A few scenes involving Sanjay Mishra genuinely turn out to be funny in this otherwise mediocre Kushan Nandy directorial.
Watch Jogira Sara Ra Ra trailer here
Jogi Pratap (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) lives in Lucknow with his family which comprises his mother (Zarina Wahab), aunt, and four sisters. He’s the owner of Shaandar Events – a company that curates and manages every kind of important event – “Birthday se barsi tak” claims the wall of his office. Throughout the film, Jogi declares, “Jogi ka jugaad kabhi fail nahi hota” but all hell breaks loose when he is tasked with disarranging the arranged marriage of Dimple Chaubey (Neha Sharma) with Lallu (Mahaakshay Chakraborty) on the behest of Dimple. The rest of the film is a summary of all that’s likely to happen when Jogi’s various jugaads (fixes) start backfiring after a fake kidnapping goes awry.
Kushan Nandy’s second collaboration with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Jogira Sara Ra Ra aims to take you back to the heartlands of contemporary India with an attempt at a desi romance amalgamated with moments of laughter. In doing so, the film hits the mark sometimes, especially in delivering a few well-timed punchlines but fails miserably when it comes to the romance portions.
Writer Ghalib Asad Bhopali dedicates the first half of the film to the world-building, but there’s barely anything new that he brings to the table here that we haven’t already seen earlier – both in terms of characters and the setting. While Nawaz’s Jogi is the sole earning member of his family, who’s frustrated with the half a dozen women at home and has decided never to get married, Neha’s feisty Dimple is simply another version of Kriti Sanon’s Bitti from Bareilly Ki Barfi. She drinks, smokes beedi, defies her family’s wishes, and is basically a desi rebel. Heck, even the setting of Jogi’s house in Lucknow reminds one of a similar setting in his own 2019 film Motichoor Chaknachoor.
Mahaakshay’s Lallu seems to be aping Shah Rukh Khan’s Surinder Sahni from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. He is even given a scooter, a tiffin, specs, and a matching nerdy hairstyle. While the first half doesn’t really bore you, as a lot is happening one after the other and some cleverly written punches do land to make you laugh, it is also replete with sequences that seem dated and stereotypical. Whether it’s Dimple’s irritation with Lallu, the mindset that a man with a government job should demand dowry else his “value” will diminish, or the fact that the makers still haven’t been able to go beyond the idea of trying to extract laughter at the expense of an overweight character. It’s 2023, you guys! C’mon, we can certainly do better than these age-old stereotypes.
It’s the second half where Jogira Sara Ra Ra falls flat on its face and seems to get stuck in a loop involving one fake kidnapping after another. In an attempt to add quite a few twists to the tale, the makers end up dragging the second half for far too long. The only saving grace here is the scenes involving Sanjay Mishra’s Chacha Chaudhary, who never fails to amaze us. Watch out for the scene where two cops try to explain the kidnapping fiasco to him with the help of a Carrom Board. It’s genuinely hilarious. It also helps that he gets to deliver some crackling one-liners.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is in his element and tries to elevate this wannabe comic caper with his able performance. He’s an actor who’s known for getting under the skin of his characters with ease and Jogi is no different. He shines in the scenes where he gets to vent his frustrations via mini outbursts of monologues but sadly, seeing him grooving with Bigg Boss fame Nikki Tamboli in a dance number isn’t really a sight for sore eyes!
Neha Sharma, surprisingly, brings a genuine likability to Dimple despite the fact that her character doesn’t really get some of the better lines. Even though her character is full of the tropes we’ve seen in films like Tanu Weds Manu, Bareilly Ki Barfi, and then some, she does try to add her own charm to it. However, for a romcom, the chemistry between the lead pair doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Amongst the ensemble, Zarina Wahab is earnest but goes over the top in a few scenes. Mahaakshay Chakraborty plays Lallu with sincerity but his one-tone character arc doesn’t really give him enough scope to work with. The songs are quite forgettable.
Jogira Sara Ra Ra is pretty much like the film’s title which can be split in two halves. The first half (Jogira) manages to make some sense, with cleverly written punches and scenes that take you back to the heartlands of North India. Whereas the second half (Sara Ra Ra) becomes more like blahblah blah blah – with a string of random skits sewn together with punchlines. Watch it if you have nothing better to do.
(All images, unless mentioned otherwise, via YouTube/Screengrab)