Book Review: Jump Cut
Are we browsing through a novel or are we actually watching a popular Bollywood film? At times both of them get blurred into a curious intermix…a world where drama and reality merge and elude the reader… Yes, we are trying to deconstruct Krishna Shastri Devulapalli’s novel Jump Cut. Wondering about the curious name, I had picked it up not knowing what the name actually implied. Well in film-editing it means a sudden change in a single shot or a change in the background while the figures remain constant. Sounds confusing? As the plot progresses we know how…….
The novel begins with a prologue which gives us a glimpse of what is to follow. Ray the protagonist flies down to Chennai to meet his ailing father. He has a future plan all chalked out – where he goes back to his secure job in San Jose, USA where his father is to join him soon and things would be hunky dory once more. But everything seems to go terribly wrong. Ray loses his father, comes to know of the circumstances which had hastened his death, knows about the man who had been responsible for stealing his father’s dreams and vows to avenge his death. He finds that he can no longer remain indifferent and comes back to India, hatches a plot to expose Rajarajan, the man who had indirectly killed his father. With the help of Selva, the driver who hates Rajarajan, Abbie and his wife Sumi—close friends of Ray and a few others like the shopkeeper who tries to misguide the rogue and Debdutta De who runs a flourishing business of supplying information on copyright theft in Indian films he fulfills this mission.
As the name suggests, this book has everything to do with films. The setting changes while the characters appear to remain constant or the characters change while the background remains the same. Reading the book is almost like watching a film..every chapter unravels the plot almost as one scene follows the other not to forget the fleeting images, the shadowy illusions, the flashbacks highlighted by Raman’s diary or the use of lighting and sound. At times extremely humorous and reflective, the novel touches upon some very relevant issues involving plagiarism and the practice of lifting from famous creative works. Not to forget, a very humane etching of the Madras underbelly and their aspirations. Exploitation of young women through filming them in compromising positions is very rampant today and the novelist has not forgotten to include that as well.
Jump Cut is engrossing in the same way as a movie is. Love and sex, intrigue and suspense, revenge and loyalty, humour and sadness…ask for it and it is there. And oh yes…the supernatural too…..Ray apparently sees his dead father walking across the hospital corridor with an elusive smile on his face!!
I could not help visualizing the scenes as if this was really a film. And it would indeed be a hit! This was the lingering impression I would carry with me after going through Jump Cut.
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