Movie Review: Jal (2014)

Box Office: Disaster

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.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
4.0 “Jal leaves you with many fluttering strands of thought swimming in the tormented tides of humanity’s most deprived and financially challenged part of civilization where drinking water is more precious than gold.”
4.0 ” ‘Jal’ an aqueous epic of Shakespearean proportions.”
3.5 “JAL makes a rock-solid impact. It’s poignant and powerful”
Bollywood Hungama
3.5 “The story scatters often like a fistful of sand, yet, for those seeking something different, go quench your thirst.”
Times Of India
Average Reviews
2.5 “JAL is a visual delight. The dry, arid land is captured well.”
2.5 “Girish showcases love, lust and thirst in a simply and beautifully woven story. If simple human emotions are your fill, you should certainly watch Jal”
Negative Reviews
2.0 ” With ample stress on beautifying the film than weaving a good plot around it, Jal ends up being an ambitious experiment that goes wrong.”
2.0 ” The film despite being heavy on enticing looks lacks a soul.”
1.5 ” Jal has all the trappings of dastangoi, it just needed a better dastango.”
1.0 “The film is well shot but ends up looking like an advert for Kutchhi landscapes and costumes.”
0.5 “Jal would have made a much more powerful literary piece than it makes a film. As a story on celluloid, it is simply a dead bore.”


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