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Madhur's JAIL - Routine, claustrophobic or horrific?

November 7, 2009 4:51:13 PM IST
Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network
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JAIL has released and certain sections of media have started challenging if the film is 'routine Madhur Bhandarkar cinema' (whatever this means), claustrophobic and gives a horrific account of jail inmates.

Well, in its defense, it is this claustrophobic environment of JAIL which was always meant to be the pulling factor of this 130 minutes long drama. Yes, the jail barrack pretty much suffocates audiences and this is where Bhandarkar's strength lies as he never allows the film to go off tangent. Yes, at a couple of places, primarily in the first half, things do turn a little repetitive. Frequent travel from jail to court and then back without any results do turn depressing after a while. However, this is where the realism angle of the narrative sets in as well.


Above everything else, it's the strong emotional quotient of JAIL that makes one look at the proceedings wide eyed. Instead of taking the routine horror route about third degree torture, police brutality, homosexuality and fellow inmate bullying, Bhandarkar takes a sympathetic route while keeping an unbiased point of view. Yes, the film shocks but more due to the emotional turmoil that Parag is going through rather than the visuals on screen.

In the end, JAIL raises a few important questions about the judiciary system of our country. Madhur Bhandarkar doesn't take sides here. He states bare facts and questions whether an individual deserves to lead a miserable life till he is actually proven guilty? Something which can be reflected in the scene where Neil is produced in a hearing for the first time in two years and he says - 'I am glad that for the first time ever, I have been at least asked if I am guilty or not'! Point taken!