Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey Hindi Movie Review
Ashutosh Gowariker's last film What's Your Rashee? tanked at the box office. And all through the last one year all we got to hear about him was that he has been working on his next project with vengeance, to prove that he is not over yet. And what an interesting way he finds to prove so. He not only goes back to a territory he is comfortable with, he also brings out a completely forgotten story from the freedom struggle of India.
Adrenaline levels always go high when the flavour is patriotism. And in this particular case it has teenagers fighting against the might of the British Empire, which further gears up the emotions. Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is the story of a school teacher Surjyo Sen and his troupe of revolutionaries - which included 53 teenagers. It is a story of a rebellion that Sen initiated as he attacked five British occupied locations in Chittagong district at the same time.
While the film is not a biopic it is evidently very well researched and documented by Gowariker. He does take his cinematic liberties though in creating scenes to escalate dramatic emotions. And that's somewhere he also loses grip at times. The director takes the entire first half to build up the platform and that may make some part of the audience impatient. However to keep going smooth he adds in ample humour, with the help of some interesting characters and good dialogues. The second half is paced-up and full of action and gun shots, making the half seem much shorter.
Periodicals are tough to make as the first thing that the audience notices is the settings. And the director deserves credit for keeping settings and details right for the era. To his aid he has trusted friends Kiran Deohans and Nitin Chandrakanth Desai for cinematography and sets. But the director, known for his details commits a couple of blunders too. While fliers used by the revolutionaries are written in Bengali, the plans for attack are written in Hindi! There is also a scene when the director seems to have completely forgotten Newton's law of motion - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Kalpana Dutta (Deepika) fires a heavy 303 rifle with such ease that it does not even push her shoulder back one bit! Now, even a tough army man cannot be expected not to feel that push!
On the scale of performances Vishakha Singh is the surprise package. The girl who was earlier seen (or rather not seen) in the avoided and forgotten flick Humsey Hai Jahaan(2008) returns with an act which should get her noticed. Deepika Padukone and Sikandar Kher deliver. The entire teenaged wagon adds variety and spark. Abhishek Bachchan could have been better if only he let himself loose. He has done better before.
Overall, KHJJS is a game well played by the director. But it is definitely not his best game so far. Nevertheless, it is one story that is worth your money. Enjoy the spirit of nationalism as 'Masterda' leads his gang to attack the imperialist British government!