Back in 2013, like the rest of the country, I was also wondering “Kaun Pravin Tambe?” when he made his debut in the Indian Premier League playing for Rajasthan Royals. And the very next year only, he took 4 wickets against my favourite team Royal Challengers Bangalore that winded up our innings at just 70 runs total, making sure I’m not going to ask “Kaun Pravin Tambe” for the rest of my life. Following this he took a hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders, which spread his name across the country like a wildfire.
If you think ‘Kaun Pravin Tambe?’ is yet another cricketer’s biopic, you’re highly mistaken. This is not just a cricketing story. It is beyond cricket, something which we all can take inspiration from. It is a story about a middle class boy from Mumbai who had a dream, since childhood, to play in the Ranji Trophy Tournament for Mumbai but failed. But his life changes when one day he is selected to play for the biggest cricketing league in the world. At the age of 41, when normally we see players retiring, Pravin Tambe made his debut in IPL without playing any first class cricket before.
The film shows us his struggles as a boy juggling between his dreams and responsibilities, something which is very common and relatable to people coming from a middle class family. Often we see people in our day-to-day lives sacrificing and compromising on their dreams just to support their families financially. Tambe too had to.
He took a job, got married and had kids. But what makes him different from the league is that in all of this his passion for cricket never got dull. And with his perseverance and patience he proved that if you’re determined enough for something nothing can stop you. He taught us to never give up on our dreams no matter how hard it gets. Life may throw bouncers at you but you should learn to hook them to boundaries.
To me cricket has always been a metaphor for life and the film has beautifully managed to present it in the realest way possible. For instance, there’s this one scene which touched me deeply – one day while having a conversation with his friend Tambe says, “Agar successful ban gaya toh great, nahi toh pagal”. In a very simple line he told a bitter reality of our lives. Who would have been talking about Pravin Tambe today, if not that call from Rajasthan Royals? All his efforts and sacrifices would have been null and void. But as they say, “Life ho ya cricket, all you need is one good over” and fortunately Tambe had his.
Talking about the performances, Shreyas Talpade whom we have seen before as well in a cricketer’s boot once again shines out as one. Few minutes into the film and you forget it’s Talpade playing the role, he’s every ounce Pravin Tambe. In the supporting cast, Anjali Patil as Pravin Tambe’s wife and Ashish Vidyarthi as his coach are brilliant and so is Chhaya Kadam as his mother. Parambarta Chatterjee as journalist Rajat Sanyal did fine on his part but it’s disappointing to see him getting such half-baked characters, considering his potential. All in all a good cast manages to bring life to an inspiring story!
Jayprad Desai’s direction is another strong point of the film. When you watch biopics, you know what you’re in for. Somewhere you’ve read or watched their story, but despite that, the direction manages to keep you hooked till the end which is praise worthy. In the cinematography department, Sudhir Palsane has perfectly shot the cricketing sequences and the beauty of Bombay whereas the dialogues and background score could have been a little better.
Putting my biases as a cricket fan aside, everything considered ‘Kaun Pravin Tambe?’ is a decent watch. If you’re a cricket lover you’re surely going to enjoy every bit of it and will end up developing an emotional connection with the film whereas the rest of the audiences can sign up for it only if you’re looking for an inspiring tale.
‘Kaun Pravin Tambe?’ is now streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar.