Directed by: Prashant Singh
Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Javed Jaffrey, Sanjai Mishra, Aparshakti Khurana
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy, Family
Release date: 02 August, 2019
Running Time: 125 Minutes
This film can’t make up its mind whether it wants to be a social satire, a love story or a masala entertainer.
Jabariya Jodi is an upcoming Indian romantic comedy film starring Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra. The film is based upon the tradition of groom kidnapping, prevalent in Bihar. The film is co-produced by Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor and Shailesh. R. Singh and is directed by Prashant Singh.
The concept and story of the film was conceived by writer Sanjeev K Jha who is from Bihar and was familiar with forced marriage practice in his native state. He was surprised to see the official data that said that more abductions happened in Bihar for the purpose of forced marriage than ransom in recent years. It was an eye-opener for him so he created a love-story using this bizarre practices.
The first look of the film was revealed by Ekta Kapoor on her Twitter account on 20 August 2018 and explained what the title Jabariya Jodi actually means. It showed Parineeti and Sidharth lost in each other but in between them, there is a groom tied and unconscious.
The 2nd teaser of the film was shared by Sidharth Malhotra on his official Instagram account on 6 December 2018 announcing the release date of 17 May 2019.
On 4 March 2019 with release of a new official theatrical posters new release date of 12 July, 2019 was announced.
Jabariya Jodi Movie Review:
Jabariya Jodi could have been a lot of things; a scathing indictment of the evil of dowry, a social drama on the novel but illegal solution to that ill which only a state as ‘jugaadu‘ as Bihar could have come up with – pakadwa vivaah – or a satire about what such a forced coupling can do to a man, a woman and the society.
Instead, Jabariya Jodi regurgitates the boy-meets-girl, boy is not sure that he should marry girl, boy realizes at the absolute last moment that he needs to say ‘I do’ trope, which is all set in a kind of antiseptic Bihar that could only exist in Film City, Mumbai.
Sidharth Malhotra is the local tough – Baahubali, if you will – whose idea of social service is to marry off deserving women to unsuspecting men whose family wants half of Bihar as dowry. He might look at it as ‘samaj seva‘ but his wannabe politician dad (played by a poker-faced Jaaved Jaaferi) charges a fancy dime for it. He also holds his son’s strings.
Sidharth’s Abhay has his modus operandi and life sorted. He wants to be an MLA come election time, and goes about disrupting Valentine’s Day celebrations and offering the option of ‘shaadi aur shraadh‘ to suitable boys. Other than for him, marriage seems to be the end-all and be-all for everyone else, including the women who are marrying men who are crying while taking ‘pheras’, their parents, and film’s leading lady, Babli (Parineeti Chopra).
A firebrand and a rebel in all other aspects, Babli wants to eventually get married because, well, that is what women do. A woman who has been branded ‘Bomb’ for her feistiness and quick temper, she is okay if consent doesn’t factor into it. Abhay and Babli meet and the film soon goes off the rails. He is clear that ‘kursi’, and not ‘bistar’ is what he is aiming for. He also believes he is his philandering father’s son. So, no marriage for him. She is happy to leave her future in his inept hands after her own clumsy attempt at ‘pakadwa vivaah’.
Both Parineeti and Sidharth look too urban to fit into the milieu. Despite the loud shirts and aviator shades and an attempt at getting his Bihari accent right, it is hard to buy Sidharth as a Baahubali. The spunky Parineeti also pales into her one-dimensional role. You only remember her hair in an atrocious shade of red, her green eyeliner and her penchant for crop tops. Somebody please find the favourite Bollywood couturier of the day and organise some clothes for her that real people wear!
The film gets its zing from the language that you’d only hear in this part of India. Raaj Shandilya’s dialogues give the film its few hilarious moments as Jaaferi explains why Audis are better than a Mercedes: “Usme teen taala hota hai, ye chaar choodi waali hai. Isme zyaada hai,” or a man complaining about paan: “Ye paan banaye ho ya Japan banaye ho?”
Sanjay Mishra as Parineeti’s father, Duniyaram, and Neeraj Sood as his world-wise sidekick chew up the scenery. Chandan Roy Sanyal as Sidharth’s confidante Guddu also adds to the film’s credibility. However, it is Aparshakti Khurana who is the collateral damage of the Jabariya Jodi enterprise. The talented actor seems to have been given one job – to keep a straight face. He manages to do a lot while delivering the most inward-looking line of dialogue in the film, as he says that Babli can’t look beyond her ego and Abhay is caught in a web of his insecurities, while he is the only one who understands the true meaning of love.
Director Prashant Singh’s treatment of an important subject that is begging to be turned into a social satire bursting with local flavor, leaves the film stranded with an identity crisis. Bihar is an underrepresented state in Bollywood cinema. While directors Prakash Jha and Anurag Kashyap have based a lot of their stories there, a social drama that puts it on the map like, say, what Bareilly Ki Barfi or Tanu Weds Manu did for Uttar Pradesh, is what we need next.
Jabariya Jodi could have been that film but, alas, it is as flavorless as the ‘litti chokha’ served on pristine white ceramic plates– for sometimes, you like to get your hands dirty.