Through “Jubilee,” Vikramaditya Motwane and Soumik Sen were able to portray on screen such an old romance that is rare to come across. Looking into each other’s eyes, having long conversations, longing for the love of their lives, and realizing that person is their one. This kind of romance has been seen and cherished for the longest time in the film industry, which began in an era that was subsequently dubbed the golden period of Hindi cinema. Kudos to the creators, writers, and director for not just portraying this kind of romance in films; it seems to work in the show “Jubilee,” The same kind of romance mirrors in the actual show, where one can see the love oozing out of Sumitra’s eyes for Jamshed or the love Jay had for Niloufer.
Jay and Niloufer meet in Lucknow, where he decides to spend some nights with her on the recommendation of Jamshed Khan. Niloufer was not just a good acquaintance to Jamshed, but from time to time, she was his silent supporter and spent the night with him just because she knew he was a good man and would achieve greatness in life. But in their last meeting, he talks about not being sure about wanting to take up the job in Mumbai being offered to him by Roy Talkies. He also reveals that he has been smitten by the love bug. Sumitra and Jamshed were in love, and Niloufer could not have been happier for him.
With the partition and the country becoming independent, Niloufer tries to find her luck in Mumbai to become a nautch girl. To make contacts in the city, she gets in touch with Shamsher Walia, who makes Niloufer his mistress, and in return, he provides her with contacts and a home to live in. Basking in this newfound money and the so-called love of convenience, Niloufer starts going for auditions, and slowly but steadily, she starts getting recognized. Niloufer was open about what Mr. Walia meant for her, and she made sure never to be shamed into believing that she was a gold digger. She accepted the fact that she was here to make money, and Mr. Walia was her ticket to fame.
On this journey, she ends up meeting Jay Khanna, who is a refugee who recently moved to Mumbai from Karachi, which is now in Pakistan. Having lost everything because of the partition, he and his father end up having to start their lives from scratch. Jay and his father happened to have a theater company that was initially in dire straits after moving to India, but Jay also manages to bring it back up thanks to a dream shown by Madan Kumar, which manifested into a studio thanks to a local politician and Mr. Walia. On this journey, Jay happens to run into Niloufer multiple times, and knowing who she is and the background she comes from does not stop him from falling in love with her. He is taken away by her confidence and her knowledge of the field; this is what he seeks in a partner. The friendship they shared, Jay mistook for love and offered her the lead in his first film, which she willingly took up.
When asked about her feelings, she rebuffs him and calls him her friend, saying she has never looked at him as a lover. Niloufer makes it clear that she is not keen on pursuing any relationship with him other than friendship. Being a woman with her own agency about what she wants to pursue, she is here to make a mark as an actress. Niloufer has bigger plans for herself, and she cannot let herself be bogged down by being in a relationship. Moreover, she always considered him a friend who would understand her struggles since they were in the same line of business.
Niloufer is carried away by Madan Kumar’s charm, and thus she begins her affair with the famous man. However, it is not clear if she ever loved him. Their romance felt more like Niloufer having to make her presence felt in the industry and Madan Kumar being her stepping stone. On being asked if she would have loved him if he were not a famous person, she never had an answer to that. This probably proves that her love was just as intense as she had hoped it to be. She wanted to carry on being in a relationship in the hope of getting some credit for herself. There is no shaming her for what she wants because she is aware of what is required of her to make herself relevant and important. Though their affair does not last that long, Niloufer understands the mistakes she made by making Madan Kumar a part of her life. He would have never chosen her over his career and family, something she learned the hard way.
Jay, on the other hand, is keen on pursuing his love for Niloufer after seeing her heartbroken over Madan Kumar. Niloufer finally grants him the chance to woo her, and Madan leaves no stone unturned to prove his love for her. They go to places together, meet friends, go shopping, and basically do everything that a couple in love would do at the beginning of their blossoming romance. Even though Jay had a platonic relationship with Kiran, his fiancée, he could not stop himself from falling in love with Niloufer and the charm and understanding she brought to the table. He did not want to hurt Kiran, but he also did not want to let go of Niloufer.
Jay, for the longest, avoids this dilemma until his father forces him to choose Kiran over Niloufer. Initially keen on eloping with Niloufer, he is again forced by his father to reconsider the decision. His father gives a logical explanation as to who Jay will end up severing ties with if he marries Niloufer. Niloufer was already known for the scandal she and Madan Kumar caused, thanks to their affair. Though Madan Kumar could sustain the minor glitch in his career, Jay’s father is not sure Jay’s new success can sustain a scandal from which he won’t be able to recover. Jay cannot afford to anger Kiran’s father, who was kind enough to offer the loan. Jay also severed ties with the Russians to work with Srikant Roy, and with his elopement, he might end up angering the Americans as well. Jay tries to fix his head to understand the long-term repercussions of choosing Niloufer over Kiran, which unfortunately leads him to choose Kiran over his lover. It was a tough decision to make for him, but since he cannot lose money at all, Jay chooses to be with Kiran over the love of his life. He is hoping to become a better husband to Kiran with this wedding and is slowly letting go of Niloufer, who is heartbroken over their doomed love.
It soon dawns on her that the love they shared was not enough to keep their relationship strong. She sadly did not bring to the table what Kiran brought, and Jay chose his future over Niloufer because he wanted to remain successful and popular amongst his peers and audience, and marrying Kiran would give him that, which is something she painfully understood. Niloufer, too, has no choice but to move on and give more time to her career as well. Just like Jay chose his work over her, she will end up doing the same. There will be no way for them to get back together as friends from here on. They will just be two professionals having to work with each other without any love in between.