Movie Review: Jal (2014)
Bakka’s (Purab) the paani ka devta of his poor, water-starved village in the middle of the desert. He’s blessed with the power of divining water spots in barren lands. There’s also a scorching enmity with the neighbouring gaon as they own a water well and Bakka’s sweetheart, Kesar (Kirti). In the meanwhile, a pretty Russian animal activist, Kim (Jules) (who makes the village men’s throat go dry!) sets camp here to save flamingos from dying in the only water-body in the village. Fascinated with the gori chamri villagers enthusiastically help her to source fresh water for the feathered beauties. Her project soars, but what about the drought-struck village-folk who are waiting to break into a blood bath over one boond of water?
An attention-grabbing premise, JAL encapsulates varied emotions and human traits in its narrative, besides highlighting the all-pertinent issue of water scarcity. Girish Malik, who makes his big screen directorial debut with this film, wastes no time to introduce his characters and the problems they face, creating a tale that packs fact and fiction wonderfully. Aiding Girish in creating a stunning canvas on screen is the DoP [Sunita Radia], who captures the parched land brilliantly on celluloid.
The story unravels slowly initially, gathering speed only towards the post-interval portions. The serpentine turn of events, the captivating drama and the episodes leading to the culmination are enthralling and camouflage the minor aberrations that you encounter at times.