‘Jaadugar’ Review: A Heartfelt Coming-of-Age Film That Achieves The Goal

Sameer Saxena’s film is a charming slice-of-life comedy-drama that makes you fall in love with its characters

Sameer Saxena’s film is a charming slice-of-life comedy-drama that makes you fall in love with its characters

Engaging slice-of-life cinema that sincerely tries to avoid clichés, Jaadugar tackles complex issues of love and commitment with unvarnished charm. Director Sameer Saxena deftly fuses disparate elements of football and magic to conjure up a compelling coming-of-age story that makes you fall in love with the characters of Neemuch, a town on the border between Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan that loves his football. Crystal clear writing provides a steady flow of hasya rasaor a rich mix of folkloric and literary humour, which is diminishing week by week in Hindi cinema, perhaps because of the changing profile of screenwriters.


Director: Samir Saxena

Cast: Jitendra Kumar, Arushi Sharma, Jaaved Jaferri

Duration: 166 minutes

Script: A magician, who has no talent in football, must win a local tournament for love and family

Sameer and screenwriter Biswapati Sarkar cut their teeth in viral fever (TVF) and the dialogues have the taste of Panchayat and Kota Factory. However, the shorter length ensures that before the verbosity gets under your skin and before the narrative sinks into a pattern, the goal is scored.

After his goalkeeper brother dies in an accident on his way to a football match, coach Pradeep (Jaaved Jaferri) vows to win the local tournament and fulfill his late brother’s dream. The resolute Pradeep, however, encounters plenty of curveballs in his quest. Even Meenu (Jitendra Kumar), the son of his late brother, is more interested in learning magic than football.

Always ready to lose her heart, Meenu is a flawed character, one who perhaps feels love is like one of her magic tricks. Eager to follow in the footsteps of his guru the magician Chhabra (Manoj Joshi), Meenu believes that only a true lover can practice real magic but cannot practice the saying.

It is interesting ground for storytelling where the hero knows the ideal situation but lacks the guts and courage or the magic wand – with which the Hindi commercial film hero is born – to achieve it. Sensing misplaced trust, Meenu doesn’t even realize the difference between approaching a girl and harassing her. After losing a girl called Ichchha (desire), he finds direction with Disha (Arushi Sharma) but his selfish ways almost ruin her again, as this time he has to choose between saving his love or the family name in football. .

Jitendra Kumar delivers an honest performance as a social chameleon. However, while effective, his performances have begun to feel like a machine that gets the job done but lacks that proverbial magic, or X-factor, that helps these characters transition into mass acceptance. . This spell comes from the players who make up Adarsh ​​Nagar’s team. Every time the film returns to the football field, it sparkles. Whether it’s the rude librarian Madan (Imran Rasheed) or the debauched insurance agent Lali (Raj Qushal), each character is well etched and colorful.

With a hint of vermilion on her forehead, the solo player (Raksha Pawar) dribble past opposition as well as social barriers. Then there’s a struggling lyricist who becomes the team’s bard. The humorous football commentary rendered by Doctor Doshi (played by director Sameer) and Nema (Rajeev Nema) provides much more than match details.

The best part is that unlike the effectively played football coach Javed Jafferi, Sarkar’s script doesn’t deliver the message through preachy sermons. From the Dronacharya-Eklavya reference to Chekov Kulfi, nods to myths and literature are woven into the screenplay. Like a good magic show, Jaadugar does not always appeal to the mind, but the heart accepts the serious attempt.

Jaadugar is currently streaming on Netflix.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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