The film brings out the inside edge of Cricket at Lords of London
The Indian film industry has had a long-term love affair with Cricket (‘Lagan, ‘MS Dhoni,’ and ‘Iqbal’ for instance). When a successful Hindi film director like Kabir Khan who has made huge films like ‘Ek Tha Tiger,’ ‘New York,’ ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ decides to make a movie based on an iconic event like the 1983 World Cup, he has done his homework well and be at the top of his game because such a movie could either soar or crash badly!
Editor’s Note: India went into the finals against the West Indies at the Prudential World Cup for the first time at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London on June 25, 1983. The Match was the third consecutive World Cup Final hosted on that ground, following those held in 1975 and 1979. This was also the first appearance for an Asian country in a World Cup Final. The Indian team was out for 183 Runs and it was widely expected that the West Indies will retain the Trophy. But India’s remarkable bowling attack sent them to the Pavilion for just 140 Runs, making India the first-time World Cup Winner. Since then, India’s win-loss record in World Cup Matches is 53-29, with one match tied and another abandoned due to rain. India won the World Cup again against Sri Lanka in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was the Runner-Up in 2003 and semifinalist four times (1987, 1996, 2015 and 2019).
My memory of the World Cup
I distinctly recall experiencing every moment of this World Cup in 1983 as a young first-year medical student in Goa sitting with my mum, dad and sister watching every game and cheering the Indian team as they cruised to the finals, winning the World Cup against the mighty West Indians!
‘83 is one of the finest movies ever made on the theme of Cricket.
The movie makes the audience re-live every moment of the epic journey of the Indian Cricket Team. It captures the socio-political scenario in India during the early 1980s when the collective Indian psyche was shaped by a sense of low self-esteem despite 36 years as an independent, democratic country, having gained freedom from its colonial rulers.
The Nation struggled with natural disasters, was constantly being challenged at the border by its neighbour and had lost a war against China. It was desperately in need of a major event or a situation that could enhance its confidence and make its presence felt internationally.
The Indian victory on a global platform was the first step in transforming the sporting scenario in the country, developing a sense of national pride, boosting its self-confidence with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. This victory perhaps influenced the future generations of Indian sportsmen to strive for excellence.
Splendid acting and direction
The film makes you feel like a spectator sitting in a stadium and watching the iconic final match between India and West Indies at Lords.
Prior to the final game, the highs and lows, the peaks and troughs of the Indian team as they navigated their way are very well captured.
Ranveer Singh has set a benchmark in acting and has taken his career to new heights by playing Kapil Dev to perfection. He has mastered Kapil’s mannerisms, his strong Haryanvi accent, body language, pauses in his speech and the famous ‘Nataraja’ shot.
(Ranveer Singh Instagram)
Jiva as Cheeka (Srikanth) gives enough moments of laughter mimicking his clumsiness, the characteristic eye-blinking and his strong South Indian accent. Saquib plays the role of Jimmy Amarnath very well. Pankaj Tripathi, one of the finest actors in Bollywood plays the role of manager Man Singh with aplomb. Boman Irani does a fabulous job as a commentator and ex-cricketer-Farooq Engineer. Deepika Padukone adds some glamour to the movie with her brief role as Kapil Dev’s wife Romi.
Watch it on big screen
The transition from real moments to the reel and the credits at the end of the movie are worthy of applause. To perceive and appreciate the sheer magnitude and the scope of the movie, it has to be watched in a theatre where cinemas turn into stadia and you re-live the iconic moments with a sense of pride and shed a few tears of joy too!
Please follow appropriate Covid protocols and make sure that you are fully vaccinated before watching this movie in a theatre.
Dr M S Anand is a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at the Auckland District Health Board. He is also a Mindfulness at the Art of Living. He has given the above film Five Star Living. The movie is currently screening at Hoyts Cinemas in Sylvia Park, Botany Downs and Ormiston, Auckland. Please visit www.hoyts.co.nz for showtimes and updated information.