Film: Jalebi: The everlasting taste of Love
Cast: Rhea Chakraborty, Varun Mitra, Digangana Suryavanshi, Aanya Dureja, Poorti Arya, Sonali Sudan, Farida Dadi, Yusuf Hussain, Arjun Kanungo
Director: Pushpdeep Bhardwaj
Rating: * ½
A remake of the Bengali film ‘Praktan,’ this romantic drama from the Vishesh films’ stable, shadows a divorced couple Aisha (Rhea Chakraborty) and Dev(Varun Mitra)who catch sight of each other again while on a train journey from Mumbai to Delhi – thus paving the way for a cauldron full of emotions to come tumbling out while past memories of love and hurt are unleashed – much like Gulzar’s masterpiece ‘Ijaazat’ where the character played by Rekha meets up with her ex-husband played by Naseeruddin Shah at a waiting room in a railway station. But comparisons to that musical classic are limited to the set-up alone. The rest of this film in no way matches Gulzar’s work in terms of depth, narrative complexity or intensity.
The train journey is just the device meant to bring the couple in sight of each other. The individual reflections on the past are conveyed through flashbacks which come at you in an unending stream. Mixed into that are interruptions from passengers who don’t matter much in the overall scheme of things. There’s plenty of melodrama to be had and it gets way too heavy laden as the tear-drenched ride comes to its culmination. The actors lack presence and their performances fail to invite empathy or understanding. The sloppy editing and inconsistent camerawork make it all the more difficult to engage with the narrative here. The songs are imminently forgettable and the overall impact of the telling is pretty much lacklustre. But for the train ride gimmick and the interesting teaser posters, there’s nothing much of interest here.