Jhund movie review: Amitabh Bachchan starrer hits a target with its sincerity and unfailing emotional appealAuthor: Yuvi March 5, 2022
Film: ‘Jhund’ (playing in theatre)
Duration: 178 minutes
Directed by: Nagraj Popatrao Manjule
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Chhaya Kadam, Priyanshu Kshatriya, Akash Thosar, Rinku Rajguru, Kishore Kadam and Ankush Gaydam
Retired football coach Vijay Borade’s (Amitabh Bachchan) ability to spot talent in a group of youngsters in a nearby slum and his strong belief that they can build a formidable football team, not just representing his country, Rather, you can also use your energy to improve your life. Giving up violence and drugs, and how he succeeds in his goal, is the crux of this three-hour film.
Nagraj Manjule’s ‘Jhund’ is not just a crowd of talented football players living in slums, but real people with real dreams and aspirations. Not drowning in self-pity, even if their life is full of hardships, they are portrayed as very few- ready to seize the opportunity that life offers them. Their honesty and simplicity are evident in the characters they essay.
Yes, the stories are tragic and their struggles are highlighted, but only to inspire as the film is replete with life lessons.
In his treatment of the subject, Manjule is focused and doesn’t waver with unnecessary backstories or entertainment tricks. He spends too much time detailing their lives and surroundings and making them incredibly real. In the bargain, these make for tedious viewing.
After Interval, the pace picks up and involuntarily takes you into the lives of its characters and their aspirations, making you empathize with them. The characters who overcome your obstacles and make it to the finishing line are totally captivated by you.
The film can be called a sports film but in fact it is an inspirational one. It instills a sense of patriotism, focuses on emancipation, and has a good factor in it.
The film is heart touching, drenched in many emotional moments. The adrenaline rush in a college vs slum living football match is as real as the time Don aka Ankush Meshram, gets his passport at the last minute and reaches the airport just in time.
Although subtle references are made to the Dalit residents of the slum, especially in the festive scene, nowhere are aspects of caste dramatically highlighted.
Vijay Borade is nowhere to be seen larger than life. He is very relatable. Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Borade, a character based on the life of Vijay Barse, a retired sports professor who founded an NGO called Slum Soccer, strikes a chord in your heart. His portrayal is not only natural, but extremely believable and endearing. His emotional appeal to the Lady Judge on behalf of the slum dwellers is painfully reminiscent of her charisma and oratory skills.
All the other ensemble cast gave pitch-perfect performances considering the characters they were playing. They see and feel their part with ease. Showcasing versatility as an actor, Ankush Geedam as Don is endearing because of his vulnerability. Akash Thosar- is presented in a new avatar, and Rinku Rajguru also makes his mark.
The music effectively captures and enhances the essence of the film and is almost characteristic of Manjule’s films.
All in all, ‘Flock’ reinforces the belief that even the impossible can be achieved if the intention is good and there is conviction, and when the slum kids go abroad for the World Championship League, you just let them know. Don’t see it as a crowd.