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83 movie review: Fascinating and Magnificent!

Ranveer Singh & Kabir Khan deserve kudos for taking the cinegoers back to a time in which history was written, writes Jyothi Venkatesh



Ranveer Singh and Saqib Salim in 83


Producers: Deepika Padukone, Sajid Nadiadwala, Kabir Khan, Madhu Mantena Verma , Phantom Films, Reliance Entertainment, Sheetal Vinod Talwar and Vishnu Induri

Director: Kabir Khan

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Jiiva, Ammy Virk, Neena Gupta, Chirag Patil, Harrdy Sandhu, Sahil Khattar, Adinath Kothare, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Pankaj Tripathy, Boman Irani and Saqib Salim

Platform of Release: Theatrical


By Jyothi Venkatesh

Captain Kapil Dev led a team from India, seen till then as underdogs, to bring home the country’s first-ever World Cup title in the year 1983. The film ‘83’ encapsulates the journey of this team that taught a nation to believe and to pin all its hopes on its cricket players’ by returning home as a set of uniquely gifted world champions. The film drives home that not just winning on a world stage, but earning respect was what India needed almost four decades ago. In the first few minutes into the film, Kabir Khan uses an intelligently crafted passport sequence to introduce the audience to characters one by one in the film.

The film makes your chests swell with pride with patriotism .The fact that no one took the captain’s intention to win the world cup seriously plays out at different points in the film which reiterates what drove the team eventually to put its best foot forward. It is to the credit of the director that you root for all the players and laugh with them and cry with them in their moments of personal sorrow as well as joy.

Basically, ‘83’ is about an underdog team’s win, with each actor effortlessly presenting himself as an iconic cricketer from the 1983 team, and you tend to feel that this picture has been crafted with a skilfully written narrative, supported by nuanced and internalized performances, and each department lending its unique technical brilliance to it.

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Kabir Khan in tandem with Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan and Vasan Bala pens a story that milks every possible emotion from the details available about the event that’s etched even till today into people’s memory. Kabir Khan’s most trusted cinematographer Aseem Mishra (who has shot Khan’s every movie apart from Kabul Express) is exceptionally brilliant with his camera. Editor Nitin Baid manages to keep the film just about 2 hours 40 minutes and that’s just about okay and what’s more, the film doesn’t bore you at all though at times it is difficult to make out whether you are watching a feature film or a documentary. Pritam’s music is very situational and hence you do not remember the songs after you come out of the theaters.

As far as the performances of the actors go, all I can say honestly is that while Ranveer does play the captain’s innings here and makes you forget all about him and visualize only Kapil Dev, Saqib Saleem, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Ammy Virk, Hardy Sandhu, Jatin Sarna and last but not the least Jiiva (as Krishnamachary Srrikant) are among those who add their own individual sheen to this film. Deepika as Kapil’s Romi seems to have been added to the cast just for the glamor element.

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Kabir has chosen to very smartly mash up the real footage with the reel. From showing the real-life photos of the cricketers on the passport of the actors, to letting the audience in the film watch the visuals of the original match on their TV sets, this indeed is very memorable among films on cricket that we have seen till now.

To sum up, Ranveer Singh & Kabir Khan deserve kudos for taking the cinegoers back to a time in which history was written, helping us to feel even a fraction of what every cricket lover must’ve felt on the memorable evening of 25th June 1983. The best compliment that I can give to the film is that even a guy like me who does not understand a thing about cricket as a game felt very involved and patriotic while watching the film and definitely wallowed in nostalgia.