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JHUND - A decent film about the social inequalities, promoted with deceiving trailers. (Review by Bobby Sing)

08 Apr, 2022 | Just In / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / J / Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

Jhund is the fourth project from writer director Nagraj Popatrao Manjule, inspired by the real-life instances of Vijay Barse, a retired sports professor. It comes post his much-appreciated Fandry, the blockbuster Sairat and a brilliant section of the anthology Unpaused: Naya Safar. The real-life icon (it is based upon) brought forward football players from the slum, introducing slum-football, and Jhund is all about their collective struggle, fighting against the odds.
Though the film falls short of all the expectations raised from its deceiving trailers, it still works, commenting upon the wide inequalities in our society both in terms of education and opportunities available for the talented youngsters. Slickly shot focusing on the life in the slums, its basic vision gets depicted by a school wall that separates the school playground from the adjacent slum region and has a locked gate that never gets opened for the poor kids.
It’s an appreciable attempt as it has an interesting premise and some engaging sequences showcasing the confused or dual mindset of the slum-kids dealing with the bigger opportunity provided to them by Vijay. Thankfully, Nagraj presents their life as it is with no glossy display of poverty. Besides, the film has worth watching performances by Amitabh Bachchan and the young non-actors along with Rinku Rajguru and Aakash Thosar (the Sairat couple), who are impressive in their limited scenes.
However, despite the above merits, Jhund sadly isn’t any upbeat film with bubbling energy as depicted in its promos. It has an uneven pace and music, trying to tackle too many issues together, leaving a lesser impact. For instance, just the plot of slum kids proving themselves as Indians, getting their official papers for submission, could have resulted in a much engrossing film. 
On the other hand, it also becomes a victim of wrong promotion as a football-based film with a heroic coach, unnecessarily raising a distinct set of expectations from the film as a sports drama. Giving you the actual picture, Jhund is neither an outright sports movie, missing the related thrills, nor it has Amitabh Bachchan playing Vijay-the angry old man, as projected in the trailers (using the slow-motion). Strangely, there were even write-ups on the net with the phrases like ‘return of Vijay’ and more before the release of the film, creating a false hype.
Amitabh plays his role without any shouting or over-enthusiasm, respecting the age factor. But the best part is that he allows all the youngsters to perform, with no attempt to overshadow them or taking the limelight in any scene. Ironically, the same might disappoint the fans, willing to watch him as the angry old Vijay on the screen. Also, his role certainly deserved much more layered characterisation and attention being the anchor of the film.
Another highlight of Jhund is the way Manjule thoughtfully incorporates symbolism in his scenes, like Ankush (the Don) never parting with his blade, the slum gang with members from all religions (including a Sikh), people dancing to DJ music on the truck having the big portrait of B. R. Ambedkar and Bollywood icons taking part in the function. With these sequences, Manjule continues to convey his social and political ideology, as seen in his previous ventures.
Hence, Jhund might not be as exciting as per the promises made, but it still has its moments and deserves to be seen for its subject and the youngsters in particular. The film takes its time to get you involved but then gradually pulls you in through its novel characters and technical finesse, ending on a spirited note. So, watch it expecting nothing exceptional from the director of Fandry and Sairat. 
On a concluding note, Jhund is a message-oriented project that says a lot about our social structure and its evident inequalities pointing towards the much-desired change. However, it might be disappointing in terms of entertainment, if seen as a sports-based drama. 
Rating : 3 / 5
(Released in Theaters) 

Tags : JHUND Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing
08 Apr 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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