6 November 2019 | SHSandh
Worth a watch; Based on true events; Well crafted; Bit hurried in the end; Background crooning was jarring
The movie narrates true events. It deals with the armed revolt in the 1930s, against the British rulers in Chittagong, executed by a master with the participation of school boys. Subsequently, there was also a peasant uprising in the same town, led by one of the school boys, against these British rulers.
The movie is not jerky, awkward, hurried or too slow.
However, it has taken up disproportionately more time in narrating the armed revolt and its aftermath; less time has been given to the later peasant uprising which happened in order to regain the food-grains forcibly commandeered by the Britishers.
This 'peaceful' peasant uprising was equally interesting and should have been detailed better. There are no scenes of how much has been commandeered by the British, what was the layout map of their location vis-a-vis the food-grains godown, how they planned the tunnel routes, how they planned the digging teams, how the teams actually dug the tunnels, the travails of digging the tunnels secretly, time frames involved, the general heroism of it all. The narrative was cursory here.
There was an immediate reason for the peasants to rise against the Britishers as their lands, crops and food-grains had been forcibly commandeered by them. However, it is not clear what particular events triggered the master in Chittagong to plan a revolt. The movie could have shed some light on that. If there were no particular events which triggered, then the movie could have explored how a widespread wave of resistance to the Britishers was building up in the entire country, and how the Chittagong folks were not unaffected.
Delzad Hiwale (as the young Jhunku) has acted very well. Nawazuddin Siddique, Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao are well known actors and did well in this movie. However, a common observation for all these four actors (and particularly Manoj Bajpayee) is that their facial expressions were not so nuanced.
Vega Tamotia (as Pritilata Waddedar) acted well and also used facial expressions more.
All the actors in the movie have acted well. There was no amateurishness anywhere.
The good costumes did a lot in creating the period story effect in the movie. Apparently, a lot of care has been taken here. This whole thing was quite pleasing. Kudos to the Costume Designer Nilanjana Ghose.
The film location was apt, with the villages, the rural folk, the thick jungle, the rocky terrain, the single railway line and the deserted road lined with thick foliage.
This is a film production of high calibre, with good homework all around. The movie has mostly Indian actors and Indians in key non-acting roles. Only the Cinematographer and the Editor appear to be non-Indians.
It was a bit incredulous to see two bicycling policemen approaching the secret training ground inside the forest, where training to fire a rifle was being given to the school boys, and not hear the noise of the firing.
The music (songs) composing team of Shankar-Ehsan-Loy is quite popular in Bollywood. But, their extensive crooning in the background was inconsequential and jarring. This was a put-down and gave a Bollywood-like effect to an otherwise well crafted movie.