Despite the topical themes it tackles and all the supercharged action that unfolds on the screen, Jai Gangaajal never really kicks into top gear. There is little in the film's good-cops-bad-cops construct that has not been seen before in Hindi cinema, especially in Jha's own previous films. Jai Gangaajal is likely to be a letdown for those who expect it to be a worthy follow-up to Gangaajal. But if you go in without too many expectations, you might find parts of its fairly palatable.
While the story establishes itself in the engaging first half, the second half revolves around the confrontation between Priyanka Chopra and corrupt villains. While the film's cinematography (Sachin Krishn) is decent, the film's editing (Santosh Mandal) is praise worthy, although there could have been a handful of scenes that could have been chopped off that could have worked in favour of the film, especially in reducing the length of the movie.
Jai Gangaajal doesn’t offer anything you haven’t seen before, especially in the director's own previous films. It's also interminably long at nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes. Priyanka Chopra and Prakash Jha’s performances keep you engaged and invested despite the familiar narrative, but by the end you’re overcome by the unmistakable feeling of exhaustion.
Still, despite its constant clichés and contradictions, the foreseeability of its narrative and a deluge of raucous songs diluting the impact of every single chase or lathi charge led by Priyanka, Jai GangaaJal is watchable till Jha lets self-indulgence get the better of him. Once Jai GangaaJal loses sight of all else to become only about his half-baked atonement it drags and dodders from the weight of its stocky dialogues, tediously cosmetic revolt and a leading man of very limited screen presence hogging all the limelight.
Jai Gangaajal is one of Prakash Jha's best stories. It weaves together crucial contemporary threads - land mafias, corrupt netas, broker-cops, broken farmers - with Jha's enduring concern about vigilante justice. Jai Gangaajal packs a punch with its panorama (a Badaun-like landscape where girls are hung from trees), dilemma and performances - particularly the one by 'Madam Sir', who wields a lathi you will love.