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Golondaaj Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5

Golondaaj Movie Review : Golondaaj is a gritty film with ups and downs

First thing first, Dev’s performance in Golondaaj is perhaps his best ever. After years of criticism on his acting skills and Bengali diction, he has indeed delivered a captivating performance that reflects sheer hard work, both physically and acting-wise. He has faltered here and there. But let us accept that it is his film (and Dhrubo Banerjee’s, of course) and he has done justice to the character almost throughout his screen time.

The film gives a Lagaan-esque vibe. But it is not fictional. Biopics are definitely not Bengali film’s forte. And yet Golondaaj is a valiant effort with ups and downs. The strength of the film is the ethos of nationalism that is spread across faith, caste and creed. The angst, anger and hatred that patriotic revolutionaries nursed in their hearts against the colonial rulers are reflected in the film throughout and in the right amount to ignite josh among the audience.

Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, who hails from a reformist family, dreams of defeating the British in their game of football in an era when Indians used to be whipped for touching the ball or even for merely observing a game. The saga shows his grit, heartbreaks and resurrection. As the film rightly reminds us of the old adage, ‘History is written by the victors and not by the vanquished,’ we can imagine what to expect. But the journey is, more often than not, thrilling and engaging.

But what really keeps us glued to our seats are great performances by almost all supporting actors — the team members, antagonists and even Ishaa Saha, who stays on screen for barely a few minutes and has very few dialogues. Her effortless chemistry with Dev is a treat to watch. Anirban Bhattacharya (senior) is also a show-stealer as a comical villain. Agnijit Sen steals heart with his fumbling yet unmistakable loyalty. Every member of the team leaves a defining mark, no matter how small their screen presence. Ujan Chatterjee deserves a very special mention. He is natural, both on stage and on screen. Indrasis Roy as Captain Jitendra displays an undeniable arrogance despite a late entry. One cannot help detest Alexx O-Neil as the British officer who wants to win the game by hook or by crook.

Golondaaj is loud, long and flabby. One should definitely question the use of certain songs, especially Vande Mataram, right in the middle of a crucial match. Felt totally unnecessary. Also, Shiva Shambhu, which introduces Anirban Bhattacharya to the audience, is very funny and out of place. The actor, however, performs pretty well. He also narrates the first bit of the film. Initially, the narration drags a tad longer than the visual presentation.

But Golondaaj is a gritty film that has to be enjoyed on a big screen. It gives people a perfect reason to return to theatres.

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