– REEMA CHHABDA
The journey of a domestic star cricketer who opts out of the sport at the zenith of his career is chronicled in this official Hindi version of the Nani-starrer Jersey (in Telugu), which also received a National Award. Gowtam Tinnanuri, who directed the original and is now directing the remake, adopts a nonjudgmental and emotional approach to telling Arjun Talwar’s (Shahid Kapoor) tale from the dressing room to social dressing down and back to the dressing room where he feels completely at home. Shahid Kapoor’s character is easy to identify with, yet never plays the victim.
The film’s original director, Gowtam Tinnanuri, lived up to the audience’s expectations. From the first scene, the film picks up speed and draws the audience in with Arjun Talwar’s emotionally compelling trip. Despite his challenging circumstances, the main character never loses up. He manages to find hope in every scenario, such as when the officials shut off Arjun’s power supply owing to non-payment of the electricity bill; seeing his disappointed son, he adds, “Let’s light up the house with candles all over for a change.” Such minutely drawn scenes strike a chord in the audience’s hearts. The film’s dialogues are well-written, concise, and to the point.
Jersey, on the other hand, has a poor start to the game before the break. To make the film more taut, Tinnauri might have easily cut a few scenes.
With his camera, cinematographer Anil Mehta creates some fascinating scenes. Jersey has several memorable moments, whether it’s the sequence where Shahid’s character Arjun crosses within the boundary line to resume what he left behind ten years ago or a vital nail-biting moment in a cricket match that literally commemorates his rise from the fall. Navin Nooli, the editor, cleverly juxtaposes a few of shots to bring further levels to the plot.
Because it is a remake, folks who have previously seen the original will try to draw parallels between the two films, which is a flaw. Furthermore, the memories are not effectively matched, causing the audience to feel disjointed at times.
Shahid Kapoor hasn’t been playing your typical guy-next-door, charming hero roles for a long time, however, the image still pops up when it’s needed. Even though Arjun is a serious person, Shahid simply smiles and does something strange on his face to change the mood in the same sequence. The actor not only portrays Arjun’s father perfectly, but he also captures the cricketer’s side of the character perfectly. He uses his expressions a lot, and he can pull off any mood with ease.
Mrunal Thakur’s Vidya isn’t just another flowerpot character to replace the vacuum left by the absence of a leading lady. Vidya has a significant influence on Arjun’s actions throughout the film. She shows how difficult the fight is for the entire family while Arjun is struggling.
Shahid Kapoor’s Arjun has a father-figure coach in Pankaj Kapur, and the script cleverly leverages their real-life friendship to provide a comfortable depth on-screen. Pankaj Ji, in his entirety, also serves as a humorous relief at times, demonstrating why he is truly an ‘all-rounder’ in this game.
Arjun Talwar’s kid Kittu (Rohit Kamra), who manages to bring a grin to the audience’s faces with his charm and innocence, was the film’s main feature. Arjun’s closeness with his son and his affection for him stole the stage. The two actors play out their sequences effectively. The film depicts Arjun becoming his son’s idol and restarting his career in a lovely way, and it sends a powerful message that it’s never too late to pursue your aspirations.
Our favourites from the Jersey tracks are Sachet Tandon’s rock riff ‘Mehram’ and the love ballad ‘Maiyya Mainnu.’ The remaining tunes had a little impact.
Jersey is unquestionably one of Shahid Kapoor’s most interesting innings. It is a decent sports film, an underdog story, and a family drama all rolled into one.