Raj Kumar Gupta’s “No One Killed Jessica” is based on the very
gripping saga of the Jessica Lall murder case, one that captured the
collective conscience of India at a point in time, and galvanised a
dormant middle-class into taking action.
A young model shot dead because she refused to serve a powerful
politician’s son a drink at a party. The murderer gets away because of
his connections, but when an aggressive reporter takes it upon herself
to solve the case, things change.
Vidya Balan plays Sabrina, Jessica’s sister, who learns soon enough
that fighting against a corrupt system is of no use, even though more
than 300 people witnessed her sister’s murder.
Star reporter Meera Gaity (Rani Mukherjee), who initially doesn’t
think the case is worth her time, takes it upon herself to crack the
case, when a lower court acquits all accused in the case. Her
investigative reporting shakes the system forcing public protests and
re-opening of the case.
Gupta’s source of inspiration is spot-on and perfect celluloid fodder.
However, the director doesn’t utilise his raw material well enough for
you to be completely gripped by this tale. Rather than packing in the
second half with action and some sort of drama, he chooses to dwell on
the emotional quotient — something he has already established, thus
making it repetitive.
The actual events which led to the reopening of the case are glossed
over and there is much expostulating on the equations of the powerful
in Delhi. Also, Rani Mukherjee’s character is not given enough time
and you don’t really get a sense of her.
Sabrina, on the other hand, is quite well-developed and Vidya Balan
does the character justice, bringing out the frustration and grief
that Jessica Lall’s family must have gone through.
“No One Killed Jessica” is a film that does have its moments, but on
the whole it doesn’t quite make the impact it should have. The length
could have been cut by 20 minutes and some of the supporting cast
doesn’t perform up to the mark.
If you are willing to forgive these flaws, this is good enough for a
one-time watch — to relive the horrific incident and its aftermath,
if nothing else.
Raj Kumar Gupta’s “No One Killed Jessica” is based on the very gripping saga of the Jessica Lall murder case, one that captured the collective conscience of India at a point in time, and galvanised a dormant middle-class into taking action.