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HUM JEE JAAN SEY MOVIE REVIEW
by : Behindwoods review board
Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and
Ajay & Sanjeev Bijli and Sunitha Gowariker
Chittagong Uprising is a relatively unknown
episode in Indian history. Ashutosh Gowariker
deserves a special word of appreciation
for having chosen an inspiring story and
presented it on screen. Though he has
directed historical and periodic movies
like Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar,
remains his most patriotic movie thus far as it was
a contemporary take on love for the country.
In KHJJS, a youngster asks his friend what Vande Maataram
means. Though a few of them remain ignorant, one of
them says "Vande Maataram... bolne me acha lagta
hai na? (isn't it nice to say it?). This comes from
the heart of a director, a person who realises that
today's youngsters know more about Western history
than ours. KHJJS is an adaptation of Manini Chatterjee's
'Do and Die'.
It is about Surjya Sen (Abhishek) and his aides who
decide to attack the heart of the ruling British in
Chittagong by planning simultaneous attacks in 5 places
on April 18, 1930. By recruiting an army of revolutionaries,
the attacks are made possible by shrewd planning.
But little do they know that an obstacle awaits them
at the time of the attacks. Do they succeed in their
quest? What happens to Surjya Sen and his young group
of associates who volunteered to sacrifice their lives
for the freedom of India? Find the answers by watching
the movie only in cinema halls!
Ashutosh is among a rare breed of directors who relentlessly
gives us movies by digging our treasured history.
Here again, he brings the charm of Chittagong in Goa
through some meticulous research. Watch the end credits
and you will know why! Since most of us are not aware
or have read Manini Chatterjee's novel, it will not
be prudent to judge if KHJJS is a pure adaptation.
But one feels that Ashutosh slips a little with an
incoherent screenplay, especially in the first half.
What irks here is the postcard-perfect shots, whiter-than-white
kurtas of the leads and well delivered stage-perfect
dialogues. Though the art direction and detailing
are perfect, you somehow fail to connect with the
The second half is gripping and definitely coveys
what the director first set out to do. The intense
struggle of the bravehearts, the British's carnivorous
search for the revolutionaries and the eventual happenings
make you sit up and move forward with the narrative.
Music in such historical movies needs to be point
perfect. Sohai Sen's music is too amateurish and does
not appeal at all. It is often repetitive and fails
to conjure our instincts.
Occurrences in the first half are very sporadic. Dilip
Deo's editing could have been tight and slick. Dialogues
again seem to be very common and something which does
not evoke the right amount of patriotism. Scenes which
involve Abhishek to ignite fire in the revolutionaries
fall flat. If Deepika is called Kalpana in a scene,
she is 'Kolpona' in the other. The characters also
seem confused whether to speak Hindi or Bengali and
hence the authenticity is missing here.
Cinematography by Kiran Deohans and Seetha Sandhiri
are up to the mark. They bring the small village of
Chittagong to life with their dynamic shots. Art director
Nitin Chandrakant Desai must also be appreciated for
his work. A lot of effort has been spent in research
and to get the detailing in each shot right. Good
Performance-wise, Abhishek Bachchan is the biggest
disappointment of the lot. With his sober expressions
and sparkling-white kurta and dhotis, he cuts a sorry
figure. He fails to show the fire in his eyes to ignite
the passion in others. He seems happier to let others
steal the show with their performances. A rather uninspiring
leader! Deepika Padukone does well in the role given
to her. But the stand-out performances come from the
rest of the cast. Vishaka Singh as Pritilata is a
revelation. The emotions she displays in her eyes
are indeed nice. Sikhander Kher as Nirmal Sen steals
our heart with his performance and so do Mahinder
Singh, Shreyas Pandit and others. The young lads do
a handsome job as the 'krantikaris'.
Overall, KHJJS could have been hard-hitting if it
had a cohesive screenplay, inspiring music and compulsive
dialogues. In spite of all this, the movie must be
watched for one person: Ashutosh Gowariker. His tenacious
passion for showcasing Indian history must be lauded.
The way he ignites the passion in the second half
definitely warrants a dekho.
Verdict: Salute the heroes, 80 years on! Vande
Ajay Bijli ,Ashutosh
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