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Chittagong (2012)

 -  Action | Drama | War  -  12 October 2012 (India)
7.3
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Set in the turbulence of the 1930s British India, a 14 year old boy, Jhunku, and his journey to find where he belongs. For the first time in Indian history, the British army is defeated by ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Surya Sen (as Manoj Bajpai)
Barry John ...
Wilkinson
Delzad Hiwale ...
Jhunku Roy
...
Pritilata Waddedar
...
Nirmal Sen
Rajkummar Rao ...
Lokenath Bal (as Raj Kumar Yadav)
Jaideep Ahlawat ...
Anant Singh
...
Jhunku Roy
Dibyendu Bhattacharya ...
Ambika
Vishal Vijay ...
Ganesh Ghosh
...
Charles Johnson
Anurag Arora ...
Ahsanullah
Sauraseni Maitra ...
Chaiti Ghosh ...
Paritosh Sand ...
Nilesh Roy
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Storyline

Set in the turbulence of the 1930s British India, a 14 year old boy, Jhunku, and his journey to find where he belongs. For the first time in Indian history, the British army is defeated by a ragtag army of schoolboys and their teacher, Masterda. Called a traitor by his peers, and let down by a man he trusts, Jhunku impulsively joins the movement. As his world is turned upside down, Jhunku is forced to confront his self-doubts. As the leaders of the movement are progressively caught or killed, Jhunku battles against seemingly insurmountable odds to win a victory of his own. The film is an exciting action-drama, made more so by the fact that it is true. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Ordinary Boys, Extraordinary Triumph

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Action | Drama | War

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12 October 2012 (India)  »

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User Reviews

 
An honest independent film that deserves applause...
14 October 2012 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Going through the pages of history I used to think that India is filled with rich historical events and characters yet we hardly see them being made into compelling cinema. While foreign countries have churned great cinema out of their history, India has taken the back-seat. Somehow the interesting historical events are never turned into engaging films barring few. With growing empathy towards our own history the film-makers are showing no interest as market value seems to be turkey. Yet there are people like Bedabrata Pain, a genius Nasa scientist who dared to follow his passion making a great film of courageous men who symbolizes triumph of human spirit.Earlier a film made on similar events by Gowariker(Khelien Hum Jee Jan Se) was naive and childish attempt.

Chittagong uprising is an important incident in Indian freedom struggle led by a school master Surjo Sen. The uprising was of more significance as his army mainly consisted of teenage school students thus making more impact in creating a national uproar. But the film doesn't pivot on Masterda neither it's a homage in memorial of all the martyrs involved in it. Instead it focuses on Jhunku who is narrating his experience of the Chittagong revolution and after getting released from Kalapani how he created a movement involving peasants. The film ends with the footage of real Jhunku (in his early 80s) showing the passion and research work done behind making of the film.Recently no other historical film comes close to Chittagong in terms of authenticity and honesty.

Probably one has seen it in Gowariker's version but Pain's execution brings in layers to the characters. Those revolutionaries were but human it the end. They had weaknesses and fear of failures which are captured with precision. The revolutionaries are portrayed as mortal with strong will power and self-belief. MasterDa's characterization is flawless and the strategic depth in the movement comes out effortlessly through the proceedings. The masterstroke of the screenplay (Co-written by Shonali Bose) is telling the whole story through the eye of a boy named "Jhunku". Through his eyes we build an image of Masterda, NirmalSen, Preetilatha and other revolutionaries of his gang. With people already aware of the fate of Masterda, Jhunku's angle gave a fresh perspective for audience viewing. Brownie points must be given to the writers for showcasing the human side of the British officers. Barry John's character shows inner conflict which is too evident from being a family man. Anurag Aurora as Ahsanaullah & AllexO'neil as Johson depicted sadism with perfection.

Pain excels in his directorial debut. His style of execution should be a lesson to film-makers, even those who are directing for over years but still fails to show any spark. The film gives ray of hope to all of us, that making an honest effort is more important than success or failure. After all leaving NASA to make a film on this uncharted territory speaks volume about the person. Pain also got ample support from his technical team. Eric Zimmerman's cinematography is brilliant. The way he had captured the forest terrains helped the audience to visually stretch back to the era of 1920s. With ample support from teams of Production Design (dependable SamirChanda), Costume design (NeelanjanaGhose) and Art Direction ( AmitRoy) the realistic feel of the freedom struggle is aptly created, reliving those days of uprising. Aldo Velasco's editing deserves mentioning. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music flows with the narrative."Ishaan" -nice composition and with the tragic history behind the song one can't help but to admire the spirit of the director who is an inspiration to many.It's difficult to move ahead with life after such a tragedy.

The film boasts of some finest actors of contemporary cinema. ManojBajpayee fits in as MasterDa and again surprised us with his abilities. NawazuddinSiddiqui is getting is due after a long struggle and showing meteoric rise with meaningful cinema. After GOW, Siddiqui sparkled as Nirmal Sen in this film. He is one of the rare actors of current cinema who can emote with his whole body. RajKumarYadav as Lokenath Bal and Jaideep Ahlawat as Anant Singh are superb. All these four seem to carry the energy of GOW (though Chittagong was shot much before GOW). Delzad Hiwale should be given standing ovation for his portrayal of Jhunku who is awestruck by Masterda and gradually becomes part of the revolution. His transformation from a shaky rich kid to a rebel with a cause has been textured with perfection. Another find of this film is Vega Tamotia who played the role of Preetilata has flawless expressions. Veteran Barry John adds human value to Wilkinson who is serving the queen and at the same time is empathetic to Jhunku. Vijay Verma as older Jhunku leaves good impression. Dibyendu Bhattacharya (last seen as chunni in DevD) is brilliant as Ambika and should get more opportunities in future. Overall the huge supporting cast are as fine tuned as the leading cast.

With people's apathy towards our own history more such Chittagong needs to be made so that we can at least feel pride in something which has been long lost with corruption. Chittagong also reflects triumph of human spirit at every level. Chittagong also boosts such independent film makers to come with their own style and start a new wave in Hindi cinema.Kudos to Anurag Kashyap,Pranay Roy for supporting this brilliant independent cinema which was made 3 years back and got subdued by the biggies of the business.

Immediate Box office might not be huge; but it will go down in the history as a brilliant film that fought all odds to get release.It also shows a new angle to freedom struggle, scanning unknown characters from the page of history books to reality. The film is a must watch for cine-lovers, history-lovers and all who wants to know about bunch of fearless,self-sacrificing young souls who can inject ray of hope to the new generation & helps in becoming strong, righteous characters.


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