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Chittagong (film)

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bedabrata Pain[1]
Produced by Bedabrata Pain
Written by Bedabrata Pain
Shonali Bose
Starring Manoj Bajpai
Vega Tamotia
Jaideep Ahlawat
Alexx ONell
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Cinematography Eric Zimmerman
Edited by Aldo Velasco
Release dates
  • 12 October 2012 (2012-10-12)
Country India
  • Hindi
  • Bengali
  • English
Budget 45 million (US$730,000)[4]
Box office 3.1 million (US$50,000)
(3rd week domestic nett)[5][6][7][8]

Chittagong is a 2012 Indian historical war drama film directed by Bedabrata Pain.[9][10][11] The film stars Manoj Bajpai in the lead role and is based upon actual events of British India's (now in Bangladesh) Chittagong Uprising.[12][13] The film features music by trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy and sound by Resul Pookutty.[14] The world premier of film was on 10 April 2012.[15] Chittagong released on 12 October 2012 and nett grossed Rs 3.1 million at Indian boxoffice.This film won the 60th National Film Award for the Best Debut Film of A Director.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Controversy 3
  • Soundtrack 4
    • Reception 4.1
  • Promotion 5
  • Critical reception 6
  • Accolades 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Set against the backdrop of a little known saga in 1930s British Colonial India (now Bangladesh) - where a group of schoolboys and young women, led by a schoolteacher, Masterda Surya Sen (Manoj Bajpai) dared to take on the Empire. Chittagong is the story of a diffident 14-year-old boy, Jhunku (Delzad Hiwale). Swept up into this seemingly impossible mission, the reluctant teenager battles with his own self-doubts to achieve an improbable triumph.

Story begins with Jhunku, now a 23 yr old youth as he is being chased by the Bengal police.He hides himself in a bunker along with his childhood friend Aparna(Apu/Opu) and while hiding, he begins to reflect on his past hopes and dreams.The story goes to a flashback to narrate the events that happened 10 years ago. In 1930, Surya Sen and his followers are protesting against the death of the revolutionary Jatin Das. Jhunku however is not allowed to join them by his lawyer father who wants him to study in England. Apart from fearing his father, Jhunku is also torn between his admiration and respect for the magistrate, Wilkinson and his wife, who show him great likings for him and his fascination for the charismatic figure of Masterda, who is followed and revered by most of his friends. Jhunku, due to his faith in Wilkinson who is personally against torturing revolutionaries, has great belief in British justice and believes that by getting an English education he might better equip himself to free his country. This causes arguments between him and his friends, especially Aparna. Wilkinson is opposed by the police inspector Major Johnson who defies Wilkinson's orders and arrests the protesters, and badly tortures Masterda. In protest, some students hit the strict police officer Maj.Johnson (Alexx O'Nell) by spilling oil under his motorbike, making him fall.Enraged by this Johnson makes random enquiries about the culprits but meets with no success.However Wilkinson manages to confirm the truth out of Jhunku, and an enranged Johnson then shoots Sukhen (Shaheb Bhattacharya), one of the boys involved. This incident makes Jhunku an outcast amongst his own friends, and he becomes determined to avenge the death of Sukhen. Soon afterwards, Johnson is made the DIG of police although Wilkinson had requested his transfer. This incident further shocks Jhunku and all his faith on his tutor Sir Wilkinson is lost, and he joins Masterda's Army. Master Da along with his fellow comrades Nirmal Sen(Nawazuddin Siddiqui),Loknath Bal (Rajkummar Rao), Ambika Chakraborthy & Ananta Ghosh (Jaideep Ahlawat) trains the 50 odd students and plans to capture the entire town of Chittagong on 18 April 1930 by disconnecting all modes of communication.As per plan, the armoury of the police is captured by a group of revolutionaries led by Ganesh Ghosh and revolutionaries, led by Lokenath Baul takes over the Auxiliary Force armoury. Unfortunately the machine guns are not located. The revolutionaries also succeeds in dislocating telephone and telegraph communications and disrupting the movement of the trains. After the successful raids, all the revolutionary groups gathered outside the police armoury where Surya Sen takes a military salute, hoisting the National Flag and proclaims a Provisional Revolutionary Government. The whole town is overjoyed at the success of Indian Republican Army and Chittagong is officially conquered by Surya Sen and his boys for one day. However reinforcements from Calcutta soon set out to capture the rebels. Knowing of the army attack, the revolutionaries leaves Chittagong town before dawn and marches towards the Jalalabad hill ranges, looking for a safe place. But the British Army's first wave is demolished by Masterda's teenagers.This enrages the British and they bring in machine guns. Harish, the younger brother of Lokenath and a friend of Jhunku dies.

Soon after Revolutionaries disperse in smaller groups, to nearby villages. However soon Ahsanullah Khan from CID comes to Chittagong and cracks down on the revolutionaries. Jhunku is arrested and is severely beaten by Johnson and Ahsanullah during interrogation but he refuses to betray his leaders and comrades. He is finally sentenced to Kaala-Paani for life imprisonment. In due course many revolutionaries and police officials are killed in the gun fight including noted revolutionary Nirmal sen & Police CID chief Ahsanullah. However Pritilata successfully attacks the European Club and assassinates DIG Johnson, but being gravely wounded commits suicide by swallowing cynaide.

After prolonged search Police search and arrests Master Da Surya Sen and sentences him to death by hanging. Thus Jhunku ends narrating the part and says that he himself was released in 1939 and again participate in the uprisings along with Aparna. In one such incident there is a plan to attack the government Godowns where the Britishers along with Feudal Landlords have kept common peasant's grain. The Britishers block all the roads to godown leading Jhunku to an Idea to create underground dungeons till the granneries. Soon twenty villages join hands and operate. The last scene shows Jhunku being stopped by Maj. Wilkinson who says he is still sympathetic to Jhunku and wants him to go away else he will be bound to arrest him once again. However Jhunku signals to Maj. Wilkinson that now everyone is awake and shows him the mass crowd erupt and arise from the dungeons and head towards the government granaries and forces Wilkinson to retreat, this uprising is named as the Tebagha Uprising of 1945, which marked the end of British Raj in India. The film ends with the memorable Song "Ishaan".



Anurag Kashyap posted a message on his Facebook account, accusing Amitabh Bachchan of using his clout for delaying the release of Chittagong, as his son Abhishek Bachchan's film is also based on Chittagong uprising.[23] Bedabrata Pain, though, said it was delayed due to the distributors suggesting to postpone it for a while despite him preferring it to release prior to Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. He also said that Abhishek and his mom Jaya had loved the script when he went to offer the role to Abhishek.[24]


Original CD Cover
Soundtrack album by Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Recorded 2011
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Language Hindi
Label Yellow And Red Music
Shankar Ehsaan Loy chronology
Don 2
Delhi Safari
All lyrics written by Prasoon Joshi, all music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Bolo Na"   Shankar Mahadevan 4:57
2. "Bechayan Sapne"   Abhijeet Sawant, Gulraj Singh, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Sameer Khan, Shankar Mahadevan 4:56
3. "Jeeney Ki Wajah"   Aarti Sinha, Mani Mahadevan, Kshitij Wagh, Pooja Gopalan, Raman Mahadevan, Shreekumar Vakkiyil 3:42
4. "Ishan"   Aarti Sinha, Bedabrata Pain, Kshitij Wagh, Mani Mahadevan, Pooja Gopalan , Raman Mahadevan, Shreekumar Vakkiyil 3:52
5. "The Battle"     2:07
6. "Inspiration"     1:04
7. "Masterda"     0:58
8. "Chittagong"     2:04


The album was met with critical acclaim upon release. Kartik of Milliblog praised the album, calling it a "classy opening to Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s 2012 account".[25] Music Aloud remarked that the soundtrack was the 'best of SEL in a long time'.[26] DunkDaft quoted about the music as A sheer delightful soundtrack for the period film'.[27] Khalid Mohamed praised the music score as "evocative",[28] while Shabna Ansari of NDTV deemed it "soulful"[29]


A special screening of Chittagong was done in Mumbai on 3 October 2012 at Cinemax Versova, a western Mumbai suburb.Several Bollywood biggies including Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Resul Pookutty and Anil Kapoor turned up to support the filmmaker.[30]

Critical reception

Professional reviews
Review scores
Source Rating
DNA India 3.5/5 stars
The Times of India 3.5/5 stars
Bollywood Hungama 3.5/5 stars
Rediff 3/5 stars

The film was released worldwide on 12 October 2012. The film garnered mostly positive reviews from critics. Srijna Mitra Das of Times of India gave it 3.5 stars. "Like a Chittagong orchid, the movie takes time to blossom - but when it does, it's beautiful. And pleases a certain master." said ToI.[31] Rediff Movies called Chittagong an honest film and gave it 3 stars. "Chittagong is an important film despite its shortcomings." writes Raja Sen of rediff.[32] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave it 3.5 stars.[33] Aniruddha Guha of DNA gave it 3.5 stars. "Chittagong is the kind of film that will leave you with a heavy heart, and moved. Give it a shot." said DNA.[34] MOZVO, Social Movie Rating site, gave Chittagong 3.5 out of 5 making it a Recommended movie.[35] Shubra Gupta of The Indian Express gave it 3.5 stars.[36] Jim Luce of Huffington Post wrote "The film Chittagong is a brilliant, poignant action-drama, made more so by the fact that it is true.".[37]


List of positive awards and nominations
Distributor Date aired Category Recipient Result Reference
Colors Screen Awards 19 January 2013 Best Production Design Samir Chanda, Amit Roy, Pradeep Jha
Nominated [38]


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  3. ^ "Release Dates | Bollywood Box Office". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Young rebels-chittagong budget -4.5 cr-one-tenth of Khele jee jan sey 45 cr". Business Standard. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Box Office Earnings 26/10/12 - 01/11/122 (Nett Collections in Ind Rs)". boxofficeindia. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
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  15. ^ Chittagong to release on April 10
  16. ^ Chittagong': Manoj Bajpayee took no money for the film"'". The Times of India. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  17. ^ Finally 'Chittagong' set for release
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  19. ^ "Vega Tamotia's next a romantic-comedy opposite Vir Das". Indian Express. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "A still from "Chittagong" movie". 23 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
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  22. ^ "'"Nawaz, Manoj turn revolutionaries for 'Chittagong. The Times of India. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Anurag Kashyap accuses Big B of postponing release of Chittagong". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  24. ^ "The pain of creation : Interview". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  25. ^ "Chittagong (Music review), Hindi – Shankar Ehsaan Loy by Milliblog!". 29 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. Classy opening to Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s 2012 account! 
  26. ^ "Chittagong - Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack): Music Aloud". 29 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. Chittagong is the best SEL has sounded in a long time, hope the soundtrack gets the exposure it deserves. Music review of Chittagong 
  27. ^ "Chittagong-Music Review by DunkDaft". DunkDaft. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  28. ^ "Chittagong review: Solid content, technically stylish". Deccan Chronicle. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. aided by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s evocative music score 
  29. ^ "The After Hrs review: Chittagong is compelling - Entertainment - DNA". 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. The film is seen through the eyes of the youngest soldier in the Indian freedom struggle – Subodh Roy aka Jhunku (Delzad Hiwale). 
  30. ^ "PIX: SRK, Bachchans at Chittagong premiere - Movies". 4 October 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Chittagong film review".  
  32. ^ "Review: Chittagong is an honest film".  
  33. ^ "Chittagong". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  34. ^ "Aniruddha Guha reviews: Chittagong will leave you with a heavy heart". DNA India. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  35. ^ "Chittagong Review". MOZVO. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  36. ^ "Quiet Revolution".  
  37. ^ "A Gandhi for Our Age: Indian Film on Independence". Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  38. ^ "Colors Screen Awards: 'Barfi', 'GoW', 'Vicky Donor' lead the list of nominations". IBNLive. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 

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