Jaggi Review

Rahul Desai


There are multiple long takes in Jaggi, Anmol Sidhu’s bleak and unsparing portrait of hypermasculinity and sexual repression in rural Punjab. But three of them stand out. These three unbroken takes tell the story of a broken boy.


Like most independent dramas, Jaggi is a little too conscious of its nihilism. One could say it’s over-directed. For instance, the sound mix is almost intentionally tacky in its pursuit of hinterland rawness. The voice-over is abrupt and echoey, like it strives to be a disorienting metaphor.

Great Actor

Ramnish Chaudhary is excellent in his body language and transformations, his depiction of wilting masculinity – school-boy Jaggi and dropout Jaggi, only four years apart, are virtually unrecognisable from each other.

Confrontational Tone

The confrontational tone of this film – where the self-righteousness of society is inversely proportional to the open repercussions of sexual subjugation – evokes Amar Singh Chamkila and the ‘crude’ lyrics of the musicians who are shot for being the messengers.

Starker and Uncompromising

Jaggi is starker than these titles, and uncompromising to a fault (a montage features the boy desperately trying to stroke himself to an erection). But perhaps the provocations are, for once, the actual message – it is the language of the environment the film deigns to indict


After all, it’s Jaggi’s struggle between physical visibility and social invisibility that defines his tragedy. The film strives to be a bare body; there’s no room for a heartbeat.