So, Bobby Jasoos is a Hyderabadi pearl of a movie, worn with terrific aplomb by its star Vidya Balan. Playing the 30-year-old Bilquis or Bobby, who has no detective course but fearless passion, Vidya dazzles as Bobby Jasoos, tracking mysteries as a buck-toothed palmist, a dreadlocked sadhu, a hobbling fakir – suddenly distilled into a tongue-tied girl who discovers love.
Bobby lives in Mughalpura’s tight, twisting lanes, supported by her adoring mother Zebo (Pathak), censured by her stern father, criticized by her marriage-arranger aunt. Bobby’s determined to crack cases and make her family proud – but what happens when a rich stranger Anees Khan (Kumar) hires her to track young girls? And when she finds herself engaged to cocky TV star Tasavvur (Ali) – who wants her to reject him?
Vidya runs away with Bobby Jasoos. She is both the film’s hero and heroine, performing with deft innocence, presenting Bobby like a breeze. But her leading man Tasavvur is also nailed by Ali Fazal, who captures the ‘Alert India!’ star’s urge for ‘lifestyle banana’ with the comedy of getting hooked to madcap Bobby – and the sudden, delicate power of discovering love. Ali impresses with his acting while Arjan Bajwa, as local goonda Lala, impresses with his smouldering looks, soorma and stubble making Bajwa steamier than ever before.
Alongside, supporting actors lend colour to the canvas, Tanvi Azmi standing out in a small, sharp role as Bobby’s tart-tongued khaala, Rajendra Gupta credible as Bobby’s disgruntled dad, the jasoos’ merry men, Shetty, Munna and Suhail, leaving a fine imprint upon the tale. The cinematography delights – with the steam from chai escaping into an afternoon of green-leafed rain, Bobby Jasoos clearly boasts a cinematographer (Vishal Sinha) who thinks. With a music director (Shantanu Moitra) who feels, his score unobtrusive, yet pleasing, ‘Arziyaan de raha dil’ specially exquisite.
There are slight drawbacks – the acting sometimes slips into sit-com mode while the second half relaxes where it could’ve been more taut. But quibbles aside, Bobby Jasoos is a clever and joyful film. Should you watch it?
Bobby desperately wants to be a proper jasoos – what happens when a mysterious stranger hires her to track young girls?
The Times of India