Have you ever watched real-life tragic stories on purpose? I used to avoid such tales because of the expected emotional outpour. However, ever since I started reviewing films, ignoring them became hard.
Jogi is an Indian film that began streaming on Netflix on the 16th of September. It didn’t have a high pre-release buzz on social media. But the movie’s idea has the ability to intrigue everyone, at least in India.
It revolves around one of the most horrendous incidents in Modern Indian History, i.e., the Sikh Riots of 1984. Does it do justice to the idea it forays into? Dive in and read my Jogi movie review to know more.
Jogi Review Summary
The film relies heavily on the emotional connection of a dreadful incident and succeeds in bringing fear to the screen. It is further facilitated by blasting performances from Diljit Dosanjh, Zeeshan Ayyub, and Kumud Mishra.
After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the impulsive political masters of East Delhi called for the slaughter of Sikhs. Jogi depicts how three friends from different faiths unite to save members of the Sikh community from the ghastly planned massacre. However, the trail for them is filled with fatal consequences.
Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Jogi stars Diljit Dosanjh (Jogi), Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub (Rawinder), Kumud Mishra (MLA Tejpal), Hiten Tejwani (Lalli), and Paresh Pahuja (Kaleem) in lead roles. Moreover, the film has Amyra Dastur (Kammo) in a cameo.
What Works for Jogi?
Concept and Plot
The first impression of Jogi leaves a severe impact on your senses, thanks to the idea behind its story. A civilized society can never tolerate any mass crime of such a large scale. However, people in Delhi back then were led by pure hatred against an entire community.
Ali Abbas Zafar has successfully accomplished what he set out to. From the concept to the execution, Jogi keeps you attentive throughout. Furthermore, Ali never lets the idea of friendship become superficially rosy.
The plot complements the concept to emerge as a thriller, which is a commendable feat considering Jogi’s sensitive topic.
For me, a noticeable similarity from the India of 1984 is that Indian politicians, even today, succeed in spreading hate on a large scale. There’s no one stopping them. It only needs a spark to burn the brewing fire of hatred in India.
Even if Jogi had released on the big screen, it would have achieved success, in my opinion. The story is superbly set in Delhi’s Trilokpuri area and how the makers have managed to include different elements is startling to witness.
While watching a tragedy unfold on the screen, you eagerly await a ray of hope. That hope is what keeps the story alive in Jogi. You will be compelled to finish it in one sitting, unlike some recently released shows and films that also revolve around a true story and become dreary after a point.
Jogi is high on emotions. It will force you to have a lump in your throat. The demonic avatar some people of Delhi took in 1984 is hard to digest. Greed, power, and limitless hatred combined to deliver mass deaths.
The film blends tragedy with friendship and love to bring a subtle storytelling approach. Yes, it does slip a bit towards the end, but never feels overdone.
Ominous Background Score
The sad and impending background music of Jogi immerses you into the story. There’s no extra bass or clamor to allure the viewer. A touch of sadness and hope imbibed in the soundtrack helps the story usher in a great experience.
Diljit Dosanjh, in the titular role, dominates the story till the end. You would love how he emerges as an underdog in the film and doesn’t coerce himself in the script. Initially, he is the fun-spreader commoner who transforms into an emotionally volatile being due to the circumstances. Diljit’s undisclosed anger stops him from becoming a larger-than-life character, which is a positive takeaway.
Mohd Zeeshan Ayub plays a cop in Jogi. His intense countenance leaves no traces of lethargy. Somehow, he manages to explore his character to unique depths. I loved his hold on the language and, obviously, his characteristic tone while delivering serious dialogues. Moreover, Zeeshan is never in a hurry and gives his character ample time for necessary pauses.
Kumud Mishra in a negative role is a bliss to watch. He makes himself so lively and natural that you start seeing him as an evil man. Even in Dr. Arora, his last release, Mishra applied his unassuming demeanor leaving me stunned. However, after watching Jogi, I am again shocked at his staggering portrayal of a morally corrupt politician.
Hiten Tejwani was a surprise package for me in Jogi. His character was not as strong as his cinematic appeal. But the way he limited himself to match the tone was majestic. Tejwani strategically delves into the skin of Lalli and does complete justice.
Paresh Pahuja as Kaleem Ansari is a mountain of affability. The actor wins every bit of your attention through his restricted screen presence.
Amyra Dastur plays a cameo in Jogi. In all honesty, I didn’t expect her to be this good. Specifically, her hold on the intricacies of the accent was terrific. She deploys her acting capabilities in full to arrest the audience.
What Doesn’t Work for Jogi?
I didn’t find anything worthy of heavy criticism in Jogi. The film slips a bit but comes back in time.
Jogi has a lot in its favor to count as a must-watch Indian film on Netflix. And a decent duration further lifts its prospects.
Is Jogi based on a true story?
Jogi is a fictional tale inspired by the true and tragic events of the 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi.