movies based on actual events are made less in Bollywood as compared to Hollywood. Jessica Lal's case was quite well-known and was appropriate as a movie's subject. Rajkumar Santoshi aptly uses this case as a side-subject in his movie Halla Bol. However, 'No One Killed Jessica' has Jessica Lal case as its main subject. Unfortunately, the movie isn't up to the mark. The story sounds good on paper, but the pathetic execution makes the movie one of the worst movies I've ever seen based on real case. Whether it be Rani Mukherji's over-acting or exaggerated performance by Vidya Balan, almost everything in the movie is overdone. And the use of cussing more than required also serves as a drawback. Okay, in real life, people cuss, but here cussing is used quite often needlessly and mostly to glorify a certain character. It seems like the film-makers had a misunderstanding that if they use more swearing (especially in English) in an ample amount, the movie would look more authentic. The movie could have been way too better than what it is had it been handed in proper hands. While the movie has received positive response from most of the critics, IMHO, Rajkumar Gupta [whose debut directorial movie 'Aamir' (copy of 'Nick of Time') was a hit] fails in fictionalizing the actual story adequately and doesn't do proper justice to the movie. I'd huge expectations and the movie hardly satisfied me. The movie would have been better off with less over-acting, over-dramatization and over-cussing.
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