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<i>Jigyaasa</i>

 
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By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM
Friday, March 10, 2006

In the past, a number of films have made an attempt to present an inside view of the Hindi film industry. Jigyaasa, directed by Faisal Saif, also makes an effort, but the unfortunate part is, what comes across on screen makes you uncomfortable. And -- most importantly -- it paints a dark picture of the industry.

In the film, an aspiring actress sleeps with a topnotch producer to bag a film assignment, then a lady producer [lesbian] to bag another film, then with the film's lead man, then offers a male companion to a gay activist cum organizer of a film award, then sleeps with a gangster, in between takes to drugs, then accuses an actor-director of sexual molestation and in the end, commits suicide.

Jigyaasa even takes potshots at several known names [it's not difficult to guess the targets] and packs in incidents that we may've read in newspapers or watched clips on television news channels. Add to it a generous dose of sleaze and titillation and you've a film that bares the mechanism of the industry.

Sadly, the end result leaves a bad taste in your mouth. What could've been an exciting experience comes across as a tacky exercise that tarnishes the image of Bollywood.

Jigyaasa tells the story of an ambitious girl who wants to make it big in Bollywood at any cost. Jigyaasa [Hrishitaa Bhatt] hails from a middle class family. She is the daughter of a school teacher, Malini [Varsha Usgaonkar], who believes in values and principles.

When Jigyaasa learns that doing sexual favors is the only way to become an actress, she decides to sacrifice the values. She also starts believing that you can realize your dreams by using your body to your advantage.

Jigyaasa tells the journey of a girl whose flight to superstardom is via a compromising route. In the end, sadly, she finds herself secluded and isolated from her personal and professional contacts and is left with no alternative but to commit suicide by gulping a bottle of sleeping pills.

Treated in the most amateurish fashion, Jigyaasa neither enlightens, nor entertains. Director Faisal Saif and screenplay writer Mehmood Ali [addl. screenplay: Faisal Saif] make such a mockery of the industry that you actually pinch yourself, is this for real? The idea is to shock the viewer, but at what cost?

Given the poor script, the direction is equally uninspiring. Ram Shankar's music [the film has three songs -- lullaby, theme song and item number] is of the fast-forward variety. Dialogues are crude at places.

Hrishitaa Bhatt does well in portions, but goes over the top in several sequences. Vikas Kalantri needs to hone his acting skills. Varsha Usgaonker is alright. The remaining actors -- Mukesh Tiwari, Milind Gunaji, Nasser Abdullah, Jaya Bhattacharya, Sikander Kharbanda, Rakesh Bedi, Anupam Shyam, Divya Dwivedi and Kader Khan -- are mechanical.

Topics: Jigyaasa, hrishita bhatt, Varsha Usgaonkar, mukesh tiwari

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