Quick on the heels of Jeet’s comeback project Wanted, Ravi Kinnagi presents him with a completely new screen image in Josh. Has Jeet been able to live up to this faith? Yes, yes and yes. As Indra, he invests life into the varied shades of the character that covers light romance, song-dance numbers, drama, melodrama and action.
The story is practically coming out of our ears with slight permutations of the beaten stuff. Indra falls in love with Anuradha (Srabonti) at first sight. But this ‘sight’ is via a DVD she has mailed to brother Rajeev (Anshuman), Jeet’s bosom friend.
The other dimension comprises the local don (Puneet Isssar) who is bent on eliminating Indra for having chopped off his brother (Bharat Kaul)’s head during an action that effectively eliminates Anuradha’s entire family. This incident is narrated in such a long flashback that the audience might get confused about the timeline.
The first half is romantic, with song-dance numbers that remind one of scenes from old Hindi hits like Hum Aapke Hain Koun! (the marriage song sequence), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Indra closing Anu’s suitcase when she cannot do it), and from Kal Ho Naa Ho (the ‘gay’ episodes between Rajeev and Indra spied on by the maid).
The film opens disastrously with a song showing Jeet dancing on foreign soil with scantily clad foreign dames. But the song shot on the hot sand dunes of Dubai is really good and shot well, too, though it does not jell with the rest of the film.
There is the ‘wholesome family entertainment’ melodrama with its unique selling point of a peg-loving old grandfather (Haradhan Bandopadhyay) who offers the only light moments in the film.
The second half with its overdose of violence is scripted well (N.K. Salil) but is executed very badly because of some hasty editing, flat cinematography and above all, Puneet Issar’s terrible acting.
Tapas Pal, MP, takes the opportunity of spouting his party lines in the role of a generous and affluent leader of the peasant fraternity who does not think twice about maintaining a bunch of goons or ending his day with a nightcap though he insists that his men should not indulge in violence ever! His hideous wig spoils his screen image fittingly matched by his sugary and syrupy wife (Laboni) who has shelved her master’s degree in “Integrated Mathematics” to partner her husband in his good deeds.
Other than Jeet’s wonderful performance, the film rates high on Jeet Ganguly’s music which he explores by taking on from some Hindi hits and then giving it his original twist.
Judo Ramu’s choreography and direction of the fight scenes would have come across better had the editing been more sophisticated though Rabi Ranjan Mitra had a challenging job trying to invest credibility into very incredible action scenes.
Sadly, one must concede that Josh is not a patch on Kinnagi’s earlier film Wanted. But this by no means implies that the film will not run. This will also keep the box office coffers ringing, making Shree Venkatesh Films laugh all its way to the bank.
Critic: Shoma A. Chatterji