FILM – Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on December 5, 2010 | No Comments
FILM – Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se
PRODUCER – Sunita Gowariker, Ajay Bijli, Sanjeev K Bijli
DIRECTOR – Ashutosh Gowariker
WRITER – Manini Chaterjee (Book), Ashutosh Gowariker, Raoul V. Randolph (Screenplay)
CAST – Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sikander Kher, Vishakha Singh, Samrat Mukherjee, Mahinder Singh
MUSIC – Sohail Sen
Based on the book ‘Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising’ by Manini Chaterjee, Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se does the memory and significance of the war of Independence and its valiant revolutionaries a gross injustice. Beginning from the bad casting decision to a shallow and documentary-ishyly amateur screenplay, the film has nothing going for it.
It is appalling to see a product so low on quality, cinematic value and overall entertainment appeal come from the hands of a director with a proven record like Ashutosh Gowariker. The film is the cinematic representation of the Chittagong Uprising of 1930 led by revolutionary Surjya Sen as detailed in the book mentioned above. It involved the looting and capturing of police outposts, telegraph office and armoury and other such centres of British administration to weaken their hold as a part of their plan. Touted as a much-patriotic film, it neither has its ideology in place nor the emotional fervour of one.
The pace of the film is the main villain. Interminably slow in build-up and even in drama and climax, the film drags on indulgently, reducing its impact in itself. The idyllic setting of pre-independence Chittagram is an illusion of reality with its correct structures, colours and textures but totally devoid of its people, lifestyles and culture, things that make a setting really real. The clothes are correct but lack the much-needed creases that give them character. The stern, trembling expressions of all the characters are correct but lack the depth and intensity of passionate revolutionaries. Acting is a nondescript department which suffers not only because of bad casting but also because of bad writing. There isn’t much to do or emote or express for flat characters written for flatter actors as Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone prove themselves to be in this film. The same goes for the rest of the cast all who struggle to emote with Sikander Kher leading boldly from the front.
The actors however, are not totally to blame. Sorely lacking a vision and direction, Ashutosh Gowariker skims on the surface of events, pausing to shed blood and make his actors heave and ho without a thought to much beyond. Banal dialogues couple with random and amateurish portrayal of situations such as the portrayal of the British as stereotyped, faceless whites giving cruel orders in crueller Hindi of English accents are alone enough to write off the film.
There are numerous gaps in the film which have nothing to do with the events. The randomness with which the climactic chase/hunt for the revolutionaries plays out is as insipid (because of the pace) as the initial planning and training. The role of the teen children as revolutionaries who recruit themselves mainly to get their playground back is limited to its cute shock value rather than explore the deep impact of a mission as dangerous yet innocent at the same time. And so on.
Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se speaks of a time in our history that has been wrongly forgotten. But it does so in such a way that very soon, the film will be forgotten too. Rightly so.