83 movies review

 Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Jiiva, Saqib Saleem, Jatin Sarna, Chirag Patil, Dinker Sharma, Nishant Dahiya, Harrdy Sandhu, Sahil Khattar, Ammy Virk, Addinath Kothare, Dhairya Karwa and R Badree

Director: Kabir Khan

Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)

Once upon a time in India, cricket and cinema were the two great national glues. It was 1983. The gentleman's game was just that and the men who played it were part of a time-honoured tradition that placed upon them the responsibility of turning out in their white flannels not to profit but to prosper as sportsmen. No team took that ideal to heart quite as enthusiastically as India, which lifted the 1983 World Cup after having returned win from the first two editions of the limited-overs tournament with a solitary victory (against a cobbled-up East Africa). The dramatic triumph signalled the coming of age of Indian cricket in a manner that nobody, not even the skipper himself or the men who ran the sport in the country, could have imagined.

The perennial underdogs toppled the powerful Calypso men - led by the redoubtable Clive Lloyd and spearheaded by batting powerhouse Viv Richards and a dreaded battery of tearaway fast bowlers - and rewrote the history books.

A film about that stunning victory was waiting to happen but we, not without reason, doubted if Bollywood had the bandwidth to do justice to the sporting watershed. The Indian team of that memorable English summer had made critics - one of them literally - eat their words. Now that Kabir Khan's 83 is here, our critical apprehensions, too, have turned out to be unfounded.

83 is a rousing, pulse-pounding, soul-stirring cinematic saga that is informed with all the emotion, excitement and euphoria that gripped the nation on June 25, 1983 and on all the other match days that preceded a sold-out final that saw India defend a modest 183 against seemingly invincible West Indies and scale a remarkable cricket pinnacle.

A cricket drama would be a washout without the camera and the actors getting the nuances of the game right. While the director of photography Aseem Mishra does a phenomenal job of keeping the action on the field - large parts of 83 unfold in the cricket arena - both real and intimate, the actors do not let the physical and technical challenge of coming across as authentic batsmen and bowlers overawe them.

There can be no denying that 83 is the film it is because of the astounding central performance by Ranveer Singh. In fact, it would be inaccurate to call it a performance. The lead actor lives the part and, like Kapil Dev did, leads from the front. There is no pottering around for him. He grasps the role with unbridled passion and meets its demands head-on.

Just as Kapil's spirit and spunk would have come to naught had his boys not pulled their weight too, the actors around Ranveer - notably Pankaj Tripathi as team manager P.R. Man Singh, Saqib Saleem as Mohinder Amarnath, Jiiva as Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Jatin Sarna as Yashpal Sharma - step up to the plate and play their roles to perfection.

You have to wait 30 seconds.


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