Sunday, December 5, 2010

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey Movie Review: Revolutionary Concept Indeed

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se is not only one of the best films of 2010, but also one of the best films in the past 5 years. Film-makers have always been fascinated at the prospect of adapting famous and controversial books into cinema. Some of them have struck celluloid gold like 3 Idiots(adapted from Five Point Some One, Devdas and Parineeta, while there have been some clumsy adaptations like Paheli, Raincoat, Mistress of Spices and Hello. Ashutosh Gowariker, one of the finest directors of Bollywood, did a very good job adapting Swades and now, he has adapted Khelein Hum Jee Jaan se, successfully. This movie has been adapted from the book 'Do And Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34' by Manini Chatterjee

Story of Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey:
Most of us may have read about the Chittagong Uprising of the 1930s (in our school history books, if we were attentive) and completely gave it amiss later. But this movie awakens us to the spirit of patriotism and the steely courage determined by our lesser known revolutionary leaders, who sparked the freedom movement. One such person was Surjya Sen (Abhishek Bachchan)s a teacher, but also ran  a parallel revolutionary movement. The slice of history shows a group of under-18 boys who play football in the ground, peeved when they are asked to leave by some Indian military personnel who work for the British. They want someone to take up their cause and turn to Surjya Sen, who give them a listening ear and channelize their anger to overthrow the British prowess from Chittagong and set an example for the country to follow.

On April 18 1930, it happens. an army of 64 people, comprising 56 courageous boys, 5 revolutionaries, 2 defiant women and an ambitious leader(Surjya Sen) execute a series of attacks in various public places that are controlled by the British government. It is a moving take on the valor and bravery of these people who have given us the freedom that we enjoy, and sadly, misuse.

Plus points of Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey:
1. Director Ashutosh Gowariker always gives his best, when he has material to research, he has done full justice to the movie, ensuring that every little detail is taken care of. Also, he has been able to capture the mood of the 30s with so much authenticity that it does strike a chord with the present generation. He has also balanced the heavy, thrill-laden mood with cute romantic scenes to make the movie feel-good as well.
2. Nitin Desai’s recreation of the bygone era is amazing, the detailing has been done with absolute finesse; the cinematography by Kiran Deohans and Seetha Sandhiri makes the movie quite watchable.
3. The narrative and the screenplay, particularly post the interval is sure to leave a lasting impression even after you leave the theater.

Minus points of Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se:

1. The scenes in the first half should have been trimmed; the first half just goes on and on to show how the boys get the money, the goods and learn to use guns in the freedom movement. Though it is good that these scenes have been included, they could have been crisply edited.

Best scenes in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se
1. The scene where the boys commit suicide and lay down their lives, when they are just about to be holed up by the British.
2. The railway station scene, where the boys are rounded off by the British and their subsequent, valiant escape
3. Sikander Kher’s death scene
4. The climax scene where Surjya Sen is beaten up before being sent to the gallows

Performances: Abhishek as Surjya Sen is brilliant, he has got the character of Surjya bang-on. A restrained performance, he has managed to showcase the humble, soft-spoken revolutionary's  repressed anger to the fullest. Deepika Padukone’s model-friendly reed thin figure may make you wonder if Kalpana Dutta was this stick-thin, but her costume and her getup save the day for her.. Of course, she has come up with a remarkably understated performance. If there is someone whose performance you will take home with you, it is Sikander Kher’s awesome act; he excels in every scene he is in. Vishakha Singh, as his love interest is fabuolous, both of them share a cute chemistry. All the actors, particularly, the children; are newbies and do a fantastic jiob

Conclusion: Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is no fast-food movie that you watch for time-pass and intermittent laughs, it is a soul-searching endeavor, a perfect tribute to the men and women who gave us our freedom. A must-watch (if not for the slow first half, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey would have got 5 stars)
Rating:**** (Very Good)


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