A movie on Lal Bahadur Shastri could have not come at a better time. Delhi elections with Congress practically being annihilated, Pakistan on a constant breach of cease-fire… and Indians slowly forgetting the contribution of farmers to the economy in their rush to see India become a superpower. For the slow ones… Shastri was one of the people who strengthened the Congress party and ensured it got majority in the elections of 1945; he was the PM who signed the peace treaty with Pakistan in Tashkent in 1965 after India defeated them… and his remarkable idea – the slogan Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan that inspired farmers to work harder and provide to what was over 70 percent of the entire Indian economy!
Well, he was an inspiring person. And when you hear of a film being made on such a person you expect it to be mildly inspiring at least! Alas!
While the flaws could be discussed on various aspects, the more important discussion would probably be if this should be called a movie at all! The name may have been drawn from Shastri’s slogan but the film’s script in no way derives from that. It rather punches in a whole lot of incidents that have no meaning in the larger context of the film. For example, it will remain a mystery why they needed an Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh sub plot when it has no resonance in Shastri’s journey.
Here’s a theory – Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan is a crowd-funded project. Unlike in other film, where contributors get producer credits, here they just got to act. There could have not been a proper reason for most actors to be in the film otherwise.
On a more serious note, the screenplay is so disjointed that this film should have never been made. And the abysmal production values makes things only worse. They have got the entire setting wrong, which is of utmost importance in a period film. Even some recent Youtube videos have been shot better!
The acting is as awful. Prem Chopra’s voice was clearly dubbed by someone else. Om Puri as Rajendra Prasad is the only person who actually puts in an effort.
It is a pity that an ex Prime Minister of India is subjected to such a biopic. We should all collectively apologize to his family if that could makes things better. Or maybe there would be one brave writer in Bollywood who could take up the task of making a script that deserves the title Jai Jaawan Jai Kisaan. Because this ‘film’ certainly does not deserve a ticket sold… leave alone being called a biopic on India’s second Prime Minister, and someone who had the heart to send his own kids on public transport while he was the country’s most important man!
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