Jaadugar review: Endearing sports comedy is a match-winner

In Jaadugar, Meenu must at least reach the final of a local football tournament to convince the father of the woman he loves for her hand in marriage. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Meenu lost his parents in an accident at a young age when they were on their way to Gwalior for a football match that his father was participating in.

His father’s brother, Pradeep, was originally supposed to go for the match but couldn’t. Meenu’s father took his place and he latently blames football and Pradeep for his parents’ death.

While Pradeep still holds on to his brother’s dream of winning the local tournament and getting his hands on the Dhabholkar Trophy, Meenu has no interest in it.

He has a different passion; magic. After being inspired by Jaadugar Chhabra, he pursued a career as a magician and is the rising talent of Neemuch.

He falls in love with the local doctor Disha but his father turns out to be Jaadugar Chhabra. Knowing his hate for football, he challenges him to at least reach the final of the colony tournament.

One small problem, his colony team has been finishing last for years and is considered a joke. Will he be successful?

Performances

It won’t be an exaggeration to call Jitendra Kumar a TVF veteran at this point and he excels in these realistic portrayals of Indian men.

Meenu is a self-indulgent person and Kumar captures this expertly. His dialogue delivery is one of the best in the industry. He is bound to be a fan-favourite again.

Jaaved Jaaferi is tailor-made for his role and is convincing but slightly wasted. His arc is too cliched and could have used more depth.

The Adarsh Nagar team has some of the quirkiest characters in recent film history and add to the humour of the narrative.

Positives

TVF and director Sameer Saxena simply understand the pulse of the Indian audience. At a glance, the premise can seem quite thin and underwhelming; A man must win a football match to get married to the woman he loves.

However, the sports narrative is juxtaposed with Meenu’s penchant for magic, making it still feel unique.

To elevate it even further, the writing is very strong. The characters’s dialogues are hilarious at times and consistent throughout.

These are quirky characters that are also relatable. Numerous viewers will find them to be similar to people they know.

Whether it be that one guy who is obsessed with his brother-in-law, or the player who needlessly shows off during matches, the real neighbourhood of India has been portrayed excellently.

The narrative is also quite aware. It’s not claiming to involve professional players using actors who are kicking the ball for the first time.

It completely accepts that it is a trivial game in the neighbourhood, which allows it to make the matches outrageous and humorous, right from the players’ actions to the commentary.

Negatives

The run time is a bit too long and could have shaved off at least 20 minutes quite easily.

While the creators get a lot of it right, they still give in to some of the Indian film cliches such as character breaking into songs at odd moments.

One song right at the end is completely unneeded and simple cheering would have had a bigger narrative impact and felt more realistic.

Verdict

The quality of films on streaming hasn’t been the greatest but Jaadugar is a decent transition of the quality that TVF brings into a shorter form of storytelling. 

A much-needed addition to the streaming films slate, Jaadugar should be watched for its sharp dialogues, quirky characters and humour.

Rating: 3.5/5


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