83 The Film REVIEW: Ranveer Singh starrer is a live nerve wrecking match you’ll regret missing
Director: Kabir Khan
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, Adinath Kothare, Dhairya Karwa and R Badree.
Bollywood Bubble rating: 4 stars
If you believe you can, you will! – Unknown!
Magic is what you make and Kabir Khan delivers the promise with a passion that can move a rock. With 83 The Film, the director captures the power of hard work, believe and determination with a realistic approach without using forced potion of hyper sensationalism to play to the gallery. 83 The Film is a story that connects irrespective of whether or not you enjoy cricket. It is a story that unites in a way nothing else does, just like it did in 1983. The sheer power of the game and what the 1983 World Cup win meant for India and the team, Kabir Khan has hit it out of the park and how! The achievement of the cricket team that brought India’s its first glory since Independence ought to be celebrated and Kabir has left no opportunity to stay true to that.
83 The Film takes us through the trials and tribulations of the 1983 World Cup team who stood their ground despite falling hard. Kapil Dev reiterates in one of the epic scenes, ‘My mom tells me there is no such thing as luck, just win and return.’ Before the warm-up match, during a press conference, Kapil Dev left the press room to erupt in laughter as he reiterated in broken English, ‘We here to win.’ The laughter did not faze him but only made him determined to change history. He repeated the phrase endlessly as if to convince at least one person that they are not here to ‘Holiday‘ . Who would have known that he wasn’t bluffing, after all. All it took was his believe in himself and his team. As India rose, fell and again rose with each match and each defeat, 83 the film makes you relive each moment as if the 1983 team is playing a live match, and that is where Kabir Khan’s conviction and nuanced story-telling skills play a key role.
In the film, while Ranveer Singh played the role of Kapil Dev, Saqib Saleem (Mohender Amarnath), Tahir Raj Bhasin (Sunil Gavaskar), Dhairya Karwa (Ravi Shastri), Hardhy Sandhu (Madan Lal), Tamil Actor Jiiva (Kris Srikkanth), Ammy Virk (Balwinder Sandhu), Jatin Sharma (Late Yashpal Sharma), Chirag Patil (Sandeep Patil), Sahil Khatter (Syed Kirmani), Nishant Dahiya (Roger Binny), Dinker Sharma (Kirti Azad), Adinath Kothare (Dilip Vengasarkar), R Badree (Sunil Valson).
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83 The Film starts with the board receiving the invitation for the World Cup which is left loosely on the desk, greased in bhaiyan curry. A team that never won a single match, except one with East Africa (is that even a thing?) was obviously not even considered worth any benefit of doubt. Manager Man Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) is even mocked when he speaks of a possible breakthrough in the world cup. But, like Srikant (Jiiva) in a very moving scene right after the interval says, “They (the team) kept laughing and joking about the endless possibilities and challenges their skipper posed, only to realise he was not joking at all.” Forget the English press, the Indian journalist who went along was also amongst those laughed at the prospect of India playing against West Indies in the Finals. I mean we don’t blame there either, the team in itself was not convinced until they were deeply moved by their skipper’s unwavering effort and faith.
What I loved the most is that Kabir did not focus on just one match that created history. His focus was the series of events and matches that culminated into that historic win. As India won the first two matches, the newspaper in the West called it ‘luck’ or ‘fluke’. When asked by his teammates on why he doesn’t respond to these harsh statements, Kapil says ‘West Indies as a team too had to face such difficulties but they did not give any statement, they instead won two World Cups.’ This simple determination then sets the tone for the team that created history. It was not all glory, there were hiccups, but ‘taste success once, tongue wants more’ right, Skipper? Of course, we also have a sweet cameo by Deepika Padukone who plays Kapil’s wife (Romi Bhatia).
There are exactly two moments in the film which moves you to tears whilst you grin ear to ear! I have to mention the way Kabir Khan captures the emotions and his subjects is just impeccable. There is this moment just before the interval when India loses terribly to West Indies. As the players take the bus with heartbroken expressions, Kapil looks outside for hope, for one person to desperately believe in them as they lose hope. Just when it seemed unlikely, a young fan waves the Indian flag amidst fans of West Indies players and that was enough to move the entire team to tears (including us). That was also the first time the players displayed any moving emotions. That was one of the many defining moments in the films. Every time the team fell, Kapil rose, not for himself but for the team, for that one Indian fan who believed in them!
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Kudos to Kabir to know exactly what he wanted. The biggest achievement of Kabir Khan is that he allowed every actor to get inspired by the real heroes without making it look caricature. He combined sports with politics with a brilliance, perhaps only he can instill. There are moments where he uses subtle nuances to emphasize on how sports unite religion. There is a Hindu and a Muslim enjoying sports, enjoying India’s first win cutting across boundaries. He also captures the emotions of fans aptly. I mean I felt at many-a-moments that ‘hey, that’s me!’ The screenplay is uncomplicated and well-defined, knowing exactly when you tap on your emotional quotient.
Ranveer Singh makes Kapil Dev his own. You don’t realise the difference till we actually witness a brief yet exciting cameo by the legend himself. The hard work behind getting that physic and the mannerism right is apparent. Ranveer also tries to lift the Punjabi lingo of Kapil Dev from the early years, his mannerism and heavy tonality, without making anything seem over the top. The consistency with which he performs is such a treat to watch. He speaks through his eyes more than anything. I feel like the actor in Ranveer is purely at display as Kapil Dev and it is such a treat.
I have to mention Saqib, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Hardhy Sandhu, Ammy Virk, Sahil Khatter among others as well because they were all so stupendous in their respective parts. No one dull moment. In fact, the team room play and the team spirit they bring to foray with their astounding performances is worth many applauses. Special mention to Jiiva for stealing that one scene in particular where he shuts a journalist with a savage response, only he could. He totally stood out for me.
Pankaj Tripathi is the soul of the movie. As Man Singh, he acts as the perfect backbone to the team which was finding its spine.
The background score and music are added bonuses and an integral part of the history that we witness on 70 mm.
With louder cheers and applauses, 83 the film is an experience you don’t want to miss! I promise! It is worth all the hype!