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Bollywood Film Review

‘Jhund’ is replete with life’s lessons

Post Interval, the pace picks up and unknowingly sucks you into the lives of its characters and their aspirations, making you empathise with them. Characters overcoming their obstacles and making it to the finishing line engrosses you completely…writes Troy Rebeiro

(Running in Theatres). Duration: 178 mins, Director: Nagraj Popatrao Manjule. Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Chhaya Kadam, Priyanshu Kshatriya, Akash Thosar, Rinku Rajguru, Kishor Kadam and Ankush Gedam. (Rating: ***)

Retired football coach Vijay Borade’s (Amitabh Bachchan) ability to spot talent in a bunch of youngsters in the slum nearby and his conviction that they could form a formidable football team, not only to represent their country but also channelise their energy to better their lives by giving up violence and drugs, and how he succeeds in his goal, forms the crux of this three-hour film.

Nagraj Manjule’s ‘Jhund’ is not just a motley crowd of talented football players residing in a slum, but real people with real dreams and aspirations. Not ones wallowing in self-pity even though their lives are full of hardships, they are portrayed as a lot- who are ready to seize the chance that life offers them. Their sincerity and ingenuity as the characters they essay are palpable.

Yes, the stories are sad and their struggles highlighted, but merely to inspire as the film is replete with life’s lessons.

While in his treatment of the subject, Manjule is focussed and does not waver, with unnecessary backstories or entertainment gimmicks. He spends too much time painstakingly detailing their lives and milieu and making them look unbelievably real. In the bargain, these make for tedious viewing.

Post Interval, the pace picks up and unknowingly sucks you into the lives of its characters and their aspirations, making you empathise with them. Characters overcoming their obstacles and making it to the finishing line engrosses you completely.

The film may be termed as a Sports film but is in reality, it is an inspirational one. It arouses patriotic fervour, focuses on emancipation, and has a feel-good factor throughout.

Imbued with several emotional moments the film is all heart. The adrenaline rush in the college versus slum dwellers football match is as real as the time when Don aka Ankush Meshram, receives his passport last minute and dashes to the Airport in the nick of time.

Although subtle references are made to the Dalit inhabitants of the slum, especially in the celebration’s scene, nowhere are the caste aspects dramatically highlighted.

Nowhere does Vijay Borade appear larger than life. He is immensely relatable. Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Borade, a character based on the life of a retired sports professor Vijay Barse, who founded an NGO called Slum Soccer, strikes a chord in your heart. Not only is his portrayal natural, but immensely believable and endearing. His emotional appeal to the Lady Judge on behalf of the slum dwellers is achingly reminiscent of his charisma and oratorical skills.

All the other ensemble cast deliver pitch-perfect performances, given the characters they are playing. They look and feel their parts effortlessly. Ankush Gedam as Don is lovable owing to his vulnerability, displaying versatility as an actor. Akash Thosar- is presented in a new avatar, and Rinku Rajguru too makes her mark.

The music effectively captures and enhances the essence of the film and is almost characteristic of Manjule’s films.

Overall, ‘Jhund’ reinforces that if the intent is good and convictions strong, the impossible can be achieved, and as the slum kids leave for the world championship league abroad, you no longer view them as just a crowd.

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Big B’s ‘Jhund’ to hit theatres on March 4

The movie is directed by Nagraj Popatrao Manjule…reports Asian Lite News

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s upcoming film ‘Jhund’ is all set to hit the theatres on March 4.

‘Jhund’ is a sports film based on the life of Vijay Barse, the founder of NGO Slum Soccer. It also features Akash Thosar and Rinku Rajguru.

In the film, Bachchan plays a professor who motivates the street children to form a football team.

The movie is directed by Nagraj Popatrao Manjule.

It is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Raaj Hiremath, Savita Raj Hiremath, Nagraj Manjule, Gargee Kulkarni and Meenu Aroraa under the banner of T-Series, Tandav Films Entertainment & Aatpat.

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Big B roped in as brand ambassador of Legends Cricket League

When it comes to the legends space, you cannot think of a larger and more appropriate name to be your ambassador. Bachchan is a global icon and revered by all… N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

The Legends Cricket League, a professional cricket league for retired international cricketers, has named Amitabh Bachchan as its league ambassador.

“I am absolutely looking forward to the Legends League Cricket celebrating the Legends of Cricket from all across the world, bringing back the old rivalries for us to relive the nostalgia. It is a great opportunity for all cricket fans to get an opportunity to see them play live again,” Amitabh Bachchan said.

Raman Raheja, CEO of Legends League Cricket, said, “We are honoured to have Amitabh Bachchan with us. When it comes to the legends space, you cannot think of a larger and more appropriate name to be your ambassador. Bachchan is a global icon and revered by all. He is also a big sports buff and elevates the stature of our League to gigantic proportions.”

“I have had the opportunity to play cricket in my younger days and then also commentate with some of the greats of the game but now to become the face of such a wonderful initiative is an incredible feeling. To have these Legends of the game who have given such beautiful moments of happiness and pride always, back on the field again is exhilarating. Legends League Cricket will definitely present itself as an excellent opportunity for the legends and their ardent fans like me to connect again,” Amitabh Bachchan added.

Cricket fans all across the world will get to see the legends of cricket sweat it out at their competitive best in January 2022 at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Oman between three power packed teams representing India, Asia and rest of the world.

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Amitabh’s NFT collections hit all time high of $5.20k

“In a world of metaverses and digitization, NFTs have opened the doors to a new realm of connectivity and an opportunity to engage with my fans in a new way,” Bachchan said…reports Asian Lite News.

As Indian celebrities latching onto the craze of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s NFT collections reached highest ever bidding in India at $5,20,000 on Day 1 of the auction.

The record is proving to be the most successful so far with his ‘Madhushala’ NFT collection receiving highest ever bidding in India at $4,20,000 on Day 1 with two more days to go as fans continue to have a bidding frenzy.

Madhushala is his father’s collection of poems recorded in the superstar’s own voice.

“In a world of metaverses and digitization, NFTs have opened the doors to a new realm of connectivity and an opportunity to engage with my fans in a new way,” Bachchan said.

“The NFTs will offer the audience a chance to own an original piece of rare and cherished moments of my life including stories from my films, recitation from Madhushala, some back stories and moments from my films and these moments remain with them forever,” he added.

In addition to this, the auction also has seven autographed posters from his iconic movies and half a dozen collectibles of “punks and NFTs art and Poster collection” which have received bids worth over $1,00,000 on Day 1.

A unique feature to the auction is the “Loot Box”, worth $10 each. Every buyer of this box would get an assured art piece from the NFT collection. The Loot box goes live on November 2 at 7 pm offering 5000 collectibles for which over 300,000 crypto collectible fans have signed up globally.

This exclusive NFT auction is being hosted on BeyondLife.club, powered by Guardian Link, one of India’s biggest de-centralised branded marketplace for NFTs. The auction went live on November 1 and will close on November 4.

Meanwhile, following in the footsteps of megastars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, actress Sunny Leone has also ventured into the NFT space.

Sunny has gone on to mint her NFTs. Minting is a process through which digital art becomes a part of the Ethereum blockchain – a public ledger that is unchangeable and tamper-proof.

The actress took the lead among Indian actors to secure their digital assets when she broke the news about her association with NFT, two months back. This made her the first Indian actress to roll out her own NFTs.

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Big B donates oxygen concentrators to BMC

“Oxygen Concentrators, have also been ordered from another source and about 60 of them should be coming in in a few days,” he further informed in his blog post…reports Asian Lite News.

Big B is always at the forefront to motivate and inspire people even in this crisis stage. Amitabh Bachchan has blogged about how he purchased 50 oxygen concentrators from Poland and donated ventilators to BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“I have to, in deepest gratitude thank profusely the Govt., of Poland, the Mayor of the City of Wroclaw, the Ambassador of India at Warsaw and the LOT Polish Airlines for their very gracious gesture towards me. The general call from the places that were in need of help had been for the urgent need of Oxygen Concentrators. These are and were difficult to procure and when I was not getting any immediate source to acquire them my friend and the Indian Consul in Wroclaw stepped forward,” Bachchan wrote in his latest blog entry, late on Thursday.

He further wrote: “…He came to know of my work in the procurement of Concentrators and came out with the name and details of a Polish Company that was making them and that were being exported to various parts of the World, and whether this could be one of the sources for my need. I immediately placed an order for 50 Oxygen Concentrators, which were blocked for me by him, since the equipment was in short supply and was being manufactured and sold out rather rapidly. So I have bought 50 concentrators and they shall be shipped out on the 15th of May.”

“Oxygen Concentrators, have also been ordered from another source and about 60 of them should be coming in in a few days,” he further informed in his blog post.

Oxygen cylinders

Big B has also written about donating ventilators to BMC.

He mentioned in his blog post: “Then the need for Ventilators has been equally acute. The BMC the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation when I said I wished to donate something for the cause, told me to not give money, but to get them Ventilators. This has been an arduous task as well, but luckily another Agency has stepped forward and is helping me with my order. I had ordered 20 ventilators, 10 of which have arrived to day and I am happy that I was able to deliver them to the BMC and a few Municipal Hospitals in Mumbai today. The balance 10 should be in by the 25th and they shall also be distributed to some more Hospitals in need of them.”

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