Jubilee webseries is Vikramaditya Motwane’s homage to the actors and the dreammakers of Indian cinema during its formative years, to the glitz, glamour, the large studios and successes and the failures plus a peek into the dark side of it as well
In his frames, in his lighting up of the frames, the shadows, silhouettes, you see glimpses of the masters who lived, and fortunately some of their cinema is still around to tell the story.
The second part of the season 1 – Jubilee webseries starts with Jai struggling to finish his film, taking too long a time to shoot each scene and Walia asks him not to become another Asif who has been making Mughal-e-Azam for years. Frustrated Jai realises he is letting his personal emotions for Niloufer are coming in the way of his work…quickly He gets into form and starts to complete the film.
In crafting the playful romantic song in a taxi, and as the hero romances the girl, director of Jubilee Vikramaditya Motwane alternates between colours of real life and the monochromatic reel transporting you to the magnificence of cinema that you perhaps last watched on Doordarshan – the charm of the black and white films and the beautiful, mysterious and playful heroines, the suave heroes with their swag.
Through this series the director pays homage to the actors and the dreammakers of the time, some of them who would rather be ahead of their times than go with the times. In his frames, in his lighting up of the frames, the shadows, silhouettes, you see glimpses of the masters who lived, and fortunately some of their cinema is still around to tell the story. And not to forget the beautiful songs composed by Amit Trivedi with care and love to reflect the golden era. There is ofcourse the party song ‘Dil Jahan Pe Le chala’ sung by Amit Trivedi which refuses to leave your mind – there is also the lilting music of ‘Nahin ji Nahin’ sung by Papon and Sunidhi Chauhan which you nod to involuntarily – among others with lyrics by Kausar Munir giving an extra edge.
Coming back to the story – between the propaganda of the Russians and the business and economy of cinema as Americans see it…Indian filmmakers take sides.
Jai, who is happy to find investors in Russians is lured by the magnificence of making cinema bigger…Srikant Roy says he could make a magnum film on cinemascope with the help of Americans and Jai begins to scout for locations in Kashmir.
Jai and Niloufer part ways for his second film as he is upset that she is with Madan Kumar. Personally Jai is ending up in trouble between his love and marriage but professionally he is fast becoming the darling of masses, and champion of poor.
He continues making hits, and along side he is making a producer out of a financier, a theatre owner out of a black marketeer – showcasing that side of cinema where dreams turn into reality.
Then there is the dark which is where the last episode of Jubilee heads to. Anything can happen in this world. The giants fall and how, and nothing is permanent. While some get lucky and find an opportunity to showcase their talent to the world, some end up on streets penniless.
More than anything the tragedy for me was the last scene that made me cry to watch those reels with film, perhaps carrying the best of Roy Films stowed into the back of a truck like some trash to be destroyed. Haven’t we lost some of the best of Indian cinema to the sands of time and continue to do so even now.
Yes it is a drama of emotions, of people and their relationship but for me this tragedy stood out as the story of Indian cinema.
And as I sat in front of my TV I had his urge to give a standing ovation to Vikramaditya Motwane shedding tears for the greats who have lived and loved cinema and left a legacy behind.
This is a series for people who love cinema, history and who have grown up watching the b&w films. It’s a trip down the memory lane and as cinema continues to grow technically and in scale there are a lot of takeaways for the filmmakers as well…for example how the beauty of cinema that must empower the audience must not become a tool for propaganda.
Jubilee Webseries gets a four star from me – for the subject, screenplay, treatment by the director and the actors – each and everyone of them including Aditi Rao Hydari, Aparshakti Khurana, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Ram Kapoor, Sidhant Gupta and Wamiqa Gabbi.