Director: Kabir Khan
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Pankaj Tripathi
Rating: 3.5 / 5
The greatest underdog story ever, the Indian cricket team’s journey to lift the World Cup has finally found its way to the silver screen with Kabir Khan 83′ featuring Ranveer Singh as the captain, Kapil Dev. While one might misunderstand it because of the captain’s biographical film, it is actually a comprehensive film that represents the team’s journey, serving as an ode to the efforts of all achievers who rose like a phoenix when no one expected.
Kabir Khan makes it clear from the first frame – “This Indian team can’t win the World Cup” – and one knows the journey forward will be a quick one with the team beating all odds. The first hour has some tender moments, with humorous undertones as well, which brings a smile. There are some moments that inflate your chest with pride, especially the moments of India winning in their first match against the West Indies. But the problem in the first half of ’83 lies in the fact that the director and his team of writers keep reminding the audience over and over again through various instances that this team cannot win the World Cup. The repetition element stabilizes and the movie begins to grip its fist in the direction of the time-lapse.
Kabir Khan ups the ante and plays on emotions (which tend to be manipulative as well) in the second half. The director kept the script very simple, trying to get to the least common denominator in our country. Simplifying the script takes the excitement and drama away, but well, this is a great approach to making a global movie and making it reach a wide range of audiences. This factor may work in favor of the 83′ in the long run. The second half scenario is filled with fun moments for the crowd, which are sure to get cheers from the crowd – whether it’s to increase Kapil’s 175* or the iconic catch to take out Viv Richards in the World Cup Finals, the moment of victory, the captain’s monologue in the locker room or finally the precise commentary on how the game unified Cricket for the nation.
The dramatic quotient could have been a little higher, given how creative and emotional the moment was for fans, but nonetheless, the movie rather, the true story has enough to emotionally hold the audience. The USP of the film is cricket matches, most of which are done well. Though, the camera work could have been better here. The dialogues are good with the perfect blend of heroism and humor. Production values, as expected, are top notch. Pritam’s background score is effective, and the songs blend well with the narration.
Speaking of performances, Ranveer Singh drank Kapil Dev and got drowned in the character’s skin from the word go. Ranveer’s dialogue delivery is exceptional and he once again proves the scope he has to offer as an actor. The character required a sense of calm, and Ranveer aces in this space. Tahir Raj Basin as Sunil Gavaskar doesn’t have much to do, but it’s hard to ignore. He has earned character traits, including the smile, a cricket legend. Pankaj Tripathi like PR Man Singh are reliable as always, while Jiva like Srikkanth are rioters, bringing laughter at regular intervals. In fact, he has the movie’s best moment in the second half as he finally drowns out the feeling of reaching the finals. Deepika Padukone does well in her cameo and gets her glorious moment also in the movie. Saqib Saleem, Jatin Sarna, Chirag Patel, Dinker Sharma, Nishant Dahiya, Hardy Sandhu, Sahel Khater, Amy Virk, Adinath Kothari, R. Badri, Nina Gupta, Boman Irani and the rest of the cast perform well. Watch out for some surprising pops, which are sure to bring home with cheers.
All in all, 83 well-made sports films, which will be greeted with Seeti’s and taali by the audience and take them back to the era of India’s first Cricket World Cup win. 83 isn’t a perfect movie, but well, neither was the Indian cricket team. It is an ode to the legacy of legends!
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