Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey: The film has an interesting ensemble cast of young boys.
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sikandar Kher, Vishakha Singh
Direction: Ashutosh Gowariker
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes
Rating:***1/2( 3.5 out of 5)
Ashutosh Gowariker may have hit the headlines with films like Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar, but there is one film of his which looms large in terms of cinematic excellence. And that is the less successful Swades which peddled patriotism as the need of the hour; but it did it ever so softly, subtly andsensitively…Still remember it! Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey echoes a similar theme in a similar tenor. It celebrates the sentiment of desh-bhakti, yet once again with a sense of refinement.
The high point of Gowariker’s film is the fact that it combines high-octane drama with a high degree of restraint. The film unfolds like a relentless thriller with loads of action involving the band of revolutionaries as they go about their bloody business. Yet no one hollers the national anthem at youor grows hysterical with patriotic pulp. Instead, the director gently salutes the spirit of nationalism in a seminal scene where the bunch of teenage revolutionaries discover the hypnotic allure of a hymn like `vande mataram’ while resting under the shade of the trees in their village. And the fact that it all begins with a bid to get back their football field makes the teenage uprising even more endearing.
The film has an interesting ensemble cast of young boys who enlist in their local school teacher’s (Abhishek Bachchan) desi army. Abishek’s Bachchan’s Surjya Sen is simple, uncluttered and played straight from the heart as are Deepika Padukone’s Kalpana Dutta, Vishakha Singh’s Pritilata Waddedar and Sikandar Kher’s Nirmal Sen. Like the revolution, the romance too is underplayed and both Deepika and Vishakha create a smouldering, yet silent ardour on screen for their respective heroes. For there isn’t much time — and opportunity — for love under the shadow of the bullet and the bomb, is there? The film maker has tried to recreate the 1930s Chittagong in Goa, but the authenticity of the period piece doesn’t suffer. Both the styling and the cinematography of the film exhibit an eye for detail. But it is the director’s narrative style and his attempt to re-tell history through a racy-pacy tenor that gives the film its movement and manages to drive the message home.
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey helps you rediscover forgotten heroes — and a forgotten sentiment — at a time when a scam-tainted nation needs to celebrate the national sentiment the most.