Jacqueline I Am Coming movie review: This too simple a film relies heavily on Raghubir Yadav's heft
Jacqueline I Am Coming leans to heavily on Raghubir Yadav to compensate for all the dull or jarring supporting performances.
A middle-aged man sits forlorn on the banks of a river. Two men attempt to lure him into a car. The man, Kashi Tiwari, is unwilling. His protestations are both pained and playful. One of the two men is his lifelong friend, Keshav (Kiran D Patel). He proceeds to share Kashi’s pathos-filled story with an unsympathetic hospital administrator (Shakti Kumar).
There is little joy in Kashi’s life. Orphaned as a child, he was raised by his orthodox uncle. A lonely man, he found love late in life. But the inter-caste nature of his alliance with Jacqueline isolated them from their families and community. Over time, as Jacqueline’s health began to falter, it became glaringly obvious the couple could not cope without support.
Years later, on the eve of retirement from his job at the local Public Works Department (PWD), where Kashi is one of the most diligent workers, he faces an empty future. With ample time on hand, Kashi is determined to get his beloved wife Jacqueline discharged from the local mental hospital, officially or unofficially.
The thrust of debutant director Banty Dubey’s film, written by Pinku Dubey, is the fated love story and how childhood loss and pain, as in Kashi’s case, can render a person fragile till adulthood. Although Jacqueline’s mental illness is not defined, we see that it is exacerbated by stress and trauma.
The greatest strength of the film is it provides a fitting showcase for Raghuvir Yadav. But it leans to heavily on Yadav to compensate for all the dull or jarring supporting performances. Diiva Dhanoya is listless as Jacqueline, and there is scarce chemistry between Yadav and her. Kumar amps up the villainy as the unfeeling doctor while a number of the other actors, particularly Kashi’s uncle and aunt, who perform at a different pitch altogether.
Jacqueline I Am Coming is a simple story, that is simply made and simply told. Its simplicity is both its appeal and its shortcoming.
Mental health, the pressures of elder care, alcoholism, drug abuse, a flawed education system, unemployment – Bhoothakaalam touches upon all this and more, but its focus never strays from its goal of terrorising the audience.
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The film’s first half is funny and throws up some interesting turns, the effort to hide which is proving to be a strain while writing this review. The humour is not of the laugh-a-minute variety, and owes more to these situational twists than to wisecracks.