Excerpts & links to reviews of Jhund by some of India’s topmost film reviewers

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Ganesh Deshmukh, Vicky Kadian
Director: Nagraj Manjule
India release date:
Genre: Biography, drama, sport
Certification: UA
Language: Hindi
Duration: 176 mins


“A story of the walls that the socially marginalized run into, and are thwarted by, at every turn. The film, on its part, dismantles two pivotal mythologies that drive the dominant notions of mass entertainment in this country: one springing from the Hindu epics, the other from the dominant idioms of Indian popular cinema. With both given a wide berth, what emerges in Jhund is a structure and a style that are embedded in the very nature of the struggle.”

Rating: 4.5 stars | Full review

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Saibal Chatterjee
“Sports isn’t life in Jhund, it’s a lifeline. Time and again, the film reminds us: these are the stakes, this is what it means to be playing. On the one hand, there’s the same hard life, but with some self-respect and acclaim; on the other is disappointment, incarceration, even death. Most Hindi sports films dedicate themselves to the glory of the school, the nation, the struggle of the talented underdog. Jhund is about barriers erected by caste and the lengths those without privilege must go to surmount them.”

| Full review

Uday Bhatia, Live Mint
Uday Bhatia


“Bachchan delivers one of his most relaxed and charming performances – the grace note in a rumbustious symphony staged in a football field that turns out to be a lot like Indian democracy itself.”

| Full review

Nandini Ramnath, Scroll
Nandini Ramnath
“Unflinching exposé of the humiliation and prejudice that the marginalised in our society have to constantly chip away at.”

Rating: stars | Full review

Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, The Free Press Journal
Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri


“Manjule posits a heartwarming thought: that these boys, embroiled in scuffles and drugs, are not criminals but victims. It may sound obvious but one look at the policy decisions around the world – punishing the drug addicts, the homeless, and the other marginalised people – indicate the pervasive callousness in dealing with those who have been left behind.”

| Full review

Tanul Thakur, The Wire
Tanul Thakur
“There’s talent in the ghettos, but no platform nor guide… Sometimes the greatest goal a man can score is to toss the knife in the trash can.”

Rating: 3.5 stars | Full review

Sukanya Verma, Rediff
Sukanya Verma


Jhund is not the sort of film that leaves us with guilt or rage. It’s the sort of film that cleanses middle- and upper-class souls. It makes us feel good and righteous because someone else is doing something that needs to be done. But it removes a few bricks from the wall that runs between the school and the slum.”

Rating: 3.5 stars | Full review

Suparna Sharma, Rolling Stone India
Suparna Sharma
“Bollywood has for several decades now largely ignored the caste system, with the likes of Masaan, Article 15 and Pareeksha remaining few and far between. Jhund is important in that context because it makes caste, marginalisation, Dr B.R. Ambedkar and the slogan “Jai Bhim” the focal point of its conversation. More’s the pity that, despite its grand ambitions and good intentions, it fails to click as a cohesive, gripping whole. “

Rating: 2 stars | Full review

Anna MM Vetticad, First Post
Anna MM Vetticad


“An overlong meander”

Rating: 2 stars | Full review

Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express
Shubhra Gupta
“Totally love the title, Jhund. It literally means a pack, in reference to animals, usually. They’re anonymous (to humans), by nature. By which one implies here: a large group of equally replaceable, generic, invisible, voiceless men and women. That is precisely what the poor in India (or Third World in general), look like, when observed from a distance.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Mayank Shekhar, MSN
Mayank Shekhar


“If Jhund were a person, it would be very unhappy that it’s not an octopus instead. It wants to be everywhere at once: a vignette-y sports biopic, a commercial docu-drama, an Amitabh Bachchan tribute, a City of God-style ghetto thriller, a social-message entertainer, a Gully Boy-ish origin story.”

| Full review

Rahul Desai, Film Companion
Rahul Desai




Jhund on IMDb

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