Based on true series of events, as is declared at the very beginning of the film, 'Chittagong' is about a bunch of revolutionaries (Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raj Kumar Yadav, Jaideep Ahlawat, Vega Tamotia) led by Manoj Bajpayee who stays on to be calm in the most adverse of situations and comes with a skill of marshalling his resources in the best possible way.
While kids are hired for the job, it is arrival of Jhunku (played by Delzad Hiwale, who had done a very good job in the teen flick 'Bubble Gum' as well) which takes the revolution to a different level.
In this entire time period, Barry John plays a very important role as a senior police officer who tries to structure a balanced approach while being sympathetic to the cause and also doing his job as a Brit.
First thing first. 'Chittagong' doesn't follow a jingoistic approach in its story telling which means the cry of 'halla bol' are good as negligible. This also means that the realistic narrative of the film ends up bringing in far greater number of pauses in the story movement. Also, since the film is very short, it doesn't quite do good justice to the epical event that had taken place a decade and a half before India finally got independence. Frankly, for such an important page from the history of India's freedom struggle, one would have expected a lot more detailed account.
However that is not really the case as the entire strategy to take on the Brits is drawn out in a jiffy and when the attacks actually take place, they don't quite heighten the drama and only lead to the next set of scenes. Really, one would have expected a fair deal of euphoria to set in a subject like this but sadly, neither is there an adrenalin rush nor a lump in the throat even as the protagonists go about executing their plan.
Nevertheless, if one looks at the film in isolation and while keeping in mind that audience hadn't been exposed to the story so far, 'Chittagong' is an untold tale which is bound to intrigue one and all.
Visually too the film is striking as there is not a single frame misplaced with the landscape pretty much complimenting the mood setting. While the background music and songs don't quite contribute to making the proceedings further fast paced and exciting, the action sequences too are just about decent. What works though is the story which had not even been heard, leave aside being forgotten.
Amongst performers, the film is pretty much an ensemble affair where Manoj Bajpayee, Delzad Hiwale and Barry John have an almost equal screen time and give a good account of themselves.
Jaideep Ahlawat (who played Bajpayee's father in 'Gangs of Wasseypur') comes across as an aggressive personality but unfortunately his role is short. Raj Kumar Yadav is natural once again and impresses in his limited scenes. On the other hand Nawazuddin Siddiqui is hardly there.
Two years back, Ashutosh Gowariker had made 'Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Sey' with Abhishek Bachchan which dealt with the same subject as 'Chittagong'. While that film unfolded as a mega epic in the offering with Abhishek at the centre-stage, 'Chittagong' is different where a teenager enjoys maximum screen time.
However not many saw 'Khelenge...' on its release due to which it could hardly register it's presence. If it would have, audience would have known that despite long drawn, it was a tad more entertaining than 'Chittagong'. On the other hand latter scores since it ends on a much more optimistic note in comparison.