Monday, 7 March 2011

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se

2010 by Ashutosh Gowariker

A group of youngsters plan an uprising against the mighty British in small  town Chittagong, now in Bangladesh, about an year after 1930. Their plan is to capture the Telegraph office, the Police lines, the European club and the Cantonment all within a short span of time, the same night. A group of teenagers who are angry with the British as they lost their football ground to set up an army camp, joins the revolutionaries. On the planned day, all looks fine, except that the revolutionaries didn't think at all that their chosen day was Good Friday. A major part within the plan was to raid the European Club where the English officers were supposed to be for dinner, so that they could arrest all of them in one raid. Being Good Friday they found the Club empty. From there all went wrong and the British strike back and within a short period they search and arrest some of the revoloutionaries and the rest are killed.

A true story and the movie is inspired by a book. However it is a terrible attempt as a movie. If not for the patriotic factor, I would have stopped watching it within the first 30 minutes.

Performance of leading actors were sub standard. These stars are dressed like in the 30's. But the fact that their body language is from 2010's, is enough to describe how serious they were about their job. Most of these actors are only good for doing their routine song and dance numbers and soulless characters. They are not able to do characters which require intelligent understanding and reactions. In fact, some of the teenagers , I thought, could embarass the superstars in moments of brilliance. Of course, its also about casting and the director. Director doesn't seem to have cared to even change the hair styles of most revolutionaries.

I havent read the book. But the script is a pity. I thought, the whole thing could have been intelligently told within about 90 minutes, but the movie runs over 150 minutes, with two (or three) completely unnecessary songs. And scenes after the uprising, are comparatively better than the uprising itself or its build up.

Cinematography too was terrible. Mr. Gowariker who gave us movies like Lagaan and Swadesh have taken many steps backwards with this movie. His selection of subject was good. But it all went wrong, from scripting and casting onwards.

The best plus, for me, was a track which played during the titles and also for some part during the beginning. It looked very new, genuine and very Indian and to the theme.

Also if not for this movie, I would have remained ignorant about this small chapter from the Indian Independence struggle.