Jubilee Part 1 review: Beautifully made period drama

Jubilee follows the scandals and schemes of famous personalities and budding stars of the Hindi film industry during the golden age of Indian cinema. The show is now streaming on Prime Video.

Story

In the late ‘40s, Binod Das is the loyal right-hand man of Srikant Roy, the owner of Bombay’s famous film studio called the Roy Talkies. Roy is going to launch an actor, Jamshed Khan, by the name of Madan Kumar in his next film.

Soon, Roy finds out that his wife, Sumitra Kumari, a famous actor as well as the other owner of Roy Talkies, is having an affair with Jamshed. He sends Binod, who desires nothing more than the role that Jamshed is getting, to bring the two of them to Bombay.

Things get out of hand, and Jamshed dies in the Partition riots. Binod then convinces Roy to launch him in Jamshed’s place. However, after losing Jamshed, Sumitra takes it upon herself to destroy Binod.

There is also Jamshed’s friend, Jay Khanna, who loses everything after the Partition. He migrates to Bombay and befriends Binod as well as a sex worker named Niloufer.

All these individuals have their own dreams and ambitions, but they are forced to fight at every step to find their place in the glamorous world of films. After all, the golden age of Indian cinema has its fair share of scandals and schemes.

Performances

Jubilee is a show that gives the audience several memorable performances. To begin with, Prosenjit Chatterjee, as Srikant Roy, is very convincing as a stubborn filmmaker who cares about his films and his studio more than anything.

Aparshakti Khurana is absolutely brilliant as Binod. He conveys a lot more through his expressions and body language than his words. There is a scene where he has to give the best performance of Binod’s life, and that scene alone is enough to prove his merit.

Wamiqa Gabbi’s character, Niloufer, lives her life in an unabashed way, and Gabbi embraces that. Her performance makes her character quite charming. 

Sidhant Gupta is a very expressive actor, and due to that, Jay Khanna seems like an open book; his emotions are loud and easy to read. Aditi Rao Hydari and Ram Kapoor also give adequate performances.

Positives

The show depicts the golden era of Indian cinema. Most of it is tinged with golden color, but there is a difference between the gold of the haves and the have-nots. Overall, the cinematography and the direction give the shots a poetic appeal.

The music in the show not only goes well with the setting and the mood, but it is also surprisingly catchy. There is a song that will make the audience believe that they are indeed watching a black-and-white Hindi film. 

The show’s subject matter is the Hindi film industry, but it is aware that the industry cannot exist in a bubble. The post-independence public sentiment and socio-political changes taking place in the country, like the large-scale migration and the impact of the Cold War, become a part of the narrative.

The show takes the audience to the newly-independent India, where a few British people are still seen at stations, where refugee camps are full, where communities band together to protect their interests, and where religious identity defines everything. 

As a period drama, the show smoothly gives the audience context about everything, through the radio playing in the background or through the dialogues. For instance, the show explains why the radio and cinema were important political tools at that time.

Negatives

There are times when the costumes in the show do not fit the setting. They are attractive but also anachronistic, which makes them stand out like a sore thumb.

The show takes its time with the plot development. While it does not feel dragged out or too long, the pace at which the plot moves might not work for everyone. 

Verdict

Jubilee has a lot to offer. The performances, the direction, and the plot make this an engrossing period drama through and through. It is a golden show about a golden age. 

Jubilee Part 1
Jubilee Part 1 review: Beautifully made period drama 1

Director: Vikramaditya Motwane

Date Created: 2023-04-03 23:54

Editor's Rating:
4

Also Read: Jubilee Part 1 ending explained: Does Jay Khanna make a film with Madan Kumar?

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