Jogira Sara Ra Ra is a surprise package

Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Neha Sharma in Jogira Sara Ra Ra. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

A surprise package from the word “go” (should that be “Ra”?), the film’s only problem lies in its title. Such incomprehensible names for movies have been the bane of several good motion pictures in the past that have led to them going into needless and undeserved oblivion.

The multiplexes’ partisanship to regular suppliers (read corporate companies) of films to give them better shows and more screens and the horrendously high (for commoners) ticket and F&B prices do the rest of the damage. But even the ‘plexes cannot be blamed if a star-less movie’s title is not one that can be easily remembered or recalled, one that seems meaningless or abstruse, especially to Indians who may not be masters in the national language!

With some bright writing and able direction (I never much cared for Kushan Nandy’s earlier directorials), Jogira Sara Ra Ra is actually an earthy fun ride that happily stops short of being a dark comedy. For one, the kidnappings and planned ‘murders’ (yes, there is one!) are not to be seriously taken.

Secondly, even the “khatarnaak” (dangerous) crime gang-lord, Chacha Chaudhary (Sanjay Mishra), named after the popular children’s character, is an affectionate man who lets go his henchman, Mannu (Rohit Chaudhari) when the latter wants to lead a clean life. Chacha’s dealings with the local corrupt cops, Yadav (Vishwanath Chatterjee) and Yadav (Ghanashyam Garg), called Yadav Double together, are also ‘fair and square’ regarding their ‘hissa’ in the criminal dealings!

Wedding planner Jogi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) meets Dimple Chaubey (Neha Sharma) at an event he has organized and they even share a dance. But their next meeting is when Jogi is summoned to plan and arrange her wedding. However, the would-be spouse is Lallu (Mahakshay Chakraborty) who is not just called so by (pet) name but is also one by temperament—Lallu means dimwit!

And so, for the first time, Jogi, with his assistant, ex-criminal gang member Mannu, is told by Dimple to break, not plan, her marriage. When simpler subterfuges fail, the ultimate gambit—a kidnapping—is staged, and the abovementioned bumbling cops get involved along with Chacha, whose pattern is followed by his ex-accomplice guiding Jogi in the kidnapping exercise.

During her absence from home (the game is also to plant a doubt about her chastity in the husband’s would-be family and thus make them refuse the match!), Dimple wins the affection of Jogi’s mother (Zarina Wahab) and his entire family that comprise females, including his aunt and sisters. And then a chain of events lead to Dimple’s father (Bhagwan Tiwari) demanding that Jogi marry Dimple. And Jogi does not want a wife as that would be one more female in his life!

The comedy of errors never slips into farce, which many a Priyadarshan earthy comedy would do, and never offends sensibilities despite talking of premarital sex, diseases related to promiscuous sex and other aspects, also making subtle comments on dowry and hypocritical society mores while always keeping that relentless undercurrent of humor in the dialogues.

The music is eminently forgettable (such small movies in the good old days stood out with their songs and that would help them get noticed), the BGM alright, the technical values on par and the editing (Virendra Gharse) commendably lending a brisk pace to the 120-minute story. It is the script (written by Ghalib Asad Bhopali) that is actually the winner, with slice-of-life dialogues brimming with humor, wit, wryness and satire, and a script that has situational yet relatable turn of events that help keep interest in the film alive.

Let me also confess that this is the first time in eons that, objectively speaking, I liked Nawazuddin Sddiqui after Bajrangi Bhaijaan and his unforgettable tiny cameo in Jagga Jasoos. The hyped actor is always over-praised for his performances in every film where he is calculated and yet broadly himself. Here is where he blends into his against-the-type character and seems to enjoy himself, letting the actor in him loose instead of being straitjacketed by his usually deviant characters.

The big surprise is Mahakshay Chakraborty as Lallu. He is note-perfect, likable and pitiable as his plump character had to come across, and his expressions are priceless. (The actor had actually put on 15 kilos for this role and that shows his dedication.) Due tribute, of course, is paid to his legendary father by him enacting the iconic song I am a disco dancer in a delightfully funny manner atop a terrace.

Neha Sharma, getting to show her acting chops more than skin, is relatable and very convincing, even if there are confusing shades in her character on occasion. Zarina Wahab makes a mark as Jogi’s mother, as does Rohit Chaudhari as his friend Manu. Sanjay Mishra, that natural scene-stealer, is effortlessly funny.

I also liked Bhagwan Tiwari as Dimple’s father, Geeta Agarwal Sharma as Dimple’s mother as well as Aparna Tiwari as Jogi’s bidi-smoking aunt, the two cops (Vishwanath Chatterjee and Ghanashyam Garg) and also Chacha’s sidekick (Hemant Koumar). Suman Patel, as Jogi’s sister who loves Manu, is also effective.

Ideal fare for a fun watch, this film deserved better by way of publicity and exposure—and an instantly appealing title coupled with decent songs. All this would have made the much-needed world of difference.

Rating: ***1/2

Touchwood Multimedia Creations present Jogira Sara Ra Ra  Produced by: Naeem Qureshi Directed by: Kushan Nandy Written by: Ghalib Asad Bhopali Music: Hitesh Modak, Tanishk Bacgchi & Meet Bros. Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Neha Sharma, Mahakshay Chakraborty, Rohit Chaudhari, Sanjay Mishra, Zarina Wahab, Farrukh Jaffar, Aparna Tiwari, Geeta Agarwal Sharma, Manisha Gupta, Vishwanath Chatterjee, Suman Patel, Ananya Thakur, Aanshi Pal, Hemant Koumar, Shubhrajyoti Barat, Ghanashyam Garg, Sp. App. Nikki Tamboli & others 








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