Jhund, a sports biographical drama, is written and directed by Nagraj Manjule. Amitabh Bachchan leads the film as sports coach Vijay Borade. It also Akash Thosar, Rinku Rajguru, and many others. The sports drama is based on the life of former sports coach Vijay Barse. Barse trained underprivileged kids to play football in Nagpur. He’s also the founder of NGO Slum Soccer. It is produced by T-Series, Tandav Films Entertainment Pvt Ltd and Aatpat Films. Manjule’s film is 178 minutes long.
Saket Kanetkar has given the background score, and the music is by Ajay-Atul. The cinematography is by Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti, and the film is edited by Kutub Inamdar and Vaibhav Dabhade.
Jhund Review: Plot Summary, Screenplay and More
Nagraj Manjule’s Jhund is set in Nagpur’s slum area. A group of young kids and teenagers from the slum steal, sniff whiteners and are involved in other illegal activities. They’re full of potential but don’t have the privilege to show the same. Their lives change when sports coach Vijay Borade decides to train them in football. He sees spark and great skills in these young people, which no one else saw.
With immense practice and zeal in their hearts, this young team of boys and girls dream of reaching the sky. In a world where people who live in slums aren’t allowed to cross the walls, they dream of flying high. But life is full of obstacles, and society has major discrimination. Not everyone is open to the idea of equality. What will happen if the walls are broken? We see the same in Manjule’s film.
Jhund has one of the longest opening scenes as the camera pans through the huge slum area of Nagpur. The person in focus is Ankush, one of the residents of the slum area. Those 10 minutes featuring Ankush and the rest of his gang are enough to fetch your attention. These kids/teenagers don’t see things as right or wrong and are only trying to survive with no opportunities.
Once’s Vijay Borade enters, these young people find a powerful purpose to live by. The more they practice and play soccer, the less they’re involved in stealing or gambling. The transition takes a long time to happen. But Nagraj has presented it entertainingly and engagingly.
Sairat director has provided us with lots of humour and sports scenes in the first half. He took the risk of showing us a football match sequence of almost 25-30 minutes. The lengthy sequence works in his favour as it’s thoroughly enjoyable. You root for these underdogs and are highly involved in the game as if it’s a real match happening on the screen. There’s great humour and match scenes in the appreciatively entertaining.
The second half of the film is where reality kicks in again. It’s intense, slow-paced and with additional drama. Nagraj Manjule has exposed society’s hypocritical and unjust behaviour through two different characters. But to understand it deeply, one needs to have enough patience. At times, the simultaneous narrative loses its grip.
Manjule shows how even in the 21st century, so many people are deprived of basic rights. Despite all the digital facilities and progressive India talks, thousands of people have no clue about their rights. It is truly the system’s fault that hasn’t changed in centuries. The drama intensifies when Amitabh Bachchan’s Vijay Borade delivers one of the best court scenes. In just a few minutes, Borade gives us the picture of real India, often hidden beyond the large walls. The privileged ones know it exists but aren’t aware of their reality because of these walls. Several hard-hitting and emotional scenes shed light on the dark reality.
Jhund’s cinematography also gives out the social message in various scenes. A Bird’s Eye View shows some young people playing at a school playground and misfits playing on a small ground in the slum area. The view is enough to show the staggering inequality in Nagpur and many big or small cities, towns, and villages.
Jhund Review: Performance
Coming to performances, Amitabh Bachchan is incredible as Vijay Borade. He’s taken a backseat and guides others to bring to rise high in life. The ensemble includes many real people from Nagpur who have done a brilliant job. They’re impeccable as soccer players, have an awesome sense of humour and leave you in tears with their stories. The music by Ajay-Atul truly enhances the energy required in a film like Jhund.
Jhund Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, Nagraj Manjule’s Jhund is an impactful film with an important message. It is beyond just a sports drama. It’s a powerful representation of social discrimination in modern India, where things seem fine only on the surface. The film has excellent cinematography, good dialogues and outstanding performances. After a long time, I’ve seen a film that is 178 minutes long, but so well-made and fantastic.
The film is releasing in theatres on March 4. Book your tickets here.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.