JHUND is a superb social artist, whose writing, directing and performing are his main strengths.

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Jhund review {4.0/5} and rating

JHUND is the story of an atypical football team. Vijay Borade (Amitabh Bachchan) teaches at St John’s College. The educational institute is located next to a vast slum. The young people of this region are not very educated and do odd jobs to earn a living. They even resort to stealing jewelry, cell phones, and coal from moving trains. One day Vijay spots some of these youngsters like Ankush aka Don (Ankush Gedam), Babu (Priyanshu Kshatriya), Angel (Angel Anthony), Vishakha (Vishakha Uikey), Yogesh (Yogesh Uikey), Raziya (Rajiya Kazi) etc. football using an abandoned plastic box. He realizes that they have immense potential but are wasting their time committing crimes and using drugs. He goes to the slum the next day and meets these young people. He asks them to play football for 30 minutes. In exchange, he will pay them Rs. 500. They agree. They have a gala time and after completing their game, Vijay hands them Rs. 500 as promised. It lasts several days. One day, Vijay fails to show up on the ground. These children from the slums then go to his house. Vijay tells them that he has no more money to pay them. Slum children have become so attached to gambling that they accept to play without money. Gradually Vijay trains them and soon they become much better at their game. Vijay proposes to the principal of St John’s that these children be allowed to play a friendly match with the college football team. The director reluctantly agrees. The coach of the St John’s team (Kishor Kadam) despises these slum children. He pressures the team to score 10 goals and doesn’t let the slum team score a single goal. What happens next shapes the rest of the film.

The story of Nagraj Popatrao Manjule is splendid and nicely mixes sport and social message. Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s script is powerful. However, it keeps the entertainment paramount. Events get a bit heavy but never become depressing or overly gloomy; he knows where to draw the line. However, in several places the writing stretches. Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s dialogues are conversational and quite funny in places.

Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s management is top notch. There have been many movies in this space like CHAK FROM INDIA [2017]ABCD [2013]HICHKI [2018], etc Yet, we don’t have deja vu because Nagraj places it in a very real world and also because of the finer nuances. Its storytelling is supreme and entertaining, and the way it highlights certain social issues is considered believable. What’s great is that it doesn’t let it turn into niche fare. The symbolism he tried to convey in various places is easy to understand even for a mass audience. On the other hand, the movie is too long at 178 minutes. The introduction of the setting and the characters is quite long. Ideally, the film should be cut to around 20-30 minutes. The first half is quite powerful and the second half also has its share of gripping footage. The second half of the film takes on a different type of struggle from the slum team.

JHUND starts off on a high and Vijay’s first interaction with Ankush is too good. The scene where he pays the kids to play football adds to the fun. However, the film improves as the directors convincingly show how children get used to the sport and are now willing to invest time in it without any monetary return. The football match with the college team forms a large part of the first half and is quite exciting. The sequence where these children talk to Vijay about their lives is moving and brilliantly executed. After the interval, a few sequences stand out like the kids themselves cleaning up the college premises, Monika’s (Rinku Rajguru) struggle to get her passport, and the courtroom sequence. The climax is biting.

Amitabh Bachchan has delivered several performances of bravery during his long and illustrious career. Still, he stuns with his act in JHUND. He keeps his act restrained and it works really well. Ankush Gedam is a big surprise in the movie and gets some serious screen time. Priyanshu Kshatriya is hilarious as Babu. It raises the maximum of laughs. Yogesh Uikey is awesome in the scene where he plays the banjo. Rajiya Kazi is decent. Kishor Kadam is well into the antagonist role genre. Angel Anthony and Vishakha Uikey don’t have much range. The same goes for Bhushan Manjule (Raziya’s husband) and Chhaya Kadam (Vijay’s wife). Arjun Radhakrishnan (Arjun; Vijay Borade’s son) is fine and it is disconcerting how he returns to India to be with his father. Surat Limbo (Khelchand; peon turned footballer) is doing well. Ashish Khachane (Jagdish; suicidal person) is charming but his character suffers from the lack of story. Sayali Narendra Patil (Bhavana) is beautiful and passable. Nagraj Popatrao Manjule (Hitler) is lost. Manik Babulal Gedam (Monika’s father) is good. Suresh Vishvakarma (shop owner who is asked to help in the identification process) is funny. JHUND also stars SAIRAT actors Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar (Sambhya), and both perform very well.

Aamir Khan’s reaction to Jhund | Amitabh Bachchan | Nagraj Popatrao Manjule | Ajay-Atoul | Bhushan Kumar

Ajay-Atul’s music is decent. ‘Aaye Ye Jhund Hai’ is relegated to the background but stamps his foot. “Lafda Zala” is well turned and recalls one of ‘Zingat’ SAIRAT track. ‘Laat Maar’ and ‘Baadal Se Dosti’ are passable. Saket Kanetkar’s background score is much better and adds to the impact.

Sudhakar Yakkanti Reddy’s cinematography is fresh and the slum and football scenes in particular are very well captured. The production design of Snigdha Katmahe and Pankaj Shivdas Poal is very realistic. Priyanka Gayatri Dubey and Mahananda Sagare’s costumes aren’t glamorous as required by the script. Veera Kapur Ee’s costumes for Amitabh Bachchan are a bit dull but it goes with the character. The editing of Kutub Inamdar and Vaibhav Dabhade could have been tighter.

Overall, JHUND is a superb social artist, with Nagraj Popatrao Manjulewriting and directing, and performing being his strengths. At the box office, it has the potential to grow significantly as word of mouth is bound to be very positive. It also deserves tax-exempt status. Recommended!


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