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Jenny is a young, beautiful, vibrant girl and darling to everyone. She flits between glamorous professions, working as an executive in a five-star hotel, and also as a popular model of the Mumbai advertising world. Yet her traditional values remain intact. She sings and dances through her glittering world, looking like a picture of joy, even though her romantic past has been less than perfect, making her mature beyond her years. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I had read somewhere that being in love with someone is a great thing because it makes you feel alive. Joggers Park confirms the statement. It is not about the Joggers' Park situated in Bandra West, Mumbai. It is about two joggers who come to know each other by meeting there and the life changes for both of them.
There is an old Hindi movie song whose one stanza says - NA UMR KI SEEMA HO, NA JANM KA HO BANDHAN, JAB PYAR KARE KOI TO DEKHE KEWAL MANN (In love, there is no bar of age or birth as a lover sees only the heart of the beloved). And Joggers Park is a beautifully told saga which underscores this saying in a highly emphatic manner.
A retired judge comes across a working girl, half his age in the Joggers Park. The girl is outspoken, lovely, confident and emotional. Interacting with her leads the aged man of principals who is a stern patriarch in his family, to have the feeling of the melting of the paraffin. A whole new world of emotions, interactions and social life opens before the aged gentleman who has never happened to see anything outside the court-room, the legal files and his traditional joint family. The girl, on the other hand, too gets more and more fascinated to the mature and benevolent nice person who sometimes becomes possessive towards her like a kid. However, ultimately both come to realise that this relationship, howsoever satisfying it might be, has not future and the society will not allow it to be made public. On the girl's side, the need of social security gets the better of her love and on the male's side, his responsibility towards his family overpowers his deep and delicate sentiments towards the girl. But the touchy last scene of the movie reminds the viewer that the thread of love cannot be broken by distance of the involving individuals.
The débutant director late Mr. Anant Balani has done a terrific job. He has handled the sensitive and delicate theme of the movie with utmost maturity. The film has its flaws and lean patches, yet the overall impact of the movie upon a sensitive viewer is nothing short of a marvel. The biggest plus point, in my opinion, of the movie is that while treating the plot, the director has lent utmost respect to the central characters. Whether or not, you approve the relationship between the lead pair, you cannot help yourself respecting them. They are never short of dignity. The supporting cast has also been shown in respectful light and the story teller is very much correct in not exposing the scandalous affair and giving a different and highly mature end to the story.
The characters are purely the flesh and blood human-beings. Nobody appears to be a fake character. Every main sequence of the movie has a human face. The human side of the two protagonists as well as the family members of the judge is revealed and emphasized with elegance. After all, loving somebody is not a sin and all emotional male-female relationships are not destined for the wedlock. But then, does this fact reduce the importance of the relationship or the sentiments involved ? No ! Declares the story teller. The relationship between the loving couple has been shown as purely platonic. They enjoy each-other's company, they respect each-other, they care for each-other and they strive to see and listen to each-other. But ! Nowhere is there any element of sensuality. And that shows the director's better sense and mature handling of a love story of a 65 years' old retired judge and a 32 years' old working girl.
The musical score is pretty good though repeating the Adnan Saami song again and again in the background, irritates. The ghazal of Jagjeet Singh - Badi Najuk Hai Yeh Manzil is nothing short of a treat for the melody lovers. The cinematography is good. The loving couple is seen several times near the sea which (perhaps) symbolises the depth of their relationship. Other technical aspects are also upto the mark. The movie is lengthy but it is not a minus point because to portray the evolution of the relationship properly, the narrator needed time.
The lead pair has delivered towering performances. Victor Banerjee has not done many Hindi films but he an actor of the genre of Nasiruddin Shah, Girish Karnad and Om Puri and since his early days of Shyam Benegal's Kalyug in 1981, he has seldom disappointed with his performance. The kid like feeling and behaviour of Justice J.P. Chatterjee who is in his sixties, has been excellently portrayed by him, giving the relevant scenes of the movie, an utterly human look. Perizaad Zorabian, on the other hand is not only pretty but a highly efficient actress who has portrayed the sentimental but daring and confident Jennie so well that it is difficult to imagine any other actress in that role. Among other cast which has got cameos only, Divya Dutta as the straight-talking and mirror showing daughter and Abha Dhuliya as the completely traditional and never suspecting her husband, devoted housewife are excellent.
Why do we use the term - falling in love ? Falling itself is a negative term. In love, a person rises, not falls. Even when you are already committed, being in love with someone does not make you a sinner. After all, love just happens. It is not something deliberately attempted. The thing that constrains the expression and advancement of such feelings is called MARYAADA or the behavioural boundary-line associated to a person's status in the social life. Indian culture and the Indian social set-up put family honour and social repute of an individual on top of his priority list. And love is meant for sacrifice. Isn't it ? See Joggers Park and realise yourself.
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