Jalsa review – hit-and-run Bollywood drama speeds past social issues

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Drama about a reporter who knows too much about a gruesome traffic incident checks off a grocery list of urgent questions without examining themA young girl gets run over at the beginning of Suresh Triveni’s Jalsa, a brutal event that brings to mind Paul Haggis’s Crash, and not in a good way. Just like the painfully unsubtle Oscar winner, here a car accident and coincidences throw a group of people from different backgrounds into difficult dilemmas, forcing them to confront tough moral questions.Vidya Balan, who also stars in Triveni’s debut Tumhari Sulu, plays Maya Menon, a tough-as-nails reporter priding herself on her unwavering honesty. Her introduction suggests that the film might be a female-driven character study, as Maya is torn between her work and her disabled son. But Jalsa then changes gears dramatically, revealing that Maya is the driver behind the gruesome hit-and-run. To make matters worse, the young girl is the daughter of Maya’s trusted cook Ruksana (Shefali Shah), who has become an integral part of the family. Continue reading…