Kushan Nandy’s Jogira Sara Ra Ra uses most of the tried-and-tested Bollywood romcom tropes to deliver a product that claims to be out of the ordinary. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is Jogi, a jugaadu wedding planner who has vowed to never marry.
The film uses (and overuses) a running gag where Jogi’s mother and sisters keep talking over each other till he has to loudly ask them to stop. The joke is there and obvious (and so dated): women are never satisfied and they talk a lot. He doesn’t want to add “another woman” to his family, he claims. But life is rarely what we want it to be.
Not much there yet to classify the film as a hatke romcom. It makes one nostalgic for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Band Baaja Baaraat, to name a few.
A wedding-crashing, beedi-smoking Dimple (Neha Sharma) enters his life after crashing a wedding to tell everyone that ‘marriage is torture’. She then hires Jogi to get her wedding to Lallu (Mahaakshay Chakraborty) canceled. Shenanigans ensue - from murder attempts to a fake kidnapping, jugaadu Jogi tries it all.
This scheming introduces the audience to two cops named Yadav, and a gangster with a heart of gold Chacha Chaudhary (Sanjay Mishra). Jogira Sara Ra Ra, written by Ghalib Asad Bhopali, has few moments of screwball and slapstick comedy but many of the jokes fall flat. Some rely on punching down on their own characters to elicit laughs and personally, it doesn’t work.
The film industry is guilty of typecasting Nawazuddin Siddiqui so it is rather refreshing to see the actor in an unexpected avatar as Jogi. His dancing skills might come off as awkward but in this film, it comes off as endearing. Sharma as Dimple is the quintessential manic pixie dream girl stereotype but she manages to coax something interesting out of her character with her sheer energy and will.
Suman Patel as Jogi’s sister Sarita is a force in the film even with the little she’s given. The film relies heavily on one-liners and puns to make the audience make and Sanjay Mishra, Zarina Wahab, and the late Farrukh Jaffar make the most of this opportunity. Admittedly, Sharma and Mishra play off each other pretty well in a comedic sequence picturised primarily on their characters.
The writing succeeds at times. While Jogi claims to do 'everything' for his 'ungrateful' family, we see that he really doesn't know the women in his family at all. After Dimple enters his house, the women become more comfortable with sharing aspects of their lives that they didn't earlier.
Further, after presenting Lallu as the nice guy to feel bad for, the film shows how easily he agrees to ask for dowry or abandon Dimple because she was abducted. At the same time, the film loses any hope of dealing with these issues sensitively by mistaking comedy for a lack of seriousness. One is reminded of how brilliantly Jasmeet K. Reen’s Darlings did it.
There is nothing wrong in making tropey cinema; tried-and-tested works for a reason but a film is expected to retain some individual charm.
Jogira Sara Ra Ra tries to do this on paper by flipping the script on the damsel in distress and the hypermasculine male saviour (because lord knows Bollywood is saturated with that). But the film’s comedic chops just don’t manage to stay on course long enough to make an impact, even as the cast does.
The music by Tanishk Bagchi is weirdly catchy and everyone in the song sequences seems like they're having fun and that energy is infectious. If you’re looking to be mindlessly entertained for close to two hours (and don’t mind cringing through some of the jokes), Jogira Sara Ra Ra would not disappoint you.
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Published: 26 May 2023, 1:32 PM IST