It seems lately I have been only watching movies with Abhishek Bachchan in them. It is not a conscious decision, but then again I’m not complaining since I have said it time and again that he remains one of the most underrated actors in the Indian Film Industry.
Ashutosh Gowarikar's Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is a lesson in history, and that too quite a good one. What works for the film is that it is stays true to its roots and isn't stylized or sensationalized. There is one and only one star in the film and that is the story. It's quite clear that a considerable amount of research went into the making of the film. Based on the Chittagong uprising of 1930 the film tracks the lives of a number of individuals as they plan and execute an attack again the oppressive British in their eastern Indian town of Chittagong. The featured rebellion has a special part in India's freedom struggle because this time children as young as 14 years and women were also part of this attack. Looking at the real life photographs of the prominent characters featured in the film during the end credits did make me realize the importance of freedom that we take for granted and too an extent the fight against corruption going on in India right now.
Ashutosh Gowarikar has proved with Jodha Akhbar and Laagan that he can handle period films quite well. There is detail and importance given to the sets and the clothing to make the environment and feel of the movie genuine.
Considering the number of characters and the fast moving story there really isn't time enough to evaluate the acting. Abhishek Bachchan playing the leader and school teacher Surjya Sen along with Deepika Padukone's Kalpana Dutta has a certain underrated elegance throughout the film. Everyone does a decent job and brings out authenticity to their respective characters. The junior artists brilliantly bring about the innocence in their characters that also covers up the sketchy acting at times. Amongst the seniors notably the physical transformation in Sikander Kher is commendable. The movie not only has prominence as a historical event, but even works as a thriller, almost to an extent like Munich wherein the happenings before and after the actual event are equally important.
I highly recommend the movie to everyone who is in any way linked to India just to appreciate the freedom that we all enjoy. For everyone else, it is a well made movie and works for anyone interested in historical events. 4/5 Stars for this patriotic piece of cinema.