Priyanka's slaps win claps in punchy Jai Gangaajal!
Bankipur's in the vicious grip of MLA Bablu Pandey and goons. But what happens when SP Abha Mathur arrives - kya sab kuch pavitar ho jayega?
Straight away, Jai Gangaajal celebrates Priyanka Chopra in one of her most- literally - kick-ass performances. Bankipur is bullied by MLA Bablu (Manav) and brother Dabloo (Ninad), who rape, murder and loot farmers' lands. Police's 'circle babu' BN Singh (Prakash) smoothly facilitates Bablu-Dablu while building himself a marbled palace of black money. Suddenly, Abha Mathur (Priyanka) arrives as Bankipur's new SP - will Bablu-Dablu's party end?
Jai Gangaajal is one of Prakash Jha's best stories. It weaves together crucial contemporary threads - land mafias, corrupt netas, broker-cops, broken farmers - with Jha's enduring concern about vigilante justice. In his 2003 Gangaajal, SP Amit Kumar was bewildered by frustrated cops blinding criminals - to make society 'pavitar' - with acid. Here, Abha Mathur faces mobs hanging goons, shouting, "Jo janta ko lootega, uska suicide!"
Can Abha convince Bankipur that the law must prevail - both for the innocent and the evil? And why does BN suddenly want to purify the system?
Priyanka Chopra shines as 'Madam Sir' Abha Mathur, whose lightning slaps and lathi charges have you applauding. This is a polished, restrained Priyanka, who barely smiles but conveys the ethics and empathy of the law. Priyanka's ably supported by Rahul Bhat's cameo as an MIT PhD kisaan leader - Rahul performs Rayban radicalism with aplomb, sneering at Abha visiting a distressed village, "Toh ab aap aayi hain, suicide tourism par."
In contrast, Manav Kaul, usually a sure-shot scene stealer, appears distracted, briefly coming into his own, licking his lips as he savagely beats BN, but lacking consistent power. However, the dynamics between BN and Dablu convey crackling tension, their face-off electric. While Ninad nails wicked, waddling Dablu, fattened on the gory good life, Prakash comfortably portrays a character happy with shades of grey - until he discovers khaki.
There are memorable dialogues - 'Aapko galat misguide kiya jar raha hai' - and sharp editing. But the film gets stretched. A sarpanch and goonda less would've kept it tighter. Yet, Jai Gangaajal packs a punch with its panorama (a Badaun-like landscape where girls are hung from trees), dilemma and performances - particularly the one by 'Madam Sir', who wields a lathi you will love.