The year of 1999 was very important for the Indian subcontinent. It was the year which ended a millennium and started a new one and every Indian hoped that the new millennium would be named as the Indian millennium as he wished that the future was with India. So too were the trends which were emerging. But there were challenges too, the foremost was the challenge of Kashmir. In that very year of 1999, Indian army was engaged in a bitter battle with the Pakistani army to recapture the Kargil and Dras sector of the Kashmir. It was the year where India had to bow meekly to the demands of few terrorists who hijacked IC-814 and held hostage nearly 200 Indians with their demands. The Indian State meekly surrendered and escorted 3 hardcore terrorists to the land of the Taliban, the Afghanistan. India had to face these external threats and was maturing in the process but it had another war to wage within itself. It had to wage a war on its own society. It was a war which divided the powerless and the powerful. It was the case of Jessica Lall, which India as a nation had to fight within.
The case of Jessica Lall is too fresh in the collective memories of the nation, as it was shuddered to wake to up to the fact that the scions of the rich and powerful consider that the life of a person is less precious than a glass of drink. The nation was outraged at the murder of the young ambitious model who was playing by the rules given to her. The family of the model ran pillar to post to bring the culprit to justice. But the culprit’s family was all too powerful. They had the connections and the moolah to weed out and manipulate the witnesses and facts. And some sections of the society who were live witnesses to the event had shut their mouths tight as they did not want their celebrity image to be spoiled over the case of a model. The powerful culprit was let off. And then something unthinkable happened. Unlike most cases, the Indian civil society which is called the middle-class gave the all too familiar ending a big twist. They got united by the fact that the justice was denied to Jessica and her family. They raised their voice in unison and the mighty and the powerful had turned powerless against the public anger. The Higher courts woke up to the lower court’s order and they took up the case and delivered the justice everyone wanted. They sent the culprit to Jail for Life. India arrived! This has been a victory for Jessica Lall and her sister Sabrina Lall, who waged a lone battle for nearly 7 years to get justice for her slain sister. This was a victory for all those Indians who told the world that they are no longer a meek state and they know how to deal with their internal social enemies all too well.
Exactly this is the story of the recent film, No One Killed Jessica. This important film hit the marquee recently and has been showing encouraging signs as the public accepted this. Many of those who are thronging to the theaters know what to expect from the movie as they know what they had been through in the Jessica case in reality. They bond with Sabrina (Vidya Balan) for her steely resolve, empathize with Jessica (Myra) as she was right in her deed and start to hate the brash Manish as what he did was outrageous. And when Meera (Rani Mukerjee) pursues the hostile witnesses and makes them mince their words and telecasts what went through them with the help of secret cameras, the audience senses a victory. And here lies the success of the film.
The story is a well known story and all the director of the film, Raj Kumar Gupta had to do was to just channelise the collective talent of his team into a cohesive drama and boy, he triumphed. The film, No One Killed Jessica deserves a standing ovation as it espouses the cause of truth. It upholds the truth and exposes the double standards of the high-society of rich and powerful Delhi. The director treads well into the lanes of the capital city and captures the barriers of the various sections of the society. He gives a statement about the problem of Witnesses in the country when the DCP of Delhi says, “There is no Witness Protection Programme in the country. If the witnesses complain that they are being harassed and tortured, then we can look into the case.”
Coming to the performances of the leading ladies, Vidya Balan steals the show with her act. She brings the sufferings of Sabrina live onto us and gives us an insight what it might have been in reality. Rani complements Vidya as the daring and cussing reporter. Myra is very believable as Jessica and so too were the rest of the cast.
Watch “NO ONE KILLED JESSICA” just for the sake of the society we live in. We need to be awaken sometimes by the world of glitz and glamor.