Jessica Vs. Jessica

16 Jun

No One Killed Jessica Review

More then a decade ago, Jessica Lall, a model from New Delhi decided to try her hand as a barmaid in a high class socialite party. It was a bad decision. That very night, she was shot dead by Manu Sharma, the 24 year old son of Venod Sharma, a wealthy politician from Haryana in front of hundreds of mute spectators. The reason – for refusing to serve him a drink after closing hours.

However, it didn’t turn out to be an open and shut case despite so many witnesses to the crime. The case frittered away in the court either due to witnesses either turning hostile or changing their version of the story completely from what they had recorded earlier with the police. Also the fact that the murder weapon was not found helped the accused Manu Sharma and a few other co-accused to get acquittal from the court in early 2006.

But this time, the media and the public at large were not going to sit back as a mute spectator to the acquittal. There was a gross injustice committed. A huge uproar across the country with the media taking up the cause and the public openly supporting it through sms and poll campaigns resulted in the retrial of the case. Even large scale candle light vigils at the India Gate in Delhi followed by Manu Sharma’s hometown Chandigarh helped the High Court to take cognizance of the massive injustice meted to the late Jessica Lall.

Few months later in December 2006, the High Court after a speedy retrial pronounced Manu Sharma guilty of the murder of Jessica Lall and was awarded life imprisonment. The retrial and the justice meted out proved one thing that the collective voice of the mass can bring about a change in the society and that no one was above the law.

Coming back to No One Killed Jessica, the film that released on 7 January, kudos to Rajkumar Gupta who after the success of his maiden film Aamir in 2008, gave us this thought provoking and hard hitting film that sticks to the real issue more or less with few fictionalized additions to keep the story moving. Rani Mukherji plays a foul-mouthed high profile journalist who doesn’t mince words when saying something. Vidya Balan plays the role of Sabrina, sister of the slain Jessica Lall aptly played by Myra.

The story starts from the year 1999 when India was literally at war at Kargil when another gun blazed in the New Delhi city. Jessica, a model and a barmaid is brutally killed by Manu Sharma for being refused a drink. Over the years, the case looses its fizzle on accounts of witnesses turning hostile under the lure of money and lack of enough evidence against the accused Manu Sharma. In walks Meera, the fiery journalist who years earlier had ignored the sensational murder since she found it an open and shut case. Teaming up with Jessica’s sister Sabrina, they endure problems in gathering proofs and witnesses and then raise a collective voice along with the media and the public at large to punish the accused.

Director Rajkumar Gupta surely gave us one of the most outstanding films of this year for sure and right at the beginning of 2011. He has handled the sensitive topic of the Jessica murder with gutso and without switching off the track only aided with few fictionalized characters but at the same time keeping the audience riveted to their seats. He has proved that Aamir was no fluke. He definitely is a director who’s here to stay for a long time. Another catchy aspect of the film is its loud music be it the background score or the songs with ‘Dilli Dilli’ already a hit. The dialogue is hard hitting and realistic just like the sincere and great performances by the lead star casts as well as the supporting casts. Overall everything about the film is great and definitely both Rani and Vidya are surely going to be nominated for awards if not take home some.

Overall, the movie is a much watch even if you’ve been followed the real story of the Jessica Lall murder in the news over the years. This movie will kind of bring back memories of what you’ve been reading in the newspapers or watched on television about the murder case all these years. It’s going to keep you on the edge of the seats for sure and evoke your sentiments of what a collective voice can do to raise awareness of what’s plaguing our society. It’s a victory for the late Jessica all the way!



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