– REEMA CHHABDA
83 tries to tell the narrative of the underdogs, the Indian cricket team, and what happened behind the scenes before they won the 1983 World Cup.
The generation who watched/read about the 1983 victory remembers how eagerly everyone was anticipating the final match’s results. There were no social media platforms available back then. To watch the vital match, people had to rely on radio, newsprint, and, of course, B&W television. The cricketers had become household names, and the rooting and hoping for the ‘Men in White’ as they faced off against the famous West Indian cricket team in the finals.
83 features a large cast of actors, all of whom have given their all to their roles, but Ranveer Singh is without a doubt the show’s captain. He delivers a terrific performance. 83 is one of the films in which he demonstrates his flexibility. He shines in a role that was built just for him. Deepika is amazing in the scenes she appears.
83 majorly works better because of the entire cast. Every actor that portrays a member of the Indian team is great in their roles and has fantastic chemistry with one another. This is especially true when we read examples of players interacting with one another and turning even the most inane jokes into grins on our faces. Standouts include Jiiva as Srikanth, Ammy Virk as Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Saqib Saleem as Mohinder Amarnath, Jatin Sarna as Yashpal Sharma and Tahir Raj Bhasin as Sunil Gavaskar. Every other actor did their job amazingly as well. And who can forget Pankaj Tripathi as Man Singh, the team’s manager and the campaign’s unsung hero.
Kabir Khan employs an expertly structured passport sequence to introduce the spectator to the people in the film just a few minutes in. He also uses dialogue and light chat to reveal a fact: Indians did not believe India could win the World Cup. That’s when you realise this film is about getting respect, not about winning on a global scale.
For the most part, Kabir Khan and the writers get it right. The manner the script advances to the finale. The ending is joyful, and I’m sure the audience will erupt in applause, claps, and perhaps ceetees. The very finest is saved for last. At this point, Kapil Dev appears and tells some previously unknown anecdotes that warrant a standing ovation.
The direction by Kabir Khan is fantastic. 83 is a difficult movie to make, and despite the presence of good actors, the film would have fell flat if the sports-saga had been poorly executed. In the second and third acts, Kabir gives it his all and hits the mark, which the audience takes with them as they leave the theatre. He deftly balances the drama on the field with the tears, laughs, and smiles in the locker room.
There isn’t much room for music here, but ‘Lehra Do’ is one tune that sticks with you. The music in the background by Julius Packiam is very impressive. The DoP Aseem Mishra perfectly captures the spirit of the film.
In a nutshell, audience who were present at the triumph will be able to relive the moment, while those who weren’t will be able to see how events occurred during one of Indian sports’ most memorable and iconic moments.
Kabir Khan has once again set a high bar for himself.