How will you define ‘normal’ human behaviour? And what is the criteria to be followed by a person that he/she can be considered as ‘normal’? We have seen in films like MY NAME IS KHAN , TAARE ZAMEEN PAR  etc. wherein the protagonists’ behaviour were such that they stood out and were even ostracized. But still they were special and earned respect in society after a long struggle. Now, writer Kanika Dhillon and director Prakash Kovelamudi bring us JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA that tackles these issues but unlike the aforementioned films, this flick goes into an unconventional zone with even a murder occurring in the narrative. So does JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA manage to entertain and thrill the audiences? Or does it fail to make the impact? Let’s analyse.
JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA is the story of a woman with mental issues trying to solve a supposed crime. Bobby Batliwala Grewal (Kangana Ranaut) is an orphan who has lost her parents at a young age. She is partly responsible for their demise. Bobby grows up as a disturbed individual and her grandfather (Lalit Behl) takes care of her. She stays separately from him and works as a dubbing artiste for South films. She is on medication for her mental condition but she doesn’t consume her pills. She is in a relationship of sorts with Varun (Hussain Dalal) who is desperate to get physical with her. But she doesn’t give him the opportunity. At this point, Bobby gets a new tenant – Keshav (Rajkummar Rao) and his wife Meena (Amyra Dastur). Both are deeply in love with each other. Bobby spies on them and she starts to imagine herself with Keshav. However, she also gets intrigued since Keshav seems mysterious. In front of Meena, he pretends to be a non-smoker and a vegetarian. But Bobby catches him smoking heavily and also relishing chicken. She starts to trouble them and then it reaches a point where Keshav and Meena decide to move to another place. Before that can happen, a gas explosion occurs in their kitchen and Meena dies. The cops (Satish Kaushik, Brijendra Kala) begin their investigation. Bobby makes it categorically clear to them that Keshav has murdered Meena but doesn’t have concrete proof. The police officers interrogate Kehsav as well but realize it was a case of accidental death. Hence, they decide to close the case. An enraged Bobby assaults Keshav and she’s sent to mental asylum for a brief period of time. Two years later, Bobby seems to be in control. She’s started regular medication and her grandfather sends her to her cousin Megha’s (Amrita Puri) place in London to help in a stage production on Ramayana. All is going fine when Bobby gets a jolt when she spots Keshav. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Kanika Dhillon’s story is unconventional and quite promising and entertaining. Kanika Dhillon’s screenplay is interesting but in some parts, she falters. This is particularly in the second half where the film goes into another zone and doesn’t seem convincing. She however raises some interesting points on the idea of ‘normal’ and even draws parallel with Ramayana. Only if all these things had come together well, the impact would have been manifold. Kanika Dhillon’s dialogues suit the film, especially the ones mouthed by Kangana.
Prakash Kovelamudi’s direction is appropriate and he uses his technical knowledge well. The film is very stylishly narrated which goes with its theme and also the title. In a few scenes, he shows his brilliance but goes over the top in the second half’s pre-climax especially. Also, a few scenes might seem difficult to digest, particularly the scene where Bobby confronts Keshav. He was treading line with this film and sadly, he trips at places and this affects the impact.
Judgemental Hai Kya | PUBLIC REVIEW | First Day First Show | Rajkummar Rao | Kangana Ranaut
JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA’s intro scene shows the disturbed childhood of Bobby in a brief and concise manner. Once Bobby grows up, it takes a while however to get in the film’s flow. This is because the character is unconventional and unlike anything that we have seen in Hindi films. Hence her mannerisms, actions, way of living life etc. are not exactly ‘normal’. Things get interesting once Keshav and Meena arrive to reside at her place as tenants. Keshav also seems mysterious and the scene where he is fixing the fuse at midnight is quite nicely done. The Lonavala sequence also is funny. But it’s when Meena passes away that things begin to heat up. The intermission point is a shocker. Post-interval, the interest level is maintained with some unexpected developments. But this is also the point where bizarre things start happening in the film. One can argue even the first half had its share of bizarre stuff but in the second half, the makers go completely overboard. The film is still unpredictable but the theme and execution will restrict its audience to only multiplexes of urban areas.
Performance wise, Kangana Ranaut nails the part. This was probably her most challenging part yet and she delivers as per expectations. Any other actress in her place would have to put a lot of effort and it might have made her performance mechanical. But Kangana slips into the part with ease and takes it to another level. Rajkummar Rao also gets to shine. He’s too good as the mysterious Keshav. But he’s at his best in these two scenes wherein he begs Bobby to spare him and his wife. Amyra Dastur is cute and plays the supporting part well. Same goes for Amrita Puri. Satish Kaushik and Brijendra Kala are apt for their respective roles. Hussain Dalal is a talent to watch out. He’s very funny and adds a lot to the film. Jimmy Sheirgill (Shridhar) is endearing in the special appearance. Lalit Behl is decent. Kanika Dhillon (Sita), also the writer of the film, is stunning and gets to play a fine part in the film.
Songs don’t really make an impact. The title song stands out but comes at a time when the film turns very bizarre. ‘Kis Raste Hai Jana’ is okay. ‘Wakhra Swag’ appears during the end credits. Daniel B George’s background score however is way better and is zany just like the film’s theme.
Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography is conventional and yet works in a film like this. Sheetal Sharma’s costumes are quite quirky especially the ones worn by Kangana Ranaut and she looks great. In fact, costumes add a lot to her character. Ravi Shrivastav’s production design is praiseworthy, especially for the Ramayana play. After’s VFX is average and the cockroach shots could have been more realistic. Shweta Venkat’s editing (with additional editing by Prashanth Ramachandran and Shieeba Sehgal) is fine. The duration of the film is just 116 minutes and that’s a plus point.
On the whole, JUDGEMENTALL HAI KYA is a well-made film with powerful performances from both Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao. At the box office, it will cater mainly to the multiplex frequenting audience.