Richa Chadha Is A Misfit, Kalki Koechlin Fails To Sail The Sinking Ship
'Jia Aur Jia' seems promising at the start. It follows two women as they embark on a road trip to Sweden, which proves to be life-changing. They have nothing in common, except their name. They are like chalk and cheese — Jia one, Kalki Koechlin, is outgoing and bratty. She wants to live life to the fullest. Jia two, Richa Chadha, is aloof and depressed, and wishes to end her life. But, the two talented actors fail to pull off this drama due to director Howard Rosemeyer's naivety. The clichés render him incapable of doing justice to the concept, with the film sinking into a morass of boredom.
Assorted scenes are stitched together in this poorly edited outing. When Jia and Jia step out to search for food at midnight, they bump into an Indo-Swedish guy [Arsalan Goni], who pops up from nowhere, and stays till the end. His last name is Bergman, but his poor act would have made veteran Swedish director Ingmar Bergman flip in his grave.
The audience laughs uncontrollably at certain scenes. But, that isn't because they are funny. They are, in fact, so bizarre that one hopes to enjoy them. The revelations are predictable, and the narrative shifts arbitrarily between the past and present.
The narrative lacks coherence. Moods swiftly change from happy to somber, and situations are too banal to evoke sympathy. The filmmaker doesn't invest time in exploring Chadha's downfall in her career, or Koechlin's personal concern. Inevitably, the drama runs thin by the second hour. Sometimes, talented actors can exalt a mediocre script, but this duo fails to sink its teeth into the characters. Surprisingly, their act lacks flair. Chadha is a misfit, failing to look earnestly distressed. Koechlin tries to sail the sinking ship, but doesn't succeed either. The old theory 'so bad, it's good' also doesn't work for this one. Give it a miss.