• Ramachandran Srinivasan

Shahid, Mrunal, Pankaj and Ronit stun in Jersey



Film: Jersey

Director: Gowtam Tinnauri

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Mrunal Thakur Pankaj Kapur and Ronit Kamra

Rating ****1/2

I met Shahid Kapoor first when Ananth Mahadevan introduced me him during the making of the film DIl Maange More. Shahid was a heartthrob then after the success of Ishk Vishk.

He had the makings of a star and even behaved like one later, dating actresses and riding sports cars… that is the cocky Arjun Talwar one sees in the Gowtam Tinnauri directed Jersey who sweeps Vidya (Mrunal Thakur) off her feet and her house as she leaves her parents to marry him. Later when he is off cricket and having lost his job in the Food Corporation Of India and being the father of a loving son, he is all heart despite not doing well for himself. And then he is back again on his feet just for his son! Pretty much sums up Shahid’s career as well after his children.

No, you are not reading a gossip column. That is how natural Shahid Kapoor is in Jersey. If you loved him in the two characters of Charlie and Guddu in Kaminey, you will feel he has taken it a few notches higher and surpassed them with the most mature performance of his career in Jersey. You have to see the sequences where he is at a railway station venting out his emotions and the sequence where Kittu tells him a certain truth about their bonding, which tell you that the real goosebumps that Shahid got in the climax scene of Kabir Singh were stepping stones for Shahid to blossom after being a father.

While he has a body of work that includes Udta Punjab and Haider as well where he has shown glimpses of what he can do, Shahid also stuns as a shape shifter looking like a 26 and a 36-year-old.

And yes, Shahid has also learnt to play cricket so well now and he could turn up for an IPL team as well like Pravin Tambe!

Mrunal was apprehensive before taking up the role, which is the alter ego of the protagonist. The girl who cheered him is now jeering him for his failure and wants him to toe the line. Mrunal who speaks with her eyes hold you right up there when the camera is on her face. She has grown as an actress from her days in television and has been rattling out winners in the form of Supriya in Super 30, Nandita in Batla House, Ira in Ghost Stories, Ananya in Toofan and Soumya in Dhamaka. But this was a role that challenges her and she stands up the task, holding her own with senior actors like Shahid and Pankaj Kapur.

That brings us to Pankaj who I saw ace it in Raakh as Inspector PK winning the best supporting actor and Ek Doctor Ki Maut as Dr Dipankar Roy winning a national award from the jury. He got an award much later for Maqbool. But Director Gautam Tinnauri has used his abilities rather well as he brings a smile on your face everytime you see him on screen as he gives glimpses of abilities as he did in television with Karamchand, Zabhan Sambhalke and Office Office.

Gowtam Tinnauri’s ability to extract a brilliant performance from young Ronit Kamra should not take away anything from the kiddo who performs his scenes with aplomb. His interactions with Shahid and Mrunal are so seamless and it is to his co actors’ credit that they have given him the space to perform. It is not easy making the same film twice without getting bored or messing it up and Gautam.

All the supporting actors in the film from Geetika Mahendru to Anjum Batra and Sunil Saraswat are cast well and do their job admirably.

Dialogue writers Siddharth Singh and Garima Wahal do not make the film sound like translation of dialogues from the original and lend a lot of credence and originality.

Thanks to cinematographer Anil Mehta Chandigarh looks damn beautiful making us ask ‘dialde ghar Chandigarh mein!’

Well, the music could have been better and the first few minutes could have had a bit more pace, but then the Jersey Nani wore is very different than what Shahid wears and makes it his own!

By S. Ramachandran

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