Hyderabad: After some initial hiccups : pandemic and litigation, Sairat director Nagraj Manjule finally has a sigh of relief with his part-sport part-biopic coming alive on screen. It is always a special moment for a filmmaker to see his ideas on the screen. Seeing it involving Big B is the icing on the cake. In […]
Hyderabad: After some initial hiccups : pandemic and litigation, Sairat director Nagraj Manjule finally has a sigh of relief with his part-sport part-biopic coming alive on screen. It is always a special moment for a filmmaker to see his ideas on the screen. Seeing it involving Big B is the icing on the cake.
In charge of the story, screenplay and dialogues, the director is a man of many hats and takes complete control of the script. In fact, there are two styles of cinema out there: one before the interval and one thereafter. If the first half is full of fizz and energy and primordially built around the energy of unknown faces and reputes, the latter is a quintessential Bachchan story of grace and control. The two tell a new grammar and how the filmmaker like a modern day cricketer knows the importance of changing gears.
Not since Rang De Basanti has a hero completely surrendered to lesser known actors in keeping with demands of the story. Full credit to Manjule for managing the screen space of the star without having to sacrifice the real heroes of his script.
A retired professor Vijay Borade (and don’t read Vijay Barse) who pits together a group of lumpens to form a soccer team, goes about hosting the first National Slum Soccer tournament and takes the team to the international Slum Soccer is what the three hour film is about.
Wonder why our filmmakers have to make such long sports sagas!! This time it is largely engaging, yet over 45 minutes to establish the premise is a tad too long. The story revolves around rudderless adolescents who are outsiders by circumstances, clueless of the drift they are part of and sucked into the world of drugs, violence, poverty, unemployment, theft and the likes.
Sport brings out the hidden human element in them. Apart from launching the tale of simple heroics, the director is also pleading the cause of societal victims. Making a strong pitch for inclusivity in the course of a signature Bachchan moment, the filmmaker gets hesitantly to the pulpit but pitches right.
A Bachchan film, his age notwithstanding, continues to have him central to the narration. Not this time. Kudos to Big B for not standing out but blending with the story and that is why he is brilliant. Working not away or above the script but in perfect tandem.
The rest of the cast is brilliant. Headed by Ankush Gedam, followed by the entire gang of boys, Akash Toshar as the villain is all praiseworthy. It is indeed unfortunate that some brilliant performances are pushed under the carpet for not knowing names but Ankush Gedam specifically is brilliant.
This is a fine film. Strongly recommended for lovers of sport and more importantly to those who respect the human spirit and are sensitive to social issues – not to mention good cinema. Go for it.
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