These days the commercial Hindi filmmakers are consciously focusing on stories based in the Hindi heartland. The diaspora is no longer the primary target of Hindi cinema and so as a result we are witnessing an increase in the number of films that are set in north-central India which enjoys a Hindi-speaking majority. Manoj K Jha’s Family of Thakurganj is the latest in the series. Interestingly, Jha has previously assisted Tigmanshu Dhulia in films like Shagird, Paan Singh Tomar, and Bullett Raja. Tigmanshu of course deserves a lot of credit for pioneering the trend (along with the likes of Anurag Kashyap and others) of making hard hitting films set in the Hindi heartland. As for Jha, he was certainly destined to make a film like Family of Thakurganj, having worked under Tigmanshu for so long.
The film, set in a place called Thakurganj that’s situated in the Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh, follows a family that has members with different attitudes towards law. There are those who are law abiding while the others live in an absolutely lawless manner. It features an ensemble cast that stars the likes of Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Yashpal Sharma, Pavan Malhotra, and Manoj Pahwa. This film is dialogue heavy in keeping with the old tradition of action films.
Family of Thakurganj features motley of colorful performances. While Jimmy Sheirgill is brilliant as Nannu, Saurabh Shukla is menacing to watch as Baba Bhandari. Their dialogue delivery is nigh flawless. Both these actors share some memorable sequences. Mahie Gill is yet again a treat to watch. As Nannu’s ruthless wife Sharbati, she will certainly remind a lot of viewers of her character in the Sahib Biwi Gangster trilogy. The ever so understated Pavan Malhotra exudes the mannerisms of a caged tiger as S.P. Rathore. Let’s not forget that Malhotra is the same actor who has played iconic characters like Salim Langda and Tiger Memon. The performances all around are solid.
Family of Thakurganj offers a rare combination of a dialogue heavy script and a gamut of realistic performances. The film is nicely paced and keeps one engaged throughout. But the movie is a bit high on violence quotient but those who enjoy a heavy dose of action in their films wouldn’t really mind it. If you liked Bullett Raja and the Sahib Biwi Gangster films then Family of Thakurganj would certainly appeal to you. Family of Thakurganj is raw and gritty, an unapologetic tour de force with absolutely no reservations. Here is a masala entertainer with an engaging narrative, hard hitting dialogues, no-holds-bar performances and some eye-catching cinematography.