Jogi review – a thrilling and emotional roller coaster ride

September 17, 2022
Lori C. 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
4

Summary

Jogi is a riveting, action-packed film showing how compassion and friendship can win even in the face of extreme adversity.

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4

Summary

Jogi is a riveting, action-packed film showing how compassion and friendship can win even in the face of extreme adversity.

This review of the Netflix film Jogi does not contain spoilers.

Jogi is an action drama film directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and set in 1984 Delhi during the anti-Sikh riots that occurred following the assassination of Indian prime minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards. While the movie’s story is fictional, the riots and the horrific acts committed during those troubling times are not. In the film, Diljit Dosanjh plays the titular hero – a middle-class man caught in the crossfire determined to save as many members of his family and neighbors who reside at Lane 6 as he can. He is helped by his two friends: Rawinder (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), who’s a police officer, and truck driver Kaleem (Paresh Pahuja). Kumud Mishra plays the main villain of the story, Tajpal, the municipal councilor who sees the riots as a way to advance his political career. 

The film starts by giving the viewer a brief historical context before introducing the main character and his family having breakfast on the morning of the riots. All family members are enjoying their time together and exchanging playful banter while blissfully unaware of the brewing storm. It doesn’t take long until the rioters claim their first victims, one of them being Jogi’s brother-in-law, a store owner burned to death in his own shop. The movie does a good job at presenting the initial shock and confusion on the streets as rioters appear out of nowhere and burn entire families alive in their cars, shoot people in the middle of the road, pour gasoline on unsuspecting passers-by, and force members of the Sikh community to seek refuge wherever they can. It’s chaos all around. By nightfall, Rawinder offers to help Jogi and his remaining family members flee the city. Instead, Jogi convinces Rawinder to help him protect the entire neighborhood.

Diljit Dosanjh is masterful in his portrayal of a normal guy having to step up and become a hero in what’s an extremely abnormal situation. The rest of the cast also gives solid performances, particularly Kumud Mishra in his villainous role. Watching scenes of Tajpal parenting his young daughter while overseeing a full-blown massacre chilled me to the bone. Director Ali Abbas Zafar did a fantastic job at capturing the fear and anxiety these characters were going through. For nearly two hours the film kept me at the edge of my seat. I wanted Jogi to succeed in his quest and I wanted to see the Lane 6 residents survive their ordeal. 

Overall, the film is an action-packed emotional roller coaster. It has action, adventure, friendship, a love story, and a lot of heart. The only downfall is the excessive use of flashbacks (and flashbacks within the flashbacks). Removing those entirely and cutting the run-time a little would have elevated it to a distinguished level of filmmaking. 

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