Intriguing one-shot suspense
Director: Araaj Keshav
Cast: Neer Shah, Raymond Das Shrestha, Menuka Pradhan, Nirajan Pradhan, Muna Gauchan, Laxmi Giri
Being screened at QFX Cinemas
KATHMANDU: Jaalo is a suspense thriller woven around a wealthy businessman who falls victim to conspiracy. It then goes on to show how police try to help him get out of the net, and how they attempt to catch the criminal, and the entire process has been captured in “one shot”.
It is an ordinary thriller — the life of one of the richest businessmen in the country Bhupendra Shumsher (Neer Shah) turns upside down after a phone call. From phone calls threatening the life of his daughter Swati (Muna Gauchan) to attacking his home and the van of Inspector Jai Nepal’s (Raymon Das Shrestha) team — who are at his house for investigation and security — with petrol bomb, the anonymous criminal is unstoppable. Despite the house filled with Bhupendra’s family — his mother (Laxmi Giri), daughter Swati — a manager, bodyguard, domestic helpers, Swati’s friends, along with nearly a half dozen police officers, the criminal does all the crime unnoticed. No one can take the slightest guess.
The one hour 47 minutes long film is aiming to be featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest one-shot movie without any cuts and retakes. Within this duration (of film), Araaj Keshav presents a well-written and directed suspense, especially in the first-half.
However, the characters are poorly written, and most of the supporting characters do not have space to grow. Hopefully, their relevance in the film will be revealed in its sequel Jaalo Returns — scheduled to be released in 2018.
Set in a house and its garden area, cinematographer Hari Ghale Lama has done a decent job of shooting the entire movie in one long take. Even the flashbacks and characters’ dreams get space in the film and he has connected the scenes and contexts justifiably. Some of the scenes shot at the main gate of the house though seem chaotic and distracting.
The actors had a challenging job to do in the sense that they were only allowed single-take performances. In the process, veteran actor Shah has overcome the challenge, doing his role effortlessly.
Though Menuka Pradhan as Preska is almost unnoticeable in the first-half, she makes a strong presence in the second-half, and you will remember her face.
Watching Shrestha is fun when he gets into his character’s skin, and he does so very less — most of the time he is like the ‘RJ Raymon’ rather than an actor.
Nirajan Pradhan makes an impressive entry as Inspector Pravin, but his charisma disappears after a while, and his character gets lost in the medley of those not-so-well written characters.
The dialogues are casual and okay to help the story move forward, nothing so memorable. The inclusion of the only song Baubaje Ko, in the film is forced and the dance number doesn’t fit in with the flow of the story. But you will enjoy watching the fun number captured in one shot.
This one-shot film has been woven strongly enough to keep you glued to your seat till the end. Good for a one-time watch.