#52 #Scriptors100BestFilms

#JoJeetaWohiSikander (JJWS) is one of those evergreen movies, that doesn’t fit in the category of one-time watch. Mansoor Khan’s JJWS released in 1992 is a perfect blend of all the ingredients of romance, family, drama, action and music that a movie needs to become an all-time favorite for anyone. JJWS story revolves around a nonchalant and unworried guy, Sanju, played by Amir Khan and his family, love life and school life. Bollywood has produced a lot other movies that have all the ‘masala’ to make it entertaining, but there is something special about the recipe how Mansoor khan made JJWS.

First special touch was the characterization of all the characters that were written so real to life. Not even a single character whether it would be the protagonist Sanju, his friends Ghanshu or Maqsood, or his love affair(s) Anjali, played by Ayesha julka or Devika, played by Pooja bedi seem unreal or filmy. The story starts in a small town which is famous for its top boarding schools in the country. There lives a middle class man, Ramlal, played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda who is also the sports teacher for Model school, which is meant for kids of middle class families. He has two sons, the star athlete and cyclist of Model school, Ratan, played by Mamik and Sanju, the underdog. Sanju has three best friends, Ghansu, Maqsood and Anjali, whose childhood love is Sanju. The first half of the story revolves around their lives in the boarding schools and their sports rivalry with Rajput school for rich brat boys. Their star cyclist is Shekhar, played by Deepak Tijori. Sports rivalry turned into a personal vengeance when Sanju and Shekhar found a common love interest, Devika. In the personal revenge, Ratan got life threatening injury by Shekhar and his friends soon before the final interschool sports event. Sanju decided to retaliate, but this time competing in place of his brother against Shekhar in the most important sports event, the cycle race. With the help of Anjali, he trained himself. In final race Sanju turns out to be the dark house and proved that Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar (He who wins, is the King).

Second special ingredient of this movie was its unique genre, though this movie finds its place with other romantic movies, but the story actually revolves around the bromance of Sanju and Ratan. I would say it’s a tale of two brothers, where Ratan is an obedient, assiduous and the star champion of the school who always being loved by his father more than Sanju, his scofflaw and insouciant brother. The movie has more scenes between two brothers fighting, supporting and caring each other than the brothers romancing with their girlfriends. The finale of the movie shows how the love for his brother changed Sanju’s life and how he became a champion (sikander). Performances by both the actors, Amir and Mamik, were one of the best of their careers. The relationship of two brothers looks so real and captivating in the movie that you may start missing your siblings while watching it.

Finally, JJWS holds a special place in Bollywood of being one of the first few movies based on sports. The country where no sport other than cricket is appreciated, writer and director Mansoor khan brought rarest of rare sport, cycle racing, to the silver screen. Not only he introduced the sport to Indian audience but he did a great job in the screenplay of cycle race scenes in the movie. Even if someone has watched JJWS few times, the climax scene of cycle race will give him the adrenaline rush and goosebumps till the finishing line.

Though the movie did not do great at the box office because of its out of the league concept in early 90s, but later loved by the audience of all ages. For being such an offbeat yet brilliantly made film JJWS was nominated in eight categories in the 38th Filmfare awards including; best film, best director-

Mansoor khan, best actor-Amir khan, best supporting actress-Pooja bedi, best editing-Zafar sultan and Dilip katalgi, best music director-Jatin-Lalit, best lyricist-Majrooh sultanpuri and best male playback singer- Udit Narayan. It bagged two awards for best film and best editing. Overall, unconventional but amazing story, seven melodious songs including evergreen ’pehla nasha’ that paved the path for choreographer and director Farah Khan in Hindi cinema, great performances from all the actors (few has given best of their lifetime) and an unforgettable climax made this movie in the Top100films. Mansoor khan proved that one might need to think out of the box to win hearts of millions and the one who wins, is the king (Jo jeeta wahi sikander).

Siddharth Jain
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Siddharth Jain
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