Jalsa takes us into the lives of two powerful yet vulnerable women who are caught in a web of control and deceit after a late-night accident changes their lives. Neither had total control over how it came to be, but how they take responsibility for it and their individual privilege (or lack thereof) makes all the difference. Jalsa explores the division of class, religion, and power hinged on the axis of gender.
Jalsa takes us into the lives of two powerful yet vulnerable women who are caught in a web of control and deceit
It is a chronicle of conflicts and contradictions. A collision between power, morality, ethics, motherhood, grief, and regret in a circle of chaos, urgency and inequity. Jalsa depicts that celebration need not always be a pretentious display of something. It can be when your mind, body and soul align to do what is right, even if it may be too late to do so.
Maya (Vidya Balan) and Rukhsana (Shefali) stand in both solidarity and contrast as mothers. Suresh organically uses this common subject matter to start building a story that massively impacts families on both ends. Maya’s life seems perfect until one fateful night, when she falls asleep at the wheel of her car while driving back home late from work. She hits a young girl (Rukhsana’s teenage daughter Aliyah), who suddenly appears in front of her car.
Maya (Vidya Balan) and Rukhsana (Shefali) stand in both solidarity and contrast as mothers.
This accident threatens to derail Maya’s career, even as it devastates Rukhsana’s life. The film parades a murderer’s row of characters that find themselves tangled with the tragedy. However, fear, self-preservation, financial needs, career success, and personal relationships drive them to conceal the truth, leaving each character at odds with their own intentions and the pursuit of justice.
A question arises if the case and details of everyone’s truth will ever be discovered for the case to be fairly solved. By the end, the focus stays on the Truth. This truth, which cannot always be pleasant or acceptable, but has to come out someday. The plot masterfully weaves many complicated subjects together; the plot and characters are very well stitched together to a scintillating climax. This would be a great double bill to watch with Hansal Mehta’s recent limited series on Netflix, Scoop, which also deals with the ethics and limits of journalism and the precarity of women’s place in it.
This truth, which cannot always be pleasant or acceptable, but has to come out someday.