Vidya Balan put on the garb of a detective in BOBBY JASOOS, while DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY and JAGGA JASOOS are in production stages. The genre, it is apparent, is being lapped up by filmmakers. What makes it fascinating is the fact that reputed Studios/production houses as well as top of the line stars are ready to step out of the comfort zone to act in these films. We haven’t had a woman detective in Hindi films so far. Will BOBBY JASOOS trigger off a trend? Having said that, although BOBBY JASOOS narrates the story of a detective, the makers make sure they add human drama to it, which sets it apart from the detective films we have witnessed thus far. But a lethargic screenplay acts as a barricade. Bobby aka Vidya Balan is from a modest district of Hyderabad. Her parents played by Rajendra Gupta and Supriya Pathak are keen she gets married, but Bobby is keen to pursuit her dreams of becoming a detective. She offers to work for a leading detective agency, but when things don’t work out, she starts her own detective agency Bobby Jasoos P. Ltd. Slowly but surely, the cases start coming in, but the cases are trivial and don’t interest her. The story takes a turn when Anees Khan [Kiran Kumar] offers Bobby to trace some missing people. Glad that she has made a beginning, Bobby grabs the offer instantly, but as she starts the investigations, she realizes something is incorrect.
The element of mystery is wonderfully tangled in the narrative, which draws the audience into the world of Bobby and the case she decides to take up. The twists and turns that ensue when Bobby realizes that this case is not as plain sailing as it appears to involve the spectators completely, also because the writer and director make sure the film doesn’t follow the stereotypical formula. While much of the first half is devoted to constructing the suspense, the post-interval portions, sadly, do not live up to those lofty expectations. Sure, there are some absorbing moments and you do hope to get a shocker when the veil of suspense is finally lifted — about the missing girls and also about the true identity of Kiran Kumar. Sadly, what transpires makes you wonder, what was the chase all about? Why did those families disappear? The reasons offered by Kiran Kumar aren’t too persuasive. Furthermore, the film lacks the thrill quotient, which is so essential in a film like this. A couple of episodes have also been lengthened without much reason. The writer incorporates the romantic track with the core story, but there are times when you feel it appears unnatural. Vidya Balan is known to walk that extra mile to get the character right. The supremely talented actress, who is seen in a variety of disguises in BOBBY JASOOS and speaks in Hyderabadi accent, is the soul of the film. She embraces the part with all the power that she can muster and is absolutely brilliant. Ali Fazal is a complete exposé. Although pitted against a powerhouse performer like Vidya, Ali makes his presence felt with a delightful performance.
The film has a strong supporting cast, but the ones who roll remarkable performances take in Rajendra Gupta as Vidya’s father and Kiran Kumar is top notch! Surprising, talented names such as Supriya Pathak, Zarina Wahab and Tanvi Azmi are demoted to the back seat and don’t get meaty characters to leave much of an impact. Arjan Bajwa is just tolerable. Aakash Dahiya and Prasad Barve Vidya’s constant companions, leave a mark. BOBBY JASOOS has an interesting premise but it could have been scripted with a lot more oomph and suspense. The main reason to watch this film is of course Vidya Balan, which is enough to make this story somewhat enjoyable. It’s a 5/10 from us at The Bollywood Tempest.