25 February, 2021

No One Killed Jessica

There are some fine, stand-out moments. What detracts are some obvious filmi touches

No One Killed Jessica

Raj Kumar Gupta’s second outing as a director, after Aamir, takes him beyond the realm of ‘small indie’ films. No One Killed Jessica has a far larger canvas and sweep. So there are broad emotional strokes, intense drama and populist dialogues, quintessential to mainstream cinema, balanced out with intermittent bursts of edginess and fine detailing. Gupta has the onerous task of telling a story (Jessica Lall murder case) which most of his viewers would already know. Nonetheless, he manages to keep the familiar quite engaging.

The film kicks off with a sense of urgency, setting up Delhi as the city of power games with Amit Trivedi’s energetic track Kaat Kaleja Dilli playing in the background. The infamous party, the shooting, Jessica’s death, the night call to her sister Sabrina (Vidya) and, later, the botched-up investigation and farcical court-room proceedings play out just as rapid-fire. Gupta brings in a parallel, fictional track of an ambitious, fiery TV journo (Rani) and...

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