The comparisons with the original are bound to reduce its credibility.
Cast: Rhea Chakraborty, Varun Mitra, Digangana Suryavanshi
Director: Pushpdeep Bhardwaj
After almost a two-hour long ordeal in theatre, I am left wondering why there are some films that just don’t take off. Since its credentials are A-class, Jalebi should have been an entertainer, at least, if not a great remake of the Bengali hit Praktan.
Jalebi is a story between an estranged couple who happen to cross their paths on a train journey, and look back not with disdain, but with a mellowed understanding of the days gone by.
The film’s premise of “the everlasting taste of love” is a romantic drama with a believable storyline and an earnestness to come up with strong performances by its lead pair Rhea Chakraborty and debutant Varun Mitra. They try hard, but not enough to completely overcome the strain of its clichés.
It ends up being a half-hearted sentimental saga. The comparisons with the original are bound to reduce its credibility. The setting in the Bengali version was Kolkata, and here, the backdrop is Old Delhi. But while writers created a rich tapestry of the explorer guide with whom a girl tourist shares a common interest of Indian heritage and culture in Praktan, Dev Mathur (Mitra) and Aisha Pradhan (Chakraborty) play tourist guide and traveller, who take a liking for each other soon after they meet. As one thing leads to another, the impulsive Aisha wants to be with Dev for the rest of her life. Dev, for whom the old lanes of Delhi define him and his deep-rooted love and respect that he has earned over the years, treats his job as a preserver of his family values and cannot give up his job for anything in the world. Soon their worldview makes them separate as it dawns on Dev that Aisha will have to make many compromises. The two are confronted by their differences some years later, when Aisha finds herself in a
spot of bother as she realises that two fellow passengers on a train, a mother-daughter duo (Digangana Suryavanshi) and Disha (Aanya Dureja) is none other than Dev’s wife and daughter.
Lacking depth, the film tries to cover a lot of distance but loses steam progressively throughout. Resultantly, it becomes designed and less organic, though Chakraborty does a fine job. Mitra is no star material but is at times, made to look heroic.
It’s a film that though teaches you to move on, makes you move out!
The writer is a film critic