As is the case with most attempts at satire in Bollywood, 'Jai Ho Democracy' also ended up being more slapstick than sarcastic
'Jai Ho Democracy'
DIR: Ranjit Kapoor
CAST: Om Puri, Annu Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Seema Biswas, Adil Hussain, Aamir Bashir, Grusha Kapoor
In an industry starved of satire, 'Jai Ho Democracy' came with a lot of promise. Unfortunately, as is the case with most attempts at satire, this one also ended up being more slapstick than sarcastic.
The film begins with an ‘Indian’ hen escaping into the no man’s land at the Line of Control on the Indo-Pak border. A hapless cook is pushed into the area to retrieve the hen and soon this incident ends up becoming a matter of ego tussle between the army men stationed there. When the news spreads and a war-like situation seems to be looming large, a committee is set up to find a solution. The committee ends up squabbling over petty ego problems more than the issue at hand.
The script holds much promise, but sadly, the execution doesn’t live up to it. The first half piques your curiosity as you see some stellar actors (Annu Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Om Puri, Seema Biswas, Adil Hussain, Aamir Bashir, Grusha Kapoor form the committee) under one roof. You expect a power packed situation aka the classic 1986 film Ek Ruka Hua Faisla, where Basu Chatterjee got 13 super actors to play part of the jury, the entire film being about their debate over a judgment.
This film, however, comes nowhere close to that. 'Jai Ho Democracy' takes a nosedive in the second half with the lines and the script plummeting to low levels of silliness. The climax kills it altogether as it gets into the predictable clichéd preachy mode. One is disappointed at the sheer waste of a good opportunity and ensemble cast.