For what stature cricket holds in India, cricket and cinema’s collaboration has often worked to hit the audiences at the right spot. This time around, director R. Balki brings to us a cricket based sports drama, “Ghoomer” inspired by the career-threatening triumph of late Olympian Karoly Takacas. Karoly created history by winning gold medals at the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics. The world knows him not because of this, but because he achieved this feat despite losing his right hand. “Ghoomer” is a beautiful story adorned with faith, trust and the flavor of cricket, which is brought along with a dose of entertainment.

The story is about a young girl named Anina Dixit (played by Saiyami Kher). Anina is a cricket player and dreams of playing in the National Cricket Team Of India. Everything is going well until she loses her right hand in an accident and her dream comes shattering down. At around the same time, Padam Singh Sodhi (played by Abhishek Bachchan) , an alcoholic and frustrated ex-cricketer, knocks at Anina’s door. Paddy is a former cricketer who is angry with the world and his life in general. The story of the film revolves around how Paddy brings the will to win again, in Anina’s life and transforms her from a batsman to a left-arm bowler.

To an extent, the story of the film is easily known from the trailer itself but the way it has been shown on the screen is beautiful. R. Balki’s specialty is that he adds so many layers to a simple story that you get attached to the film. The first half is short and the story is built in the first half. Here you feel that the film is taking a little too much time to come to the point but then later it is realized that it was necessary. R. Balki does not let the film turn weak or boring at any point. Where he took excellent work from his artists, he also paid equal attention to the technical aspects.

It won’t be wrong to say that the essence of “Ghoomer” is nothing but an extension of Balki’s cinema. His cinema is not a game of logic, it’s all about magic. The magic he creates around his characters has the power to change a person’s outlook towards life. You connect with the film as if you are Anina’s trainer and walk out of the theater learning that anything can be done in life. The cast of the film has been chosen very thoughtfully and the way each character has been used, it pays heed to the smallest character too and this is the specialty of a good director, that he uses each character correctly and accurately.

As a coach, Abhishek Bachchan has done full justice to his character. The actor is playing the role of former cricketer Padam Singh Sodhi and in every frame, he has kept the audience hooked to his acting. He has been sincere towards his character from the first frame to the last frame. He brings out every emotion with great subtlety, which proves to be very effective in a story like this.

If you don’t know, Saiyami Kher wanted to become a cricketer before becoming an actress. Life brought her to cinema and destiny somehow fulfilled her dream of wearing the blue jersey if not in real but in reel life. She is a seasoned performer and is able to enthrall the audience with her body language in the film. From the selection in the cricket team to the struggle after losing the arm, she expresses all the emotions like happiness, enthusiasm, pain, frustration, disappointment very well.

Angad Bedi looks perfect for the role of Anina’s boyfriend whereas Shabana Azmi wins hearts as Anina’s progressive and practical grandmother. There is so much ease in her acting that you start feeling connected instantly. Women have been proving themselves in every sphere of life yet they are so usually stereotyped as being ignorant about rules and regulations of the game. I absolutely love how R. Balki has tried to break this myth through Shabana Azmi’s character. Her character represents so many female cricket lovers who have got the skills of becoming women cricket experts, if given a chance.

In the beginning of the story, you see Anina’s grandmother covering her score in every match whereas her father is cooking food for the kids. These little things make “Ghoomer” special and different from the usual sports based drama. Instead of following a set pattern where a girl wants to play cricket, her family members are not agreeing or she is getting taunted at various places, “Ghoomer” largely touches upon gender equality and makes up for an inspirational story of making the impossible, possible and teaches us not to give up even in the most difficult of circumstances.

“Ghoomer” is now running in theaters near you.


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