Vikramaditya Motwane’s Jubilee is an incredibly striking pageant of filmmaking and a tribute to the stalwart film-makers and auteurs of yesteryears in Bombay. The web series traces the advent of many a phenomenon, namely the use of playback singing in cinema to allow more freedom to the actors and the evolution of the star system. Prosenjit Chatterjee excels as a Hindi movie mogul exerting considerable influence in the industry, despite walking a tightrope to maintain equilibrium in a ruthless industry.
The series is set in a period when the partition of India and its ensuing repercussions loomed large. The muted colours used throughout add to the sense of insecurity, the impending gloom in the wake of the Cold War and the dismal scenario pervading society at large. Aparshakti Khurana enacts the role of a minion-turned-rising star with conviction. Sidhant Gupta, as the energetic Jay Khanna, struggling to gain a foothold on Indian soil after the exodus from Pakistan, is outstanding, and so is Aditi Rao Hydari, essaying the role of a heroine trapped in a marriage of convenience. Wamiqa Gabbi’s sprightly Niloufer offers respite from sordid drama every now and then. Amit Trivedi’s score infused with a retro feel lends a magical and nostalgic charm to the narrative. The viewers are transported to a tumultuous era when film-making began influencing the minds of cine-goers and was gradually becoming a potent weapon shaping the future of a newborn nation. (I liked/ didn’t like Jubilee because... April 10) Suparna Ghosh
Jubilee aims to immerse us into the world of creativity, glamour and talent along with some dark truths. This 10-episode period drama dates back to the era between the 1940s and 1960s when Bollywood was gathering momentum in the newly-partitioned country and narrates the internal conflicts rooted in a leading film production company. It also focuses on the dilemma of launching a new poster boy with the hope of exerting dominance in the budding industry. From undertaking risky decisions to experimenting with the latest genres to an attempt to save honour and prestige, each episode blows the lid off the growing tensions in the industry and its surroundings. The multi-talented ensemble cast, including the ace actor Prosenjit and the beautiful Aditi Rao Hydari, act as the cherry on the cake. Each character gives the plot a Midas touch. The soulful songs naturally resonate with the series while the directorial vision makes Jubilee as an ode to cinema. No doubt, this magnum opus is one of the best series ever. Aayman Anwar Ali
Jubilee spans an era that heralded new beginnings in Indian cinema as the country cast off the shackles of British rule. The saga unfolds just a little before Partition and spills over into the time when Indian movies started making their presence felt worldwide. Jubilee is soaked in love for the visual medium. The show perfectly lands in the world it tries to create, with the charm of the ‘40s spread all over its visual texture. The performances are top-notch and casting is the USP of this show. Aparshakti Khurana shows his mettle as a man with an unwavering commitment to his art. He looks the part of a commoner-turned-superstar. Sidhant Gupta excels as the troubled young man who has learnt to make the best of the hand he has been dealt. He does justice to the arc of his character which clearly has the best opportunity for him to showcase his acting skills. Prosenjit Chatterjee makes for an apt choice for his role of a man who is wise beyond his years, decisive and principled in his own way. Aditi Rao Hydari doesn’t have much to do but looks dreamy, as always. She plays the only female superstar in a male-dominated industry who doesn’t enjoy the power she deserves. Wamiqa Gibba is a revelation as a budding independent woman, who follows her heart, no matter what. Seasoned actors like Ram Kapoor and Arun Govil lend good support.
Jubilee is immensely watchable for many reasons. It works as a tribute to many celebrated film personalities of the yesteryears. It makes us look at the golden age of cinema when not the stars but the studios ruled the roost. This web series lets you into that age not so much as an outsider but almost as an insider. Overall, it is a spectacular flight into a bygone world of cinema, politics, society and their interludes. Roshni Ojha
Jubilee is a visual spectacle that brings alive a golden retro era. The brilliant ensemble cast has added a different dimension to this immersive series that takes us back to the days when Indian cinema was experiencing its birth pangs. It was a treat to witness our favourite Bumbada as Srikant Roy. He epitomises the aristocratic character with utmost sincerity and dignity. He has recreated his performances in Chokher Bali and Autograph. Aditi perfectly blends into her character with subtlety and maturity. She looks resplendent. The stunning Wamiqa Gabbi is a revelation. Her unabashed and unapologetic performance has won my heart. Aparshakti has surpassed all expectations in that difficult role. His inhibitionfree performance is incredible. Sidhant Gupta is the heart of this series. His vivacious performance has already made him a big star. Amit Trivedi is the soul of Jubilee. Kudos to him for the beautiful, feather-light retro songs. There is a perfect equipoise between music and soothing lyrics in each and every one of them. Babuji bhole bhale, sung brilliantly by Sunidhi Chauhan, is definitely going to be the next party anthem. Take a bow Vikramaditya Motwane for gifting us this addictive series which is a celebration of Indian cinema. Saurav Gupta
Vikramaditya Motwane’s period drama Jubilee, about the Hindi film industry in the 1940s and ‘50s, is fantastic. I enjoyed watching it as it is a truly gripping tale. It is really praiseworthy how the filmmaker told the fascinating story and took the audience back to the bygone black-and-white era of Hindi movies. The performances of all the actors was a treat to watch. Aparshakti Khurana, Sidhant Gupta, Wamiqa Gabbi and our very own Bumbada excelled in their roles. Plus, the songs were all melodious. All the costumes worn by the characters were stunning as well. Sourish Misra