‘Jubilee’: Cast & Crew
Director: Vikramaditya Motwane
Cast: Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aparshakti Khurana, Wamiqa Gabbi, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sidhant Gupta, Ram Kapoor, Shweta Basu Prasad, Sukhmanee Lamba, Nandish Singh Sandhu
Available On: Amazon Prime Video
Duration: 10 Episodes, An Hour Each
A thrilling yet poetic tale woven around an ensemble of characters and the gambles they're willing to take, in pursuit of their dreams, passion, ambition and love. It revolves around the film industry in the mid-1940s that is moving into a new era post-Independence. Will the film industry be able to grapple with the changing landscape in the new and free country? Will the film industry be able to battle through its own evils of power dynamics? Will commoners from outside finally get an entry to these big studios? Well, to know all that you’ll have to watch the film.
Aparshakti Khurana leads the way in this ensemble cast. Having the maximum screen space, it’s he would hold the baton of the show’s direction. What’s interesting to see that you finally get to see him come out with flying colours as the lead hero. His range of emotions are as vast and it’s in full display in ‘Jubilee’. Whenever he is with his boss he is that meekly servant who is ready to do anything for the man who’s paying him the big bucks. On the other hand, a fierce lion comes from inside him every time he is alone and making the path for himself. The dichotomy of emotions is great and he pulls it off very well.
Prosenjit Chatterjee comes up with a measured performance which is robust at every juncture. The way he flinches in his emotions is brilliant. He shows the true colour of a film studio owner at one instant and the very next he is the charming yesteryear superstar who is fighting to wit's end to make movies the way he wishes to.
Wamiqa Gabbi definitely has a memorable screen presence. She might have a lesser screen time, but every time she is on the screen, you know there is something different that you can expect. Her smile fills the room with a lively and bubbly attitude, which helps give the heavy narrative its necessary depth.
Sidhanth Gupta deserves praise. His innocence is what makes the character likeable. The way he manages to showcase a rich man’s attitude despite living in a refugee camp in sordid poverty shows how well has imbibed the character. From getting the anger due to hunger perfect to getting the airs of a prince when talking about films, he has just gotten the deepest into the character. His shorter screen time hurts, however. It would have been great to see his character much more and as a parallel lead to that of Aparshakti Khurana.
Aditi Rao Hydari is a total waste in a character that’s barely there. She starts off as the reigning queen of the premiere studio of Mumbai, but soon vanishes from the main narrative, only to return in a few scenes here and there. A lot more could have been explored about the character.
Shweta Basu Prasad as well is just there as a stage prop. Just because her Bengali accent is perfect and she looks stunning as a bong housewife, doesn’t mean that an actress of her calibre just has a blink-and-miss character. She definitely deserved a lot more lines and much more intensity to that character.
Ram Kapoor, in a guest appearance, has overdone the abuses. It’s understandable that as the hotshot financier of movies his lingo is filled with cuss words, but somehow Kapoor overdoes it and it feels like in every second line he is using expletives. Besides that, he definitely has got a grasp of the character but the character, in itself, had the potential to be like Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman from ‘Tropic Thunder’.
‘Jubilee’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Jubilee’ definitely starts terribly slow. The initial episode and half are too painful to sit through as you’re still not able to connect to the characters and you are not that deeply involved in them. However, after that, you slowly start getting the great stuff, which makes you so engrossed in the show that you might forget your daily chores. It’s like a fine wine which you’ve to build the taste for, otherwise, you will simply not like it. If you’re able to sit through the initial few episodes, you’re hooked on to the show, as you now are familiar with the characters and their characteristics. You know who’s good, who’s bad, who’s plotting against whom, who’s falling in love and everything else. It’s then that you simply sit back and enjoy this fine piece of craftsmanship. Vikramaditya Motwane, take a bow, as you’ve created a world of your own, and it is pure and filled with true intent. This is definitely a Breezy watch which demands Repeat viewing. I am going with 3.5 stars.