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Movie Review
Rating :
Hero :
Manoj Bajpai
Heroine :
Vega Tamotia
Other Cast :
Jaideep Ahlawat
Director :
Bedabrata Pain
Music Director :
Producer :
Anurag Kashyap, Bedabrata Pain
Release Date :
Sometimes you go for a movie and it totally cajoles you. In some cases, they leave you with a scar in the heart. Even then, there are some other movies that doesn't give much impression at the first sight due to some shortcomings but then leaves you thinking in the long run. Chittagong is one such movie.

Surjya Sen -- a schoolteaching freedom fighter known legendarily as MasterDa -- decided in 1930 to storm the British armoury in the Bengali town of Chittagong with a rag-tag but highly trained and motivated band of youngsters.

They held up the armoury, destroyed the telephone and telegraph offices, the act taking the British Government by surprise and striking a powerful blow for the freedom struggle. Remarkably enough, however, Sen's cohorts were mostly aged between 12 and 14.

A historically unique feat that is criminally ignored by most national textbooks, this is not mere cinematic fodder but also a vital story we need to tell, to spread. Ashutosh Gowarikar's Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se tried to do the same a couple of years ago, and while I found little merit in the craft or the acting of that film it is recommended regardless, for the very reason that the story be heard.

For those who wonder what's left of the Indian independence struggle to adapt onscreen, Chittagong says, well apparently, plenty. Having been fed a regular dose of Bhagat Singh biopics and Mahatma-centric films, we remain oblivious to many stories about India's freedom struggle untold in popular culture. Chittagong strives to showcase a slice of that vast history – about Surjya Sen and his band of boys, who led an attack against the British regime in the 1930s.

The adults are under so much surveillance that Surjya Sen, also known as Master Da ( Bajpayee) and his acolytes ( Nawaz, Raj Kumar, Chatterjee, Ahlawat) are forced into pressing teenaged schoolchildren into service. Young Jhunku Roy ( Hiwale) is at the forefront of the struggle, and it is largely through his eyes that we see this world, in which the people of a country are living in terror of their masters, and which has begun pushing back at order imposed from on high. The turbulent decade of the 30s was seeing ‘krantikaris’ revving up, fighting for their rights in whichever way they had available to them, with indomitable will and courage. This is what plays out in ‘Chittagong’, which despite a few raw edges and some disconnected stutters, delivers a felt plot and an emotional wallop.
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