Jhing Chik Jhing: Movie Review

Disclaimer: As always, it is sort of review. ;)

Jhing Chik Jhing is such a tongue-twister name for a movie that Best Friend had quipped, naam to thik se bol le. [At least pronounce the name right.]

Then after a moment, popped the question, what is this movie about? I knew only two things: One, Jhing Chik Jhing (JCJ) is a Marathi movie, which has bagged 7 state awards. Second, it is set in backdrop of farmer suicides – a subject very close to my heart. [I had long back watched Summer 2007, a damning and harsh movie on the subject starring Ashutosh Rana, Gul Panag and Sikander Kher. The only grouse I had with the movie, as I remember now, was: an ape-looking Sikander Kher, but the movie itself was an eye-opener.

I wondered what did JCJ have that I hadn’t seen in Summer 2007.  No, Summer 2007 is no ideal benchmark for a movie, I was simply pondering what new could be said on the subject. Turns out, JCJ is a whole new take on the subject and it is a very positive movie.]

Set in a rural Maharashtra village called Dhule, movie traces the life of a cotton farmer Mouli and his family. As is usual, Mouli has borrowed some money from a local moneylender and is counting on his upcoming cotton harvest to pay off his debt. His kids, Shyam and Dipti, oblivious of his predicament, go about their adventures at village school ad around.  In fact, movie is more from Shyam’s POV. Shyam is a bright, innocent yet ambitious kid who has dreams that are bigger than his current station. Undeterred by his impoverished circumstances, where he is ridiculed by his peers for a hole in his pants and reprimanded everyday by teacher for not wearing his uniform shirt (as his father can’t afford it), he still dreams of owing a car one day, becoming a doctor and of simply eating bhajiyas

Things soon go out of hand, so much that suicide seems to be an only option for the farmer family. Unfortunately, kids get a wind of it. Both the kids, in their own way, try to get that elusive Rs. 10, 000/- that would pay off their father’s debt and save the family. Parents, on the other hand, try to ensure that their kids should have happy last days…So, what happens to the family?

Jhing Chik Jhing, as I realised after watching the movie, is the fun sound kids make when they play, when they are happy. I was enthralled by the innocent childhood and school scenes captured in first half. Reminded me of my own school days, dreams, fun at prayer assemblies, preaching..uh thought for the day (yours truly was guilty of reciting all that gyan during the prayer meets, trust me it earned me a mix of mockery and ‘popularity’). I laughed at classroom scenes, camaraderie between kids (Remember those insecure enquiries, tu meri dost nahi hai? Aren’t you my best friend?), teacher hiding their ignorance in face of natural curiosity of children.  And the puppy loves and sack races.

Movie has an interesting character of prosperous Yeda Kavi (mad poet) who believes in organic farming: neither does he use any pesticides and nor does he cut out weeds completely. In one scene, he instructs children that earthworms are farmer’s friend. (By the way, the Marathi for earthworm suspiciously sounded like ‘gandu’ to me, is that right? Update: Word is gandool, which sounds like ‘gandu’.) These farming tips are well interspersed in movie, perhaps one of most useful messages of the movie. It makes sense considering this movie (as far as I gathered from Google) has been screened for several farmers around the state of Maharashtra.

The second half of the movie plays your heartstrings very well. I would know, for I tried hard to stifle my sobs. But though this movie touches your heart, it is not meant to be a sentimental sob story. It has a clear aim:  It entertains you while recounting a meaningful story.

The performances by entire cast were superb. I will specially mention two performances: Bharat Jadhav’s nuanced performance for the role of a debt-ridden farmer Mouli, who is rapidly losing his confidence, his place in the world, with every passing day. Second being that of kid Shyam, played by Chinmay Kambli. Lastly, kudos to director Nitin Nandan for making such a gripping movie.

JCG is a recommended watch and the movie releases today. It is available with English subtitles.

Rating: 4/5

P.S: I must make a reference to Harini who is a co-producer of this movie and owns a production house Cogito Media. It was she who mentioned the movie premier in Pune on Twitter. She graciously offered me passes as well. Thanks Harini, it was a pleasure to watch the movie.

Also, you can read about JCJ shooting process here.

P.P.S: JCJ was third Marathi movie I watched after Harishchandrachi factory and Natarang. And I find a common spirit: In each of these movies, passion wins against all odds. Dadasaheb Phalke’s passion in Harishchandrachi factory to learn art of  film-making and make it available regionally in face of lack of finance and eye troubles; Guna’s passion for theatre despite poverty and societal pressures and biases and lastly Shyam’s never-say-die zeal that wouldn’t let him accept his fate without fight.

P.P.P.S: By the way, unlike Om Shanti Om, Paulo Cohelo finally gets his due for the quote: When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. 😛

P.P.P.P.S: Imagine someone committing suicide over paltry 10k. That was my credit card bill for this month. 😦 After watching the movie, concepts like Rangde.org made more sense to me.

31 Responses to “Jhing Chik Jhing: Movie Review”

  1. 1 Ava June 11, 2010 at 8:02 am

    How poor the movie scene is in India. A good marathi movie will be available only in Maharastra. We are so parochial in our attitudes.

    • 2 Poonam June 11, 2010 at 11:53 am

      As per Harini’s replies on Twitter, movie should be released in all the major cities around the country. Or, wait for DVDs. While you are at it, watch Natarang, am sure you would like it.

  2. 3 Shilpa June 11, 2010 at 8:23 am

    very touching story… Plight of many of the farmers of India…

  3. 5 Atul Pandey June 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I haven’t seen the film yet but just saw the clip and at loss of words to express myself. The film looks superb, performances and emotions are exceptional and real.

    Bharat does not need to prove to anyone, he is one of the best in the business, so is Chinmay.

    Bowing down to you Nitin, keep up the good work. Cheers

  4. 6 Radha June 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    The movie sounds good Poonam and the review is well written, as usual. I’ll try to catch the movie if I get a chance.

  5. 7 rahul June 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Marathi movies are going back to their success track with some serious improvements in both art and commercial elements together.

  6. 8 Verdantreflections June 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Looks like a very good movie.I think you’re right in pointing out the positive streak in Marathi movies on serious subjects.The one that comes to my mind immediately is ‘Shwas’ which is the story of an old accompanied by his grandson small boy suffering from retinal cancer. Its only when you don’t get too sentimental about it that you present an honest account of a situation. Thanks for the trailer link Poo. Am tempted to watch the movie now.

  7. 9 blogi7.com June 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I really enjoyed reading through this posting. Thanks for sharing this. This is a great site, I love the theme you are using.By the way, if you get a moment, check out my site

  8. 10 Liju Philip June 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    think Peepli Live (the forthcoming movie from Aamir Khan’s banner) also touches on this issue.

  9. 11 Kiran June 18, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Looks like a great movie, thanks for the excellent review as usual 🙂 You have been actively blogging as well 🙂

  10. 13 happening June 21, 2010 at 8:32 am

    thank you for the review of jhing chik jhing and also the video. i’ve seen the movie touchy it’s the right word to describre it, i think.

  11. 14 Rasik June 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    nice review. try watching Gabhricha Paus as well. IMHO one of the all-time best Indian movies.

  12. 15 Vee June 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Have heard lot about the movie. It is not released here. Need to wait for DVD I guess.

  13. 16 arti June 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

    After reading your review, i am now very much curios to see the movie. Hope it has subtitles.. 🙂

  14. 17 Vishal Pipraiya July 5, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    great review. hope i get to see it somewhere while on the road

  15. 18 sankarshan July 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Till the time I came to the ‘P.P.P.P.S’, I had a similar theme going around in my head. There are far too many creature comforts that we have started taking for granted – for example, look at twitter when Finland accepted broadband as a basic right. The other thing of course is that in recent times Marathi cinema has consistently managed to churn out movies on real issues rather than pot-boilers.

  16. 19 Man of Roma July 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    A very interesting (and sad) movie. The rural Maharashtra setting is also interesting. Is it that bad for rural people there?

  17. 20 monisha mehta August 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

    hey , nice blog , like it ,
    won’t be nice if i u can clickover to my blog page too ,
    & post some suggestion

  18. 21 john August 17, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Hi Poonam, good review. NOw I want to see the movie.


  19. 22 Mayur August 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I haven’t seen it yet but planning to soon enough. There’s another movie on the subject called “Goshta Choti Dongraevadhi”. Very touching. Marathi movies such as these need to be promoted better. Nice review. 🙂

  20. 23 Kiran September 15, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Hey dear,

    No updates for long now. Hope everything is well with you.

    • 24 Poonam Sharma September 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      Hey, I know I have been missing for long. Hopefully you should have some posts soon. 🙂 [I need to straighten out some things at my end first. :|]

      Thanks for caring, Kiran, that means a lot. 🙂

  21. 25 Man of Roma September 15, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Poonam, just wanted to say hello.

  22. 27 Man of Roma September 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm


    I am fine. Still blogging a bit. My daughter’s trip to Mumbai is over. She came back enthusiastic about India and she met Ashish over there. Don’t be guilt-ridden. What for. And come back.


  23. 28 Ashish Sapkal October 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Just saw the movie..
    And was deeply touched. Nice to see some good Marathi movies lately. Sensitive, to the point.
    And yes, The movie is much much better than Peepli Live 😀

  1. 1 Centurion Movie Trailer | Killers Movie Trailer Trackback on June 11, 2010 at 4:42 am
  2. 2 D-Day June 11th – Jhing Chik Jhing releases » POV Trackback on June 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

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