After a lot of delays and reschedules Shahid Kapoor and Mrunal Thakur starrer “Jersey” which is a remake of 2019 release National Award winning film by the same name is finally out in the cinemas. I went into the theatre as someone who hasn’t seen the original version so it was all new and fresh content for me which I could enjoy thoroughly without making any comparisons.
We live in a society where we are given just two adjectives – winner or loser. Nobody is interested in listening to your story unless and until you succeed. None of your efforts and sacrifices count, all that matters is whether you make it or not. On the contrary, “Jersey” tells a story about a man who was a loser to society, a man who was beaten by life numerous times but never stopped trying.
Jumping straight to the plot, “Jersey” stars Shahid Kapoor as Arjun Talwar, one of the most successful Ranji players of his time. But after not getting selected in the Indian team he decides to leave Cricket and starts doing a job and lives happily with his wife Vidya (played by Mrunal Thakur) and son Kittu (played by Ronit Kamra). Things mess up when he gets trapped in a fake bribery case and loses his job which puts all the financial responsibility of the family on Vidya’s shoulder who works as a receptionist in a hotel and ultimately brings differences in their relationship as well.
One day Arjun’s son demands for a jersey which costs Rs. 500 but Arjun’s financial condition has become so worse that he couldn’t even afford it. Well, a father always wants to be a superhero to his children. And the fear of being a loser in his son’s eyes scares Arjun and that’s when he decides to go back to Cricket at the age of 36.
“Jersey” expectedly belongs to Shahid Kapoor, he lived the role at its best. From a cricketer’s body language to that of a frustrated father he performed all of it with utmost perfection bringing out every shade of his character. He makes you realize every bit of his pain as a faded sportsman and a father who wants to prove himself to his son. His character growth is so beautiful that you just can’t stop yourself from rooting for him when life gives him a second chance.
Sometimes in life all you need is someone to show faith in you and your dreams & you’re all set to conquer the world and Kittu was exactly that one person to his father Arjun. When the whole world including his wife looked at him as a loser, Kittu believed in his father. Shahid’s scenes with his son are the heartbeat of the film and will stay with you for a long time.
Besides the reel father-son duo, it’s the real life father-son duo of Pankaj Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor who managed to strike a chord in the audience’s heart. Pankaj Kapoor brings in his experience and nails his character as Coach and the biggest support system of Arjun. Honestly, I expected Mrunal’s character to be nothing more than a filler for a leading lady but I’m glad to be proved wrong. Her character brings required emotional depth to the film and is a sure shot winner.
Gowtam Tinnanuri who has directed the Telugu version of “Jersey” has donned the director’s cap for Hindi version as well and no doubt he hits it out of the park once again. Though a little better could have been done in balancing the cricketing and emotional scenes as the former lacks enough to call it a sports drama. In the technical department, cinematographer Anil Mehta has done an impressive job whereas the songs composed by Sachet-Parampara have already got us hooked.
“Sau mein se koi ek aisa hota hai jise kamyabi milti hai, lekin Arjun ki kahani un 99 logon ki hai jo nakamyab hokar bhi kabhi kamyabi ki umeed nahi chodte.” We have been so obsessed with watching and reading stories about successful people that we forgot life is all about that 99 percent. Not everyone is fortunate enough to succeed in the first go but everyone surely deserves a second chance in life. “Jersey” gives us the courage to take that second chance going against all the stereotypes set by society.
With a runtime of around 170 minutes the first part feels a little lengthy and some scenes could have been avoided for good, but for a story and performances as good as this we won’t mind ignoring it. This movie is a moving saga which will give you tears, smiles and goosebumps — the one from which we can all take inspiration from.
You can now watch “Jersey” at a theatre near you!