Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye 2
Onto the final release of a weekend which has been a little low on content as far as the number of releases is concerned. And that did give me a little breathing space and an opportunity to explore films from different languages. And with that I finished watching the new Gujarati film Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye 2 which is the sequel to the hugely successful film by the same name.
Year 2023 has been a great year for Gujarati films. It did start with Kutch Express, a film that I did miss out on watching which was quickly followed up with a path-breaking film Vash. Come Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye 2, I really did have high hopes from the film especially because I had thoroughly enjoyed watching the first part and had learnt some valuable life lessons along the way. The film was insightful in always trying to deal with your biggest of problems head on, without shying away from it. And it made perfect sense to take this very story forward and in its process explore and dissect a few other virtues. So then is Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye 2 as good as the first film of the franchise, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye 2 picks up from the same point where part 1 had ended wherein the family now has to deal with ways of repaying the people with their money and faith in them. The story is designed as a part treasure hunt, part analysis of the virtue and a portion dedicated to breaking the fourth wall. While a part of me did think that it might be too much to absorb for the viewer, I found myself uncannily drawn towards the core idea of the film. I always enjoy analyzing things and this film did provide an opportunity to introspect a lot. The screenplay standing at almost 160 minutes might seem a tad too long but by the end of it you would most definitely be richer in wisdom and the way of life.
First things first, the drama does tread a thin line between being preachy and being introspective. It always puts forth its point before allowing you space to retrospect the problems in your life. You can very easily draw parallels to the things unfolding onscreen with the things brewing in your life. The drama does open with a quick recap to part one before opening the stage for part two. It is designed to be a treasure hunt with a couple of the protagonists searching for that virtue which would help them sail through the tough times. Instantly, it did strike me that the second part of this franchise is dedicated to personality development and your reaction to the problems that are present in your lives.
The proceedings are interesting and engrossing but a word of caution. This drama does deserve utmost amount of concentration to imbibe the messaging which is prevalent in every scene. And this is because the drama is more layered, opting for a unique approach of trying to give you different perspectives as opposed to the one act structure from last time. So you do have an ongoing treasure hunt with a little insight from the past by studying the lives of some great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi. The very next moment does involve the identification of the virtue and with it the goals as a byproduct and place it in the current day setup. Clearly too much going on but not necessarily a flaw.
The strong aspect of the writing here is the characterization. When it does come to a family, the characters flocking the drama are as different and similar as the fingers on your hand. When together, only then is a fist made and you are up for a fight. So the traits of the characters was just so interesting and it made for some interesting situations which were brought to the fore. The drama did tap into the difference in ideologies between the two generations that did make for an interesting watch. Within every scene, there was a life lesson to be had or atleast things to ponder about from your own life and this is what made the drama interesting. It did not just focus on its characters but instead did make the audience a character in the film too.
The focus in the drama was never to paint a rosy picture and provide several heartwarming moments. Which is not to say that the latter is not present. There are quite a few heartfelt moments present but it also takes a leap into addressing some uncomfortable questions either through metaphors(like Mango Juice aka your own flaws) or through situations(like a character giving up in life only to ressurect himself later upon realisation). On the downside, I was a little letdown by the final act particularly because the effective ‘Closure’ of the situation was further differed to part 3. But taking nothing away from the screenplay, the writing here is more nuanced and complex and I would personally wish to revisit this part for a better understanding of a few concepts. This while I did step out of the theatre, a little more wiser!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but brilliantly insightful and often act as a real ‘treasure’ for life. The music and BGM are good and make a good case for the drama to prosper. The cinematography and production design are better than the first part which made me think that its budget had increased and used well here. The editing was tricky and it could have been better here in terms of its structure. Director Dipesh Shah does a good job in treading a fine line between being preachy and introspective. He successfully does create moments which would force you to ponder and thereby challenges the viewer to think. His direction is really good here.
The performances are incredibly good by the ensemble cast. The veteran Rajiv Mehta(you may know him as Praful from Khichadi) as Suryakant is brilliant here. Sucheeta playing his wife is wonderfully restrained. Karan Desai(in quietly his second release of the week after Selfiee wherein he was terrific) is such a heartwarming character of the saint here. He will put a wide smile on your face in his set piece just before the halfway mark.
Harsh Khurrana as Niranjan is endearing and sincere. Dharmendra Gohil as Vasant was a difficult character to pull off and he does a wonderful job. Karan Bhanushali as Abhishek is affable and does a commendable job. Sheetal Pandya as Pallavi is brilliant in a character that could so easily have been reduced to a caricature. Ketkie Jayashree Prakash as Ananya is fabulous to watch in a job well done. Hemen Chauhan as Viren has such a magnetic screen presence and he is quite good here. Krishna Bhardwaj as Dev has such a calming personality and the softness in the character makes him likeable. And he is excellent here.
Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye 2 is an insightful deconstruction of the virtues and principles of our lives and a worthy follow up of the first part. Available in a theatre near you and Highly Recommended.