Jubilee Review (Part 2): Much Beyond Cinema History, Vikramaditya Motwane Is A Beast Creating A Flaring Spectacle That Fascinates & Comforts


Jubilee Review (Part 2) Review: Star Rating:

Cast: Aparshakti Khurana, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aditi Rao Hydari, Wamiqa Gabbi, Sidhant, Ram Kapoor, Nandish Singh Sandhu, Shweta Basu Prasad, and ensemble.

Creator: Vikramaditya Motwane & Soumik Sen.

Director: Vikramaditya Motwane.

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video.

Language: Hindi (with subtitles).

Runtime: 10 Episodes, Around 60 Minutes Each

Jubilee Review (Part 2)

Jubilee Review (Part 2) Review: What’s It About:

The year is 1947, the golden age of Indian cinema, as they call it, is unfolding and settling down at the onset of partition. Roy Talkies is busy finding its new superstar, Madan Kumar. A silent but cunning manager of the talkies, Binod Das, kills all odds to reach the top, but does the ghost of his doing ever let him have a peaceful sleep?

Jubilee Review (Part 2) Review: What Works:

The biggest challenge for a creator/filmmaker when he sets out to make a product about the movies is that how does he make it a ‘film’ and not a documentary about his ecosystem. Jubilee comes out of Vikramaditya Motwane, Soumik Sen, and writers Atul Sabharwal and Prachi Singh; in its first five episodes took its one pace to build a story and a bygone era that was in itself a reshaping of the industry that we now take the baton forward of.

In the next five episodes, Vikram and the team make sure they eradicate any chance of that aforementioned challenge. The last five episodes of the show that explores the lives of some odd eight people in the film business get the most lucrative and blazing as they progress. The art of Motwane in shaping a show that is not just a homage is magnificent. Jubilee doesn’t try to be a look back, or a love letter, or just a homage; it is invested in its characters after hypnotising and luring you into this world after the first five episodes.

The idea is clear. Marinate the viewer in your world with a slow-burning base and push them in the fire as they enter the second part. There is just so much in the last five episodes of the show that a summary can’t even hold the entire plot. It is a country reshaping with a film industry that is influenced by not just the people running it but the powers that want to adversely have a hold over the country through films. The cultural impact of films is only getting stronger; people want to see representation of themselves on the screen. A filmmaker who is a refugee is now a star that is standing against the existing biggest star of the country.

There is love, and the lack of it that makes the show an emotional saga. There is so much about writing to learn here. Motwane pays a tribute to almost every possible legend. But at the same time, he doesn’t make it into a white-washed product. There are people criticising K. Asif, who was busy making his legendary Mughal-e-Azam in those years. Even the songs in Jubilee are respectful replicas of sorts of some songs. Amit Trivedi composes Saare Ke Saare with the spirit of Pyaasa’s Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye and even plays at a scene similar to Guru Dutt’s dilemma from the movie. Such a haunting but satisfying sequence.

There is so much detailed layering in every aspect of Jubilee. Be it the hypnotising frames that Pratik Shah creates as he visualises this world like a Guru Dutt could have, or a K. Asif could have and creates imagery so beautiful. Especially when he gets to play in wide angles, the magic speaks for itself. The set design in itself gives so much for the audience to absorb about that era.

Jubilee leads you to a climax that is shattering, comforting, and aching all at the same time. There are only a few shows that can make you want to 10 hours again, and this one is that.

Jubilee Review (Part 2)

Jubilee Review (Part 2) Review: Star Performance:

Sidhant has to be the best discovery for the world of OTT by team Jubilee. The actor embodies multiple legendary figures as he transitions from one phase of Jay Khanna to the other. There are reflections of Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, and maybe even more. The brunt of the fire is always in his share as he watches the country change rapidly, travelling through it. With a stellar Wamiqa Gabbi embodying the essence of the yesteryear goddesses, they create a frame so pitch-perfect that you have to watch. Their broken love story has Pratik Shah’s complete attention because the camera almost romances with their arc and makes them look heavenly in rain, on a set, and everywhere else.

Aparshakti Khurana gives his career-best performance so far. Evolving into a much more complex character, his Binod now has multiple shades of grey and is even turning into a victim of his own doings. His guilt is eating him, and so is the outer world. Khurana blows so much life into Madan Kumar, that the myth becomes a man only to be called a myth by him. Shweta Basu Prasad supports him brilliantly. For a woman living in dilemma, she is a silent spectator of the rise of Madam Kumar and oppression of Binod. Prasad plays the part very well.

Aditi Rao Hydari blooms as Sumitra Kumari and turns into a woman filled with rage but also tied by conditions. She takes the plunge of risking everything and creates the utmost chaos. The ‘theraav’ in her approach to the character is mesmerising. Joined by the forever young Prosenjit Chatterjee, the two are perfect. Maybe they are inspired by Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, but the characters are much more than just a reflection of the two.

Ram Kapoor deserves to be seen more, and I am ready to see what he does next. So is Nandish Singh Sandhu, who while being in the background most of the times, does create a very strong visual impression on the entire runtime. Even with the shortest runtime, he isn’t forgettable.

Jubilee Review (Part 2) Review: What Doesn’t Work:

Sumitra Kumari’s pain deserved a bit more screen time to become more impactful. It was Aditi Rao Hydari’s talent that she made us feel it in a very limited time but it was also a gamble.

Jubilee Review (Part 2) Review: Last Words:

You know there are films and shows you want to wipe out memories off and re-watch them like it’s your first time because you love them so much, Jubilee is exactly that and more. A filmmaker turning around his camera and telling stories rather than documenting times.

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