Friday 4 April 2014

'Jal' a visual epic - 'must see' only on the big screen- A Review

An epic saga of man's tryst with destiny and nature

Starring: Purab Kohli, Kirti Kulhari,Tannishtha Chatterjee, Mukul Dev

Directed by: Girish Malik

Helping save the Flamingoes -Saidah Jules with Purab Kholi  
Jal stuns you as it opens – a visually dazzling landscape and devastating sorrow of draconian proportions. It shakes you out of your comfort zone to sit on edge and never take nature for granted. The saga is set in the mesmerizing Rann of Kutch panoramically cinematographed by Sunita Radia. The directorial debut by Girish Malik is a story of a land born without water, a scarcity that brings out the beast in man.

Jal sees life through 'Bakka' - the uncanny divine dowser who can sense the existence of water in the depths of the earth. In Rann that is nothing short of finding liquid gold.  The story told on an epic scale is a visual treat from the word go. Love, sensuality, enmity, deceit, intrigue, action, folklore, randy humour Jal has it all.

Female bonding - Kirti Kulhari with Tannishtha Chatterjee
Bakka and The Rann of Kutch are reasons enough to make this film a 'must see'. They are ably supported by the ensemble of actors who fit their roles to a 'T'. The lewd Mukul Dev, sensual Kirti Kulhari, rustic Tannishtha Chatterjee, tricky Yashpal Sharma, stereotype environmental activists Saidah Jules and Gary Richardson to mention a few, add credence to their characters. The endearing old man who is still naughty at eighty adds many a light moment to the film. Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh keep the music score faithful to the land.

The story telling style, like the tempestuous vicissitudes of nature in the desert land is unpredictable. The twists and turns of fate see the worship and fall of the water God ‘Bakka’ all in one lifetime. The harshness of nature turns friends into foe and man to beast with the slightest provocation.

Like life the film is complex, addressing many issues through the voice of Jal. Scarcity of water and the harsh, hazardous life in thhe Rann of Kutch . The contradicting sensitivity of environmentalists who are human to their birds and at the same time inhuman to human woes. There is relief in the lighter moments, of rustic joy, humour and celebration.

The lead hero, Purab Kohli has come a long way, always endearing in his many roles and avatars model, Vj, television actor / host or in the cinemas, 21 films to be precise. With Jal Purab is sure to be 'in your face' as the captivating 'Bakka' the protagonist.

A commendable directorial debut, Girish Malik emerges a director to watch out for.

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