“Jubilee” can be described as a tale of people who struggle, work hard, and find fruitful results in their work. A lot of them see success, but many of them also end up finding failures. Failures from which they learn to pick up their lives and rebuild them just to be able to move forwards This Vikramaditya Motwane and Soumik Sen show is set in a time when women hardly had the power vested in them to be able to make any crucial life decisions. Women were forced into prostitution or work in a field against their will and constantly kept under the influence of men who were the decision-makers of their lives.
But Vikramaditya and Soumik took a different path in this show and decided to showcase female characters who had it in them to stand up to the predominantly male industry and show their power as decision-making personnel who do not need a man to be able to lead a life of their own. One of the leading characters that has these characteristics is Sumitra Kumari, a superstar actress, part owner of the Roy Talkies, and the wife of famous producer Srikant Roy. The story of the husband and wife is loosely based on the famous producer couple Devika and Himanshu Rai, who together ran the Bombay Talkies. Sumitra Kumari comes across as a powerful woman who has earned the right to make decisions for herself and the life she leads. With Srikant Roy in the picture, that does not stop her from making decisions that contradict his opinions.
As the show begins, it is implied that Srikant and Sumitra have been married and business partners for years. Just like any marriage, love has died, and there is only bitterness between them. They don’t seem to be on the same trajectory anymore. They are legally bound to each other, but both are leading their own lives. Though Srikant is known for being a womanizer and bedding women for his benefit, Sumitra, too, is known for carrying out many clandestine affairs. The bitterness between them has reached a point where both are just oblivious to each other’s existence and show each other their faces only when it is necessary. There is a lot of love lost between both. They might have been in love a long time ago, but with marriage, reality hits them like a storm and takes them for a whirlwind ride.
The show begins with Srikant Roy planning to have a night out with a strange woman who would be his next conquest. Meanwhile, his hypocrisy lies in the fact that he has issues with his wife, the famous Sumitra Kumari, who is having a deep, loving affair with his next chosen leading man, Jamshed Khan. Srikant is very keen on making Jamshed Khan his pet project, and he doesn’t want him to have any distractions of any kind, that includes his wife being Jamshed’s paramour as well. Srikant would want the man back in Mumbai from Lucknow to be able to announce his next film with him. Being a selfish man, he refuses to see the love brewing between his wife and Jamshed and only sees the loss he might incur by losing Jamshed in this prospect. He sends Binod Das to make sure they both come back to Mumbai as soon as possible.
Unfortunately for Srikant Roy and his wife, Binod Das ends up injuring Jamshed Khan, and he is killed by the mobs who were causing riots across the city. Srikant and Sumitra are not aware of what happened to Jamshed; they are hoping he is alive and may have safely gone to the newly formed Pakistan. The disappearance of Jamshed Khan had a big impact on the sore relationship. Sumitra was planning to elope with Jamshed to Karachi and probably never come back. But destiny had other plans for her. She ends up coming back to Srikant through brute force, and she is stuck being his wife. The heartbreak over losing Jamshed was the last straw for their relationship, which became worse when Srikant chose Binod to be his next Madan Kumar, now that Jamshed couldn’t be found.
Srikant was quick to replace Jamshed with Binod, which hurt Sumitra more because, like Srikant, she had envisioned Jamshed as the next superstar in the making. Her hatred for Binod grew from the fact that he was a loyal servant of her husband, and would do anything for Srikant. Sumitra, though, is informed of Jamshed’s death thanks to her contacts. She begins to work against Binod when she is informed that Binod was the one last seen with Jamshed and that there was a possibility of his involvement in Jamshed’s death. She is upfront with Srikant about her hatred for Binod, and she will prove at court his involvement in Jamshed’s death. There was no turning back for her from this marriage, for she was on a spree to end the misery her husband had created and prove to the world that Madan Kumar was a fraud and a killer. By ruining Madan Kumar, by extension, she would be running her husband as well. To go against her husband and Madan Kumar, she joins hands with the Russians to tap Madan Kumar’s phone to get more information.
Srikant, on the other hand, was in no mood to support the Russians because the independence of his country meant freedom of speech, which he knew he wouldn’t get from being in cahoots with the Russians as the government was pushing him to be. Srikant believes he has the power to change and influence, and he will not be the mouthpiece. Being the selfish man he is, he goes to many extents to let his power be known, even to Sumitra. Though he does not stop her from making any crucial decisions, he wouldn’t let her make any decision that would affect his Roy Talkies. Sumitra chooses to act in a Soviet-produced film directed by Jay Khanna. Srikant has no objection to it, and Sumitra proves her point by being a woman of her own. Srikant also refuses to share any evidence he has against Madan Kumar with Sumitra because he does not want his pet project to be finished. He wants Madan Kumar to rule the silver screen as long as he lives, and Srikant would take credit for it. Sumitra tries to reason with Srikant when Rajmahal fails and provides a solution to make sure their Roy Talkies are not shut down for good. But Srikant’s ego makes him take the worst of the decisions, and from there on, his life is downhill.
With Binod/Madan Kumar going against his mentor, Srikant takes his own life because he realizes he has no power left in him to let things work his way. Before killing himself, he ends up leaving a gift for his wife, which is evidence of Binod’s involvement in Jamshed’s death. The two have lived with such bitterness all their lives as a married couple, but by the end, Srikant helps his wife one last time, which showcases the respect he has for her.
The duo had a complicated relationship all their lives. Being a powerful couple came at a price, which they paid for a powerful couple came at a price, which they paid for. With Sumitra losing the case against Binod, she ends up selling her studio and all her property. Just like Srikant, she kills herself because she has nothing to look forward to. The couple surely had bitterness towards each other, but there was also the respect they had for each other as artists working in the film industry.