Smita Srivastava, Mumbai. Jhund English Review : Right guidance is needed to make life better. There is a scene at the end of the film in which the airplane is taking off and it is written on the outer wall of the airport below that it is strictly forbidden to cross this wall. Across the wall is a dense slum. Nagraj Popatrao Manjule, through Jhund, has symbolically raised the voice of the downtrodden of the slums who barely get a chance to break the shackles imposed by the society and soar high in the sky. The film is inspired by the life of sports coach Vijay Barse, who founded the NGO ‘Slum Soccer’. Through this NGO, Vijay has enriched the lives of slum children by popularizing football.
The story begins with the activities of the youth living in the slum. They go out on bikes in a herd and on the way, they clean their hands on the chains of women’s necks, mobiles of passers-by. Stole coal from goods train. Some of them pick up garbage or even sell ganja. Some are also addicted to drugs. Although no one is more educated than the fifth in the name of education, but the hairstyle is no less than a film hero. The protagonist of the group is Don aka Ankush Masran (Ankush Gedam) whose father is an alcoholic and mother is a householder. Once while leaving the back gate of the school in the rain, sports coach Vijay Borade (Amitabh Bachchan) sees a bunch of slum dwellers playing football with plastic boxes. Vijay’s retirement is near. He offers to give five hundred rupees to these children for playing football for half an hour every day. In the greed of money, they agree to play. Vijay has good intentions behind getting addicted to playing football. How do these children change after joining sports? What kind of difficulties does Vijay have to face in order to be successful in his cause. How Don’s past becomes a hindrance in his sports career, the story moves forward with these episodes.
The story, screenplay, dialogues and direction of Jhund, releasing in theaters on March 4 (Friday), is by Nagraj Popatrao Manjule. He has also acted in the film. Manjule had earlier directed the Marathi film Sairat based on the honor killing issue released in 2016. Like Sairat, Jhund is also his masterpiece. Nagraj has depicted very deeply the life of the people living in the slum, their difficulties, dreams, problems and the thinking of the outside world towards them. The film progresses in a straight way before the interval. Watching the on-screen football match between the slum patti and the college kids, it seems that the match is actually going on. The spectators are anxious about winning or losing. The reactions of the slum dwellers present in the audience are portrayed in a very interesting way. Similarly, the scene of Don’s security check at the airport says a lot without dialogue. The song Aaya Ye Jhund Hai.. Karnpriya Hai is composed by Ajay Atul.
Amitabh Bachchan has played the role of Vijay Borade with gusto. His fans of all ages will love this movie. Most of the cast of the film are budding and slum dwellers and everyone’s work is remarkable. He doesn’t look fake on screen. Ankush Geedam in the role of Don has appropriately imbibed the character’s mood, passion for the game and sufferings. ‘Sairat’ fame Akash Toshar and Rinku Rajguru are also part of the story. Akash fits as the villain.
While depicting the bitter reality, this film laughs and shakes at some places. Despite the long duration, you stick with the story. In a scene in the film, Amitabh Bachchan’s character says that beyond the walls of schools, colleges and universities, there is a huge India that we have to think about. The message is clear that if directionless children get the right guidance, their lives can also be transformed and they can become a part of the mainstream. There are dialogues in Marathi at some places in the second half of the film. His expressions can be easily understood, but it should be subtitled in Hindi.
Movie review: Jhund
Main Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ankush Gedam, Akash Toshar, Rinku Rajguru, Ganesh Deshmukh
Directed by: Nagraj Popatrao Manjule
Duration: 178 minutes
Star: Three and a half