Would you choose paying a fine worth Rs 20,000 or spending one month in a
Bobby (Kangana Ranaut) our deliriously eccentric lead of Judgementall Hai Kya doesn’t even bat an eyelid before choosing the latter. “Main comfortable hoon,” she says as she goes grocery shopping with her boyfriend Varun (Hussain Dalal), who ruing the lack of physical intimacy between the two asks “kahin hum bhai behen toh nahi!”
Bobby is a dubbing artist who has as many voices in her head as she can dub for in her real life. In fact, she almost lives these characters, gets herself photoshopped in the posters of the films she is voicing for and has a strange bond with each one of them.
The film is also an important reminder on how domestic violence and traumatic childhood memories can haunt a person long enough to throw them completely off balance.
Buoyed by Kanika Dhillon’s sharp writing and Prakash Kovelamudi’s direction, the best thing about the movie is its distinct voice. It takes just a couple of minutes for us before we plunge headlong into Bobby’s head.
It’s a deliciously addictive ride, seeing the world through the eyes of someone who seems and feels like a misfit. How reliable is her version then? This question acts as a cliffhanger and keeps us totally glued to the proceedings .
Bobby belongs to no one but Kangana. There are a number of strategic moments in the movie when the proceedings become almost meta, when the lines blur between Kangana and Bobby. The most prominent of all Bobby’s pictures is the one from Kangana’s own film Queen.
Frustrated about not getting good assignments Bobby shouts “kaise kise logon ko yahaan kaam mil jaata hai.” It draws a chuckle considering she, in real-life, has been an outspoken critic of Bollywood’s nepotism.
Kanagana makes Bobby her own – never going overboard and never less than convincing.
Bobby suffers from acute psychosis, a condition where the lines between reality and her imagination keep smudging. Soon we meet Keshav (Rajkummar Rao)and Megha (Amyra Dastur) – an adorable couple who move next door.
That’s when things spiral into darker territory. Soon there are two threads running parallel to each other – one is that of Keshav, who powered by the brilliance of Rajkummar Rao, looks dodgy and sometimes totally trustworthy.
At times we trust Bobby, but at times she makes us second-guess our own presumptions.
There is a gear shift post interval – where we meet new characters and the Ravan -Sita mythological references cushion the plot. Here the ingenuity displayed in the writing is commendable but the repetition especially in sequences where Kangana is haunted by the physical manifestation of the voices in her head, becomes a little too difficult to keep up.
However, that shouldn’t take away from the flawlessly resplendent flawed characters and build-up of anticipation and tension that gives us an overall satisfying watch .
Kangana and Rajkummar Rao are right up there giving us a rare understanding of their characters emotional and physical state. They ensure you don’t take your eyes off the screen for even a moment.
The ensemble cast with Hussain Dalal, Amyra Dastur, Amrita Puri, Satish Kaushik ,Lalit Behl and even Jimmy Shergill in a cameo are all impressive in their own right. A take on domestic violence and its pervasive trauma masterfully woven into a story of a distracted mind – Judgementall Hai Kya shouldn’t be missed!