Jaago is director Mehul Kumar’s yet another loose attempt at making a hard-hitting film on a social issue.
Earlier, the filmmaker has addressed issues of corruption, social degeneration and loyalty towards one’s country and system in films like Krantiveer and Tirangaa both of which were too loud for a viewer who expects some realism and authenticity from cinema. In Jaago Mehul deals with the issue of child rape.
The movie is based on a true-life incident of the rape of a 9-year-old schoolgirl in a local train of Mumbai.
Shruti (Hansika Motwani) is the young daughter of Shrikant (Sanjay Kapoor) and Shraddha (Raveena Tandon). Although she is hardly ten years old, she travels to her school by the local train every morning and commutes back by the noon.
But one day, she gets locked up in her school accidentally. By the time she is able to come out it is already late in the night.
Anyway, she takes the train back to home. Inside the train bogie, she falls victim to the lust of three drug addicts who rape her in front of three passengers. None of the passengers could muster the courage to raise voice against such a heinous act.
A traumatized Shruti is brought to the hospital in an unconscious state by the police. There, the little girl dies in front of her shocked parents. By the morning when the news spreads around, the whole city is shaken by the incident.
The onus to catch the culprits falls on the shoulders of crime branch officer Kripa Shankar Thakur (Manoj Bajpai). Determined to catch the rapists, Kripa Shankar begins his search that leads him to several realizations about the degeneration of the system.
To an extent Jaago does succeed in disturbing a viewer from inside and make him more conscious of the ugly realities of life to which one turns a blind eye so conveniently. The credit for making the movie work partly goes to the actors – Raveena Tandon, Sanjay Kapoor and particularly to Manoj Bajpai.
One of the impressive sequences is at the fag end of the movie when Manoj lets out his emotions and suppressed anger in an outburst that was in fact received by clapping in some cinema halls.