Class of 83
Director: Atul Sabharwal
Cast: Bobby Deol, Annup Sonii
Streaming on: Netflix
Cinema is primarily a visual medium; audio becomes secondary. Unless, you’re watching a Richard Linklater film (Before trilogy, Boyhood) where the words said are at times more captivating than the visuals. Atul Sabharwal’s Netflix film Class of 83 serves the visual need of a motion picture to the T. Mumbai of 80s is remarkably recreated, interspersed with the actual footage of the city in the bygone era. Unfortunately, the things being said or the narrative to begin with lack the adrenaline to keep you hooked.
Class of 83 is based on S. Hussain Zaidi’s book of the same name. Bobby Deol plays a brooding cop who has been appointed as the Dean of the Police Training Centre, Nashik as his punishment posting. He decides to train five lowest ranked candidates as assassin cops to ‘clean up’ the city. The film begins and ends with the same dialogue, “Police system ek aisa sikka hai jiske do side hote hain… ek law aur doosra order. Kabhi kabhi order banaye rakhne ke liye law ko bali chadhana padta hai.” But we never really get to see an engaging account of how that turns out.
Also read: Raat Akeli Hai review: Simply brilliant!
You want to stay invested in the worn out cop Vijay Singh (quite sincere Bobby Deol). But he becomes a secondary character in his own film. Then who are we invested in? Unfortunately, no one in particular. The five candidates trained by the Dean show few glimpses of flourish but they scatter towards the end. As I mentioned in the beginning, the look of the film is captivating. The production design is top notch. Cinematographer Mario Poljac gives a western touch to this desi flick. But it is let down by a stolid narrative. Abhijeet Deshpande’s screenplay is uneven and Atul Sabharwal’s dialogue lacks consistency. You wait for the things to go a notch higher but they never do. This class can be bunked.