To grow up in a nation where Cricket is no less than any religion and mortal players are worshipped as immortal Gods, it’s really impossible to keep yourself away from this game and same has been the case with me like the million others. A ten year old me, who watched this sport for the first time during the 2011 World Cup, has always been curious about the 1983 World Cup. A part of me always wanted to witness those heroics and feel that adrenaline rush and I can’t be more thankful to Kabir Khan for making it happen with 83. To me, it’s not a movie, it’s like sitting in a stadium and cheering for the men in blue (or rather white).

25 June, 1983 – A date which is etched into the hearts of every Indian, especially the cricket fans. A date which changed the whole view of cricketing events in our country. India, the underdogs playing their first final went on to defeat the mighty West Indies to lift their first ever world cup under Kapil Dev at the ‘Mecca of Cricket’, The Lord’s, England. The first half of the film portrays how everyone believes this team can’t win anything and they are nothing but a bunch of losers. The second half establishes how one man’s self belief in himself and his team led to this historic day. When no one showed faith in them, Kapil Dev believed in his ‘Devils’ and he wasn’t in any mood to settle for anything less than the Holy Grail of Cricket, The World Cup.

From Kapil Dev’s iconic catch of Viv Richards to Mohinder Amarnath’s magical match winning spell, 83 managed to make us all feel what cricket lovers might have felt on that very day, years back. Besides all the on field hustles, the film manages to capture the ups and downs of personal lives as well, be it the dressing room tension between Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar or Balwinder Sandhu’s personal loss before the big match.

Also, there’s this scene in the movie where we get to see a young Sachin Tendulkar saying, “Mai bhi India ke liye Cricket khelunga”, which tells what kind of impact this win had on people’s lives. You see, the thing about Cricket, the important thing about Cricket, is that it is never really just about Cricket. It’s a way of life. This win was a perfect example for the same. It taught us to have faith in ourselves and our dreams and the day we do this we are ready to conquer the world. Another thing I absolutely loved is the usage of real life photographs of cricketers on the passports and the clips from the actual matches – which made this film a tribute to the heroes in all sense.

There was no Ranveer Singh, Hardy Sandhu, Jiiva , etc for me in the movie, they were all Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Madan Lal or whoever the cricketer they were supposed to portray and I guess this is where they all have done their job as actors. It’s a role of a lifetime for Ranveer Singh and he has aced it and how. With every passing minute you’ll feel that you’re actually watching Kapil Dev on the screen. His cricketing shots and body language are a masterclass, especially the ‘Nataraj shot’.

Of the rest of the cast Tahir Raj Bhasin as Sunil Gavaskar, Ammy Virk as Balwinder Sandhu, Jatin Sarna as Yashpal Sharma, Jiiva as Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Saqib Saleem as Mohinder Amarnath among others excelled in their roles and there’s no two options on that.

Pankaj Tripathi hits a boundary with his portrayal of PR Man Singh, the team manager. Deepika Padukone as Romi, Kapil Dev’s wife doesn’t have a great chunk of screen time but is convincing in whatever she does. Years back neither Kapil Dev did it all alone nor Ranveer Singh this time. Both had a good bunch of support without which it wouldn’t have been possible.

Another thing which goes in the favour of this movie is its music. While tracks like ‘Bigadne Do’ will force you to leave the seat and shake a leg in the theatre, on the other hand ‘Lehra Do’ will leave you with goosebumps all over. My personal favourite has to be ‘Jeetega Bhai Jeetenga’; it fills your heart with feelings of patriotism and all you want in the moment is to see India winning another world cup and you dancing your heart out to this song.

An inspiring journey from “They are not going to win” to turning “We are here to win” into a reality is beautifully presented on the screen in those 162 minutes. If you are someone who loves Cricket or ever wanted to be a part of that victorious moment of the 1983 world cup, this is the film for you!

83 is now showing in a cinema near you!

 


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