Jayeshbhai Jordaar Movie Review: Ranveer is a firecracker, but the film lacks spark

STORY: In a regressive, fictitious hamlet of Gujarat, a meek and helpless husband (Ranveer Singh as Jayeshbhai) must resort to guerrilla warfare in order to protect his wife Mudra (Shalini Pandey) and 9-year-old feisty daughter from his patriarchal parents (Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah). Can he muster some courage to empower the women of his village by fighting the beti-nahi-beta chahiye samaaj and system?

REVIEW: Jayeshbhai cannot hurt a fly to save his life but has a heart that wants to do better and be better than the misogynist and chauvinistic environment that he was raised in. Is he man enough to do that?

Debutant writer-director Divyang Thakkar attempts to use humour and satire to question social issues like gender stereotype, disparity and female infanticide. The intent is appreciated but juvenile execution and weak writing make it impossible even for someone like Ranveer Singh to salvage the script. The recent Sharmaji Namkeen also addressed gender constructs with a dash of humour but never trivialised pain. Jayeshbhai is unable to acknowledge the issues as it’s more obsessed with offering quirky entertainment. However, to achieve that, the writing needs to be clever and that’s not the case here. Be it domestic abuse, victim shaming or girl child empowerment, nothing makes an impact as the comic punches rarely land. Ranveer’s monologue on pappi (kiss) comes at such an inappropriate moment in the film that it evokes unintentional laughter. That funny moment, too, loses its charm once it’s overstretched. The setting and accents too seem pretentious. Given the plot, you patiently wait for moments that tug at your heartstrings but they never come.

Ranveer Singh is a firecracker when it comes to performances and screen presence but the script douses his fire. However, despite the creative glitches, Ranveer’s energy and relentless effort to entertain keeps you hopeful and hold onto the film till the end. The original Preeti from Arjun Reddy (Shalini Pandey) carries her submissive act forward here as well.

For the longest time Hindi films have worshiped alpha males. Divyang hopes to turn that template around and question false bravado through his timid but determined hero. He also tries to take a light-hearted look at grim issues, but uninspiring writing lets his film down by a mile.


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