No One Killed Jessica

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No One Killed Jessica
No One Killed Jessica Movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rajkumar Gupta
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Written by Raj Kumar Gupta
Based on Murder of Jessica Lal incident
Starring Rani Mukerji
Vidya Balan
Narrated by Rani Mukerji
Music by Amit Trivedi
Cinematography Anay Goswamy
Edited by Aarti Bajaj
Distributed by UTV Spotboy
Release date(s)
  • 7 January 2011 (2011-01-07)
Running time 136 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Hindi / English
Budget INR90 million (US$1.5 million)[2]
Box office INR580 million (US$9.6 million)[3]

No One Killed Jessica (Hindi: नो वन किल्ड जेसिका) is a 2011 Indian political crime thriller film starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan, produced by UTV Spotboy and directed by Rajkumar Gupta, who also directed the acclaimed film Aamir (2008).

The film's score was composed by Amit Trivedi, who also worked on the soundtrack for Dev D (2009).[4][5] In the film, the character of Jessica’s older sister, Sabrina Lal, is played by Vidya Balan, and the character of the news reporter following the story is played by Rani Mukerji.[6] Upon release, the film garnered positive critical reviews and enjoyed a successful outing at the box office.[7]

The movie also received 4 nominations at the 57th Filmfare Awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Film and the Filmfare Award for Best Actress; it won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for Rani Mukerji's performance.

Cast[edit]

  • Rani Mukerji – Meera Gaity
  • Vidya Balan – Sabrina Lall
  • Myra KarnJessica Lall
  • Neil Bhoopalam – Vikram Jai Singh
  • Rajesh Sharma – N. K. (police officer investigating the case)
  • Shireesh Sharma – Pramod Bharadwaj
  • Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub – Manish Bharadwaj
  • Bubbles Sabharwal – Mallika Sehgal
  • Samara Chopra – Naina Sehgal
  • Yogendra Tikku – Sanjit Lall (Jessica's father)
  • Geeta Sudan – June Lall (Jessica's mother)
  • Satyadeep Mishra – Meera's boss
  • Anuj Tikku – The man in plane with Meera
  • Sushil Dahiya – R. D. Rastogi
  • Jagat Rawat - Dharam Saxena

Production[edit]

The film, set in New Delhi, was inspired by the true story of the controversial Jessica Lal murder case. The director explained that the title was inspired by a 2006 headline[8] of a news story that ran when the accused killer in an infamous murder case was acquitted by a trial court. The events and the subsequent media coverage sparked nationwide protests, resulting in an appeal and re-opening of the murder case and the subsequent sentencing of the killer.[9][10]

Themes[edit]

No One Killed Jessica is based on the true story of Jessica Lal, a Delhi-based model and restaurant worker who was shot in 1999 at a New Delhi restaurant by Siddharth Vashisht, better known as Manu Sharma. The killer was the son of the wealthy, influential and intimidating Haryana politician, Venod Sharma, a close aide of the Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Jessica, along with actor and model Vikram Jai Singh, were closing the bar at the restaurant where they worked when approached by Manu and his two friends. Infuriated by Jessica's refusal to serve them drinks after the bar closed, Manu fatally shot Jessica. The subsequent investigation and trial were stymied by Manu's family, who did not hesitate to use their political, financial, and law enforcement connections to intimidate, coerce, and bribe the majority of the witnesses to the crime. The case then became an uneven battle between Jessica’s family (especially her sister Sabrina) and Manu's high-powered family and their various associates in the local government.

In February 2006, the court acquitted Manu and his friends, citing a lack of sufficient evidence. This set off a public outcry and widespread protests. The backlash forced the re-opening of the investigation, which was placed on a judicial fast track. In December 2006, Manu was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Release[edit]

The film was released on 7 January 2011. It received positive reviews from film critics[11] and was also well received by the viewing public.[12] The film recovered its cost even before release through associated satellite and music rights.[2]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

No One Killed Jessica received mostly positive reviews from critics. Nikhat Kazmi of the Times of India gave the movie four out of five stars, stating, "No One Killed Jessica is a film that unleashes a myriad emotions in you. The hard facts of modern India's most written about case are well known by almost everybody but the director Rajkumar Gupta's (he'd already displayed his talent in Aamir) dramatic handling of the crime, the criminals, the crusaders and the victim creates a storm, once again."[13] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama also gave the film four out of five stars, describing it as "a remarkable blend of facts and fiction inspired by a series of real-life episodes, which has thankfully not been presented as a tedious biography or in a mind-numbing docu-drama format."[14] Anupama Chopra of NDTV gave the film three out of five starts, writing: "No One Killed Jessica is several notches ahead of the tripe we’ve been subjected to in theatres lately."[15] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film two and a half out of five stars and wrote, "With the exception of a few powerful scenes that leave you with a genuine lump in your throat, Gupta goes for full-on melodrama that doesn't always ring true."[16] Mayank Shekhar of the Hindustan Times gave it three out of five stars, noting: "Can a feature film, in a couple of hours flat, ever detail an entire truth about anything? Possibly not. But it can entertainingly dramatise it. That’s what the fine director-writer and a consummate raconteur here (Rajkumar Gupta) manages to do."[17] Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan described the film as a "pertinent, media friendly and brave effort by the makers. The performances living up to the title and story of the film."[18]

Awards[edit]

Filmfare Awards
BIG Star Entertainment Awards
  • Most Entertaining Social Film
  • Best Actress in a Social Role – Rani Mukerji
Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards
Anandalok Purushkar
Apsara Awards
  • Best Editing

Soundtrack[edit]

No One Killed Jessica
Soundtrack album by Amit Trivedi
Released 1 December 2010
Recorded Saregama
Label Saregama

The film's score was composed by Amit Trivedi, who also worked with Gupta on Aamir. The lyrics were written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The album received generally positive reviews from critics.[21]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Aitbaar"   Vishal Dadlani, Mame Khan, Robert Omulo Bob  
2. "Yeh Pal"   Shilpa Rao  
3. "Aali Re"   Tochi Raina, Bonnie Chakraborty, Shriram Iyer, Raja Hassan, Anushka Manchanda, Sonu Kakkar, Aditi Singh Sharma, Sonika Sharma  
4. "Dilli"   Tochi Raina, Shriram Iyer, Aditi Singh Sharma  
5. "Dua"   Meenal Jain, Joi Barua, Raman Mahadevan, Amitabh Bhattacharya  
6. "Dilli – Hardcore"   Tochi Raina, Shriram Iyer, Aditi Singh Sharma  

Controversy[edit]

During the filming of scenes in Delhi, the building for the University School of Information Technology, one of the 12 on-campus schools of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, had its facade dressed up to look like the Patiala House District Court. In the middle of filming, the university's Vice Chancellor Dilip Bandopadhyay was prevented from entering his own campus. Bandopadhyay argued with bouncers, on guard outside the main gate, to let him enter while the cameras rolled, allegedly without his permission.[22] As a result, the university terminated the contract of a faculty member accused of organising the film shoot on campus.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ No One Killed Jessica: UK Cinema Release Date.
  2. ^ a b No one killed Jessica recovers cost before release. Business Standard.
  3. ^ "No one Killed Jessica takes a slow start". Business of Cinema. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee in No One Killed Jessica". Bollywood Hungama News Network. 23 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "'No One Killed Jessica' now also stars Rani Mukherjee". Indiatimes.com Movies. 22 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Sharma, Garima (20 January 2010). "Who’s playing Jessica?". The Times of India. 
  7. ^ No One Killed Jessica rocks at the box office. Oneindia.in.
  8. ^ "No One Killed Jessica". The Times of India. 22 February 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Aamir director claims 'No One Killed Jessica'". indiainfo. (India Fm). 8 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "'No One Killed Jessica' not based on murder case'". The Hindu. 11 November 2009. 
  11. ^ Sahni, Diksha (7 January 2011). "Review Round-Up: ‘No One Killed Jessica’ Impresses" (blog). The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  12. ^ "Box Office Update :B.O. update: 'No One Killed Jessica' surprises, opens quite well". Bollywoodhungama.com. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  13. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (6 January 2011). "No One Killed Jessica: Critic's Review". Times of India. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  14. ^ Adarsh, Taran (5 January 2011). "No One Killed Jessica: Movie Review". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  15. ^ Chopra, Anupama (7 January 2011). "Movie Review: No One Killed Jessica". NDTV. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  16. ^ Masand, Rajeev (8 January 2011). "Masand: 'No One Killed Jessica' is melodramatic". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  17. ^ Shekhar, Mayank (7 January 2011). "Mayank Shekhar's Review: No One Killed Jessica". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  18. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan's Weblog". Bigb.bigadda.com. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  19. ^ IANS (4 May 2011). "Phalke award for Rani, Priyanka". Times of India. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  20. ^ India Today group (3 December 2011). "Rani Mukherjee, Zoya Akhtar awarded,". India Today. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  21. ^ "No One Killed Jessica – Music Review". 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  22. ^ "Jessica film shoot at IP, VC stranded". The Economic Times. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  23. ^ "Film shooting: Sacked by IP varsity, teacher says he had all permissions". Indianexpress.com. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 

External links[edit]