Jhund Movie Review : A sports film which tells you a lot about the game of lifeModified On: 03 March 2022 | Reviewed By: Team Moviekoop
Storyline: Former sports coach Vijay Barse invests his time and hard-earned money to train underprivileged kids in football, to keep them away from drugs and crimes seeded in Nagpur’s underbelly.
REVIEW: Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s JhundJhundis not exactly a sports biopic, though it follows the usual beats of a good sports drama. The film is a commentary on what we as a society can do to help the poor identify their plus points and cross the boundary to leap onto the other, brighter side. Amitabh’s Vijay Borade (modeled on Vijay Barse, a retired sports professor Vijay Barse, who has trained countless street kids in football and formed an NGO Slum Soccer) speaks adequately about it is a crucial part of the film, set in Nagpur’s bylanes, shot wonderfully (Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti).
Although the film begins at a modest pace, it picks upwind in no time. Vijay Borade is on the cusp of retirement from his job as a sports professor in college, but in no mood to hang his boots yet. He’s motivated enough to conduct adult education classes in his house for the locals at his own expense. The opposition from his son, aiming for education abroad, is evident but understated. When kids in a neighbouring slum catch Vijay’s attention while playing football with a plastic Barrell, he begins to coach them in the game, which gradually distracts them from their life which is riddled with crime and drug addiction. But how far does he really go? Do they all give up their life in the dark alleys of crime and addiction? Do some of them or all of them get a chance to leap onto the other side? All this and more is answered through in around three and a half-hour film.
As a writer and director, Nagraj Popatrao Manjule manages to hold one’s attention for the most part of the film, however, the pace slackens in the second half. Also, what one does rue is that the pre-interval is high on energy and the post-interval run is high on drama – a balance there could have earned some more positive points. There is a smattering of some colourful characters in the first half which adds to the energy and even induces humor. While the narrative moves addressing several issues, there is adequate effort to show some engaging on-field sports, too. The arcs and story-loops for every spotlighted character have been crafted well, but focussed editing could have rendered more credibility.
One of the centerpieces of the film is the subtlety with which several issues including caste divide, societal judgments, class difference, economic difference, and women’s education and rights are interspersed into the screenplay. But some of these issues divert the attention of the proceedings, breaking the overall rhythm of the story.
Amitabh Bachchan is a retired sports professor who, despite hurdles and financial shortcomings, invests himself and his hard-earned money to protect and nurture kids from the slums of Nagpur. Here again, he has perfect and complete command on every scene where he appears - never overshadowing his team of players. What also gets your attention is the confidence with which over a dozen kids and young adults, like Ankush (also Don/Ankush in the film) perform. They hold your attention well. Rinku Rajguru and Aakash Thosar (seen in Nagraj’s Sairat), despite smaller screen time, lend able support to the rest of the cast.
Jhund is a dramatic sports film, which may not have thrilling moments around every corner but the point it tries to drive home will definitely touch one's conciseness.
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