Jai Gangaajal tells the story of newly appointed Superintendent of Police (SP) Abha Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) who is appointed the first female SP of Bankipur district, Bihar.
The film shows a woman - an outsider - dedicated to her work, who makes a difference in the community and lives of those around her. We see how her influence impacts those in power in her jurisdiction. While the SP follows the law, having full faith that right will always win over might, those around her struggle to try to maintain their corrupt ways.
The film offers something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Writer/director/producer/actor Prakash Jha offers a oft-told tale of an honest police inspector vs. corrupt police officers, power-hungry government officials and their goons.
With this telling, however, there is respect for the SP position and the woman holding that position. Veiled threats don't leave an impact on the SP. She faces the corrupt with as much confidence as those she promises to serve and protect.
While there isn't anything really new in the storyline, it does offer a strong, memorable character in SP Abha Mathur that inspires.
While the recent film Drishyam featured a female police inspector in a major role, she has a dark side. The film Neerja offered the story of a young woman thrust into a leadership position during a dangerous situation.
But Jai GangaaJal goes a step further and presents a woman SP as a leader, role model and action hero. Abha Mathur uses her authority for good. She has a steadfast moral code and an ability to understand the underlying motivations of those around her. Her conviction to seek the truth, be trustworthy and uphold the law helps her influence a community torn apart by abuse and retribution.
As an action hero, she is quite capable of pursuing and fighting the bad guys - and winning.
Abha Mathur defies the Bollywood stereotypical female role by proving she doesn't need a man to make her feel fulfilled. There is no man in her personal life - apart from a long-time family friend - and the only family she has is her mother.
That Abha Mathur is a woman in what many may consider a traditionally male role isn't hyped that much in the film. The fact that she is a strong leader, who isn't afraid to confront injustice and corruption wherever she finds it, is.
But the strength of women doesn't stop with the portrayal of Abha Mathur. Poor landowner Sunita (Vega Tamotia) stands up for her rights against the goons who want her property. Another young woman slaps her potential kidnapper in the city square.
A sequel to the film GangaaJal, starring Ajay Devgn, this film borrows the idea of violently cleansing a community of crime and corruption.
Jai GangaaJal weaves a new tale around the idea that police crimes can fuel mob violence. The film revisits the question: If those in power are able to take the law into their own hands, why can't the common man - particularly those who have so much injustice visited upon them?
Neither film resolves this issue, but only highlights the destructive nature of destructive power.
As Inspector B.N. Singh, Prakash Jha displays a man who is sadly awakening to the impact of his own corruption and abuse of power. The underlying personal turmoil B.N. Singh experiences impacts his ability to perform his job, either for good or ill. He mourns the lives lost as a result of his actions. He repeatedly tries to "fix everything" which causes more problems.
His struggle between good and evil makes it impossible for him to trust anyone. He supports the new SP, but cannot bring himself to confide in her. He has witnessed too much to believe that anyone can resolve the issues caused by the impact of corruption on the community.
In Jai GangaaJal, Prakash Raj presents a number of questions that are left unanswered. But he highlights the ability of those wielding power to change the nature and actions of the community around them.
The following playlist features the trailers, a special song and several making of videos for Jai Gangaajal.
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