True Review

True Review: Bobby Jasoos

True Review: Bobby Jasoos

by Niharika Puri July 4 2014, 12:31 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 59 secs

Cast: Vidya Balan, Ali Fazal, Arjan Bajwa, Supriya Pathak Kapur, Supriya Pathak Kapur

Direction:Samar Shaikh.

Produced: Dia Mirza,Sahil Sangha, Reliance Entertainment.

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller.

Duration:121 Minutes.

Vidya Balan has championed the cause of women-centric films with some unconventional choices. But her current pickings seem unable to replicate the high of The Dirty Picture and Kahaani. After Ghanchakkar and Shaadi Ke Side Effects, she is back with another understandably offbeat role. But does the plot hold up?

Bobby Jasoos features the feisty detective trying to hit paydirt in Hyderabad’s conservative locality of Moghalpura. There’s a rival G-Force Detective Agency to contend with (though we never hear of it again later in the film), opposition from her traditional family and a local news anchor Tasawur Shaikh (Ali Fazal) who is difficult to shrug off. Shetty (Prasad Barve) and Munna (Aakash Dahiya) serve as her trusty sidekicks.

She gets a lucky break vis-à-vis a mysterious client Anees Khan (Kiran Kumar), who expects her to locate a few people for a hefty sum of money. She does it unquestioningly, though we know that this shady deal will not last for very long. The rest of the film is about Bobby setting everything right.


Bobby Jasoos’ story works best when the character is not investigating. Ironic, but true. Her home life is a lot more interesting as we see her defy the mould of a coy damsel while staring into the distance over a spectacular view of the Chaar Minaar. It could have worked as an interesting regional romantic-comedy, but trust the detective work and the untimely songs to take it apart.

For someone wanting to be a top-shot detective, Bobby lacks the discretion and the subtlety required for the job. But it’s not really her fault. Her rival contender tells her that the pre-requisites to being a private eye include a course in detective work and an MA in English (!?). Despite having neither of the two qualifications, she does set up an agency called Bobby Jasoos Pvt. Ltd, where she operates as a one-person staff.

Fun fact: you need a minimum of two members to establish a private limited initiative.


Even if you do ignore that technicality, it is difficult to overlook her bizarre investigation techniques. She actually sets out to find a girl by creating publicity around a fake television show. Her case resolutions seem more a matter of chance than systematic deductions. Some of her disguises are interesting but add very little to the plot in the long run.

The Lala (Arjan Bajwa) track does not have much going for it except for a climactic twist. All his character does is smoulder for most of the film. An exceedingly talented cast of actors like Supriya Pathak Kapur, Zarina Wahab, Tanve Azmi, Rajendra Gupta and Benaf Dadachanji are just wasted in roles that just linger in the background.

The film is out-and-out a Vidya Balan show, though it edges closer to the mindless fare territory. There’s average music, thoughtful aesthetic and a good local atmosphere, though the citizens of the historic city can vouch better for the veracity of the characters’ accents (which to this reviewer’s unaccustomed ear seemed uneven).

There may not be too many ladies playing detectives in films and Bobby Jasoos is no trailblazer. It is better than the detective caper Samrat & Co. but not as unintentionally hilarious. It is a film that tries to be entertaining, has its moments but whittles away a promising idea.

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