“Jubilee” has been touted as an homage to the film industry, but we think it is more about rediscovering the art of good storytelling through great actors. First, we see Srikant Roy sparing no expense with the filmmaking process, and then there is Jay Khanna, who is out to buy second-hand equipment, placing all his faith in the power of his story. We also get a glimpse of the stubbornness of creative freedom intertwined with the economics of being a star versus an actor. It has been a while since we loved a series so much, and the decision to release it in two parts was a wise one, not just because it is kinder on the shorter attention span we have these days but also because this series deserves much more hype and is now going to get that on the merit of the story. This is how “Jubilee” unfolds and wins our hearts in the process.
Finding Madan Kumar
Roy Talkies, India’s biggest film studio, located in Mumbai, has announced that they will be launching a star, Madan Kumar, with the film they will be producing. It is an ambitious project, but the only problem is that they don’t have a Madan Kumar yet. Srikant Roy, the owner and face of Roy Talkies is desperately going through the audition tapes, trying to find the right person, when he zeroes in on Jamshed Khan, a theater artist from Lucknow. The studio people are in talks with him, headed by Srikant’s wife, Sumitra, who is the owner of half of Roy Talkies. But the problem is that Sumitra has started an affair with Jamshed Khan. Therefore, Srikant sends Binod Das, one of his most loyal employees, to bring Jamshed Khan to Mumbai before the matter gets out of hand.
Srikant doesn’t care about the affair as long as he can make the film with the actor of his choice. Now, Binod Das has always been a staunch supporter of Srikant Roy and has risen in ranks to be a part of his inner circle. But unknown to Srikant, Binod harbors a secret desire to be an actor, yet he has never even hinted at it. For now, he leaves for Lucknow to do his job, and on the train, he meets Jay Khanna, the son of the owner of Khanna Theatre Company in Karachi. He is also going to Lucknow to meet Jamshed Khan since the latter has promised to join his theater company. Jay Khanna and Binod become aware of each other when the latter gets the former out of a minor scuffle.
In Lucknow, Jamshed Khan is torn between his choices. He cannot decide whether to go to Karachi or to Mumbai. Sumitra and Jamshed are already in love with each other, and that is the one thing that is making his decision so difficult, in addition to the fact that he will have to forgo his identity as a Muslim if he were to embrace the life of Madan Kumar. After meeting with Jay Khanna and Binod, who is disguised as Sunder, to avoid conflict in case Sumitra has warned Jamshed against him, he finally makes a choice after speaking with Sumitra. He is ready to elope with her to Karachi, and he decides to join the theater company. These particular events are happening on the day that the partition of India and Pakistan was announced.
Around the time Jamshed has to board the train, riots start across the country. Binod (as Sunder) offers to take Jamshed to the railway station. At this point, we still think it is an innocent interaction, despite Binod’s deception about his identity. But when Jamshed sees a paper with Binod’s true identity in the car, he comes to blows with him. They are about to crash the car when they swerve at the last minute, though the car topples over. When an injured Binod gets out of the car, he notices that Jamshed is still alive and trapped inside. Binod lands a blow or two as revenge and to satisfy some pent-up anger for taking his opportunities for granted. But before Binod can finally rescue him, which is what we think he wants to do, the mob storms into the place, and he is forced to hide. The crowd pulls out Jamshed and kills him as Binod watches, and he is joined by Jay Khanna, who is also a witness to the scene.
As for Sumitra, she was supposed to meet Jamshed in Ratlam, but instead of him, she found her husband. Back in Mumbai, Srikant is furious at Binod for not bringing Jamshed back with him. In a moment of vulnerability, Binod finally starts reciting the lines of the scene that would serve as his audition. Srikant Roy takes a second to catch on, but once he does, he understands that he has found his Madan Kumar.
The Screen Test
Srikant Roy has a tough time convincing people to invest in his film, with Binod Das as Madan Kumar. Walia, their primary financier, has completely withdrawn from the project, and Srikant has been forced to draw a loan by using the studio as mortgage. But he still needs to convince people and the remaining financiers and distributors about Binod Das’ potential as a lead actor. He shoots the very scene with him that was used to audition others. But Binod has a tough time giving a good take as he keeps seeing a vision of Jamshed Khan. However, after one too many takes, Binod is able to get a good and final shot. But the problem is far from solved, as this okay take is ruined by Sumitra Kumari, who is still waiting for Jamshed Khan and is against Binod Das as a hero. When Binod sees the ruined take, he is furious, and as he is storming out to confront her and speak with Srikant, he is stopped by his friend, who tells him that ruffling Sumitra’s feathers could mean losing out on the studio as the set could not be constructed again due to the scarcity of money. Therefore, Binod comes up with a plan to piece together a scene from his other takes, and this works. Everyone is happy with the idea of Binod as Madan Kumar, and the shooting for “Sunghursh” starts with him.
Niloufer was a courtesan in Lucknow before the partition. Once it became apparent that she couldn’t continue to do that, she came to Mumbai, where unfortunately, she fell into a trap and was taken to a brothel. Niloufer manages to escape and gets her savings from a jeweler. She starts acting as an escort and while looking for a rich financier for herself, she winds up with Walia. Niloufer is also trying her hand at becoming an actress and has started auditioning at different studios with less than moderate success. She also meets Jay once again, and they become friends, with Jay slowly falling in love with her. Niloufer has been on the fringes in the first part of “Jubilee,” but we hope to see her play a more pivotal role in Part 2.
Jay Khanna has come to Mumbai and is desperately looking for a job to sustain his family, who are currently residing in the refugee camp. Eventually, he gets a job at Roy Talkies through Binod Das, and he finally finds a semblance of stability in his life. Jay has always been a creative person, but circumstances have forced him to compromise on his dreams. However, with time, he starts thinking about what he wants once again. Except that things are not as easy as they seem. Jay gives his script to Binod to pitch the idea to Srikant Roy. But when Srikant hears Jay’s name, he knows that he cannot go ahead with the film. Sumitra has been looking for Jay to find out what happened to Jamshed Khan and to probably prove that Binod is responsible for his death.
Srikant needs to protect Binod because he is the studio’s resident star; therefore, he rejects Jay’s script, stating that he wants Binod to keep up the image of a rich man instead of playing the character of a poor person. Additionally, he has Jay framed for theft and kicked out of the studio. A dejected Jay starts working as a driver with Walia on the recommendation of Niloufer. But when he comes to know that Walia pirates Hollywood films as a side business, he questions why he does not have the guts to finance an original film. Letting go of “Sunghursh” has always been a sore spot for Walia, and when he sees that Jay is willing to risk it all for a film, he is willing to bet on him, provided he can convince Binod to star in it.
‘Jubilee’ Part 1 Ending Explained: Why Does Binod Refuse To Work With Khanna?
Despite Walia’s resistance, Binod does not just want to be a star; he also wants to explore his complete potential as an actor. Therefore, he agrees to star in Jay’s film; however, a number of political hurdles make that impossible. Starting with Jay, he needs to build a studio. So, he takes out a loan to build it on a plot of refugee land. However, the President of the Punjab Party is ready to make the land available for Jay, provided he marries his daughter Kiran. Looking at the choices in front of him, Jay knows that he is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The first thing he does is to ask Niloufer whether she would star in the movie he is making. When she agrees, his next question is whether she will marry him. Niloufer tells Jay that she thinks of him as just a friend and that she cannot marry him. Jay probably knew that he would get this very response, but he has always been a man who has tried to do the right thing. He tells Kiran that he is in love with someone else. Kiran accepts this and though it is not clearly shown, we believe that they go ahead with the engagement as Jay gets the land.
Meanwhile, when Srikant comes to know that Binod wants to work with Jay, he is worried that this might lead Sumitra to him, and she would eventually find out what happened to Jamshed, effectively ruining Binod’s life and, by extension, Roy Talkies. He very subtly communicates this to Binod, saying that he is aware that Jamshed might not be alive and that Sumitra meeting Jay could spell disaster. Understanding the meaning behind his words, Binod makes up his mind about his next move.
Back to Jay: some groups are against him building the studio on the land, as they see it as the start of the supremacy of one community over the others. When they get into a scuffle with each other, Walia intervenes and declares that sharing the profits can be beneficial to both communities. But when questioned as to being sure that the film will run, Walia tells them that it will since Madan Kumar is its star. Unfortunately, that is the exact moment that Madan Kumar comes to the place and declares that he will not be in the film since Walia is the financier. Jay tells Binod that he has put everything he has at stake to make the film. At the end of “Jubilee” Part 1, Binod puts forth a condition that he will only work in Jay’s film if he gets a different financier for it. Binod is aware that Jay cannot get anybody else to finance his film, and he uses this excuse to get out of their arrangement. The day Jay meets Sumitra, she will know what happened to Jamshed, and that will be the end of the road for Roy Talkies and Binod, aka Madan Kumar. So, Binod and Srikant will do everything in their power to prevent that from happening, even if it means sabotaging Jay’s life and dreams.
What Should We Expect From ‘Jubilee’ Part 2?
Sumitra is quite literally out for blood, and if Jay continues on his warpath, they will end up meeting eventually. Jay needs to figure out who he can take on as an actor in his film and how to deal with the uncertainty of the future in front of him. We also suspect that there might be some tensions due to Niloufer. Walia might know her history with Jay, and that could cause problems. Finally, Binod is much closer to having his lies exposed than he knows.
The USSR teams are out for revenge, and ever since they have been in cahoots with Sumitra, who has told them about her suspicions regarding Binod’s hand in Jamshed’s death, they have bugged the studios and Binod’s house. Should Srikanth ever bring up the matter again with Binod, their conversation will be recorded. Not only that, Ratna, Binod’s wife, knows what happened to Jamshed. If she ever speaks about it, it will be game over for Binod and Srikant Roy. Therefore, Part 2 of “Jubilee” is going to be all about how Jay makes his film and how Binod and Srikant Roy struggle to keep the past hidden from the world.