The first episode of Jubilee was interesting with the way this series is made. Timeless could have been the word. Bringing back the golden age of Indian Cinema on the small screen in monochrome frames is not just experimental but also beautiful.
I love listening to old songs but whenever I used to put them on, on YouTube, I always asked my Mom for the movie’s story. You know, in old movies, the stories always progressed via songs. There was never a broken link.
Whenever Mom told me the story of any specific black and white film, the only thing I repeatedly said was, ‘it feels like the characters actually lived a life in the movie – from childhood to death.’ The stories were never half baked. There were no shortcuts.
The writer of Amazon Prime Video’s Jubilee, Atul Sabharwal tried his best to give the same feel to this series. The slow moving pace of the series also didn’t hurt at first because if you have watched movies from the golden age, the ones made between 1940s and1960s, you know why the moving of this series at a turtle’s speed is justified. But…
What I couldn’t take was the backdrop of riots and partition. I understand that the era being of the late 40s, the partition and the riots would have had a big impact and influence on the Indian Cinema but honestly, I am not the person who can watch riots unfold on the screen and yet, sit back and watch the series with popcorn. I was engrossed and interested to know how the stories of Binod Das, Srikant Roy, Nilofer, and Sumitra Kumari unfold. Going forward, what will happen to them? Will Sumitra Kumari ever get to know that her lover and the next star of Roy Studios, Jamshed Khan has been killed in the riots? What will happen when she gets to know that he was killed by someone she already knows? There are two many interesting stories that are waiting to be told from the very first episode. No delays.
As the riots came on the screen – no graphic scenes here, do not worry about it – I decided to forward the part and get to the lives of the characters soon. But I found myself forwarding all the time and realised that the series, at least in the first three episodes, talked more about violence and refugee camps than the cinema, studios, celebrities, and politics in cinema at that time. Maybe, in the later part, the focus shifts back to Indian Cinema but when a major part of the story has to be forwarded, I don’t think there is any point in watching the series after a few episodes.
You can definitely go ahead and watch Jubilee. If its pace and colour doesn’t bore you and the riots don’t disturb you, you will enjoy this web series. Full marks for the ‘successful’ experiment.
ALSO READ: Gutar Gu Amazon miniTV Web Series Review: One Of The Best Love Stories Of Today’s Time