This Kabir Khan film Is A Rousing Celebration Of India’s 1983 Cricket World Cup Win
Hindi (Theatres) Director: Kabir Khan Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Tripathi, Jiva Rating: 4/5 Accounting for the history of sports in Indian cinema, and the empty seats at a nearby theatre, I didn’t give ’83’ a chance.
In fact, I dismissed it with condescension even when the opportunity to write its review came about.
Grudgingly, I took it on expecting tacky imagery of one of India’s greatest moments, assuming the mockery of fabled characters of that epic World Cup victory at Lord’s, waiting on cringy flaws in the depiction of a well-chronicled story, harbouring apprehension for it’s not easy to distil the collective emotions of a country desperate for hope into a medium as hasty as cinema… I will gladly swallow my pride to say that director Kabir Khan has created what will undoubtedly go down as one of the best sport-based movies India has ever seen.
He did it right when most believed he would do it wrong. The stakes were high and money was poured in for the story truly writes itself, and a star cast, including Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Pankaj Tripathi (of Sacred Games fame), would presumably mean replenished coffers.
But Indian movie makers rarely find the right mix of accuracy, technical nuance, sap, songs, action and drama to sell sport at theatres.
They spend too much time catering to what the Indian demographic presumably needs instead of focusing on putting out a piece of art that stands the test of time.
Frankly, ‘83 is guilty of falling prey to forceful tear-jerkers and tacky background scores, but it happens so sporadically, it’s easily pardonable.
To Kabir’s credit, what began as an exercise in finding faults, turned into genuine entertainment fairly soon. Kabir’s projection takes a broader understanding of the social unrest in India and our standing on foreign shores at the time and weaves it in with a dash of humour and just the right pinch of sentiment.
And then there’s the cricket. They could have gone horribly wrong with the quality of content for nearly everyone in India is an expert on the sport.
Every wrong bowling action, every inaccurate stance or shot was going to be berated. I too was waiting for them to make these mistakes.
They didn’ come as readily as presumed. Every character played their role to potential.
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