Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se - Review

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se certainly evokes emotion. Even if it's only towards the end. By climax time if you don't want bad things to happen to the characters, however small their roles were, something has gone right somewhere. Only, I wish it got me involved right from the beginning. On the other hand, the closing credits themselves made the film for me, doubt they would have worked if I had not seen the story that was told before them. So yeah, mixed feelings because of the execution, and because it's a perfect history lesson. A must-know story with dull narration.



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Wogma Review

A chapter in history that begins with the geography of the country. The classroom effect is hard to shake off and is made only more difficult with Abhishek Bachchan digressing from a Math lesson straight into a mini-lecture on revolution. After this lame sequence, I didn't know whether I'd laugh or cry for the next 2.5 hours; all while the cast/crew wanted to inspire. The audience around me was laughing. And that grew louder with Deepika Padukone's entry. The lady just breaks into a song! BUT, things settle down. It's not that the unintentional laughter dies, but slowly, very slowly you are hooked. And it goes into 5th gear post-interval. The execution of the plan is engaging, despite the complete lack of depth in characters.

There are some 60 odd revolutionaries, about 7-8 main ones. But none of them have any distinguishing character. They are all willing to give their lives for the cause, they all care for each other with heart and soul, they all want to make whatever little contribution they can. Maybe in that time and age the mob identity was their personal identity. And yet, the reactions by different people to the same situation is both eye-opening and touching. You will have to wait for the second half to see this though.

Director, Ashutosh Gowariker's plan to keep the set-up of the grand plan in the first half, and focus on execution and aftermath in the second half is a huge dampener to the pace. The portrayal of the aftermath is the most interesting and well-executed part of the film and the end credit roll is as good as it could get.

Another decision that either the director or the writer made is to assume that the viewer knows the history and the backdrop of the Chittagong conspiracy. This decision is what kept me from getting involved. Also, the narrative is like a father is telling a story to his son, "this happened, then that happened, then this happened". A flow is missing. A little background, a little rhythm to get the viewer into the atmosphere that the characters were living in would have made me care for the characters much sooner.

And despite that, I was on board by the end. And that I think is what a good basic plot can do. As you realize by the end, there is no great dialogue, no room for brilliant performances, and yet you are with the characters. The pathos created in the last third of the film has gone a long way in doing that. So many characters and each is given its own room in the true story and thus in the film. So much so that, in this star-driven world of Hindi cinema, you don’t see either Abhishek Bachchan or Deepika PAdukone get in the way of their characters (until the end, where I guess they had to justify Abhishek's fee). And they all do just fine.

They were crazy. Anyone who leaves the comfort of their home and fights for a cause that is not necessarily theirs has to be crazy. They fought for our freedom. Who is to say that the struggle, which lasted a few centuries, wouldn’t have gone on for 80 more years? Who's to say we wouldn't have to stay out of the McDonalds and the multiplexes along with their dogs? We don't know why they were so passionate about our freedom, but they were. The least we can do is be aware of their story. So what if it's not told in the most engrossing manner.

Not screwing up our freedom that they were eccentric about is too much to ask for, right?

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and some gore too. But it's a lesson from our bloody history after all
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: That of our struggle for independence
  • General Look and Feel: An attempt to give a rugged feeling

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 3.5
  • Lead Actors: 2.5
  • Character Artists: 2
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 3.5

Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se - Movie Details

Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se - Trailer

Comments (11)

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Swetha :

Excitement apart, don't you think the posters look uncannily like Lagaan? 11-12 people standing in a line together, as if revolting! The flavour is the same, the title is just creepily lending to this thought of mine. Lagaan could've have been called that.

When I first saw the poster, I was like, "Who's this ape trying to make a Lagaan?" and then I saw the director's name. Gulp. Maybe it's just me. But for my sake I hope there's a different in the treatment.


@swetha actually, it looks like any movie that is about reprisal. No? All I'm looking forward to is a non-romcom, non-nonsense-comedy, non-wannabe-action, non-hollywood-inspired, non-Bombay-underbelly film. :D


While I appreciate Gowariker's honesty towards the subject - he, Rajkumar Santoshi, Shyam Benegal are the select few who do justice to periodicals - KHJJS is his most thanda film, so far. The promos don't look interesting, they're devoid of great lines, and full of shouts of Vande Mataram, the cliche of every periodical made in India. But can't help, since he's being honest with history. Had this film been made in 1960, it would have been a blockbuster, but doubt if it works today. We need a revolutionary way of storytelling, something which Rakesh Mehra did in Rang De Basanti.

minesh modi:

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey Movie Review

This is a paragraph from our history books that filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker elects to expand into a full-fledged three-hour-long feature! His intention is very noble but sadly his execution of the narrative is not.


Shweta : The resemblance with Lagaan goes far beyond the poster. This was the story of the Chittagong Uprising forcefitted into the Lagaan mould.

Minesh : I wouldn't even credit Ashutosh with honesty of intention here. He's quite an experienced filmmaker and if his intentions were honest, he should have known that retrofitting a true story into the mould of a fictional one just because the struggle for independence was a common theme between both was not the right thing to do.

Any emotion that the film evokes is purely on the strength of the story itself and to some extent, the production values. But its a complete fail for Gowariker as a scriptwriter and a director.


@bollyfan regarding your reply to Swetha - what?! forcefitted in to Lagaan? How? Just because they interviewed to set up a team?

Yep! ALL emotion that the film evolved might have been based on the story ONLY. But what worked, worked. And you gotta give credit for that.

monty aggarwal:

This Post is very good ur site info is better

Indian movies lover:

Liked it. I am generally fan of truth based stories though and do not care for Abhishek as such....

pet insurance:

Really it's a awesome movie.Abhishek and deepeka done well job. twitter given Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se an average rating of 3.2/5.0. 30 yays, 16 days,


Bahut achhya hein. Very ncie blog. Good looking.

Reputation Management:

best patriotic movie ever I seen.Abhishek Bachchan or Deepika PAdukone get in the way of their characters.And they all do just fine.

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