Monday, February 02, 2009


Rating : 3/10
Time : 155 minutes
Director & Co-writer : Ajitpal Mangat; Co-Writer : Kannan Iyer; Music : Anu Malik
Starring : Hurman S Baweja, Amrita Rao, Anupam Kher, Dalip Tahil, Gulshan Grover, Tinnu Anand

Victory, the story of a boy who makes it big in Indian cricket and then has an equally rapid fall, is not worth watching for the following five reasons

Predictable and clichéd : There is a sense of déjà vu throughout the film, we’ve seen it all somewhere, the whole plot is clichéd. It got to the point where we’d given up on the film (just too predictable) and were trying to guess / predict the next scene and weren’t doing too badly at it.
The screenplay / dialogues : the screen-writer seems to be stuck in a time warp and gives us gems like ‘yeh mera mandir hai’ (Hurman describing the cricket pitch), or ‘yaad rakhna tumhara naam vijay kyun rakha hai’ (Anupam exhorting his son to go for it during a trial) or ‘isse hamesha seene se laga ke rakhna’ (while giving the Indian flag to his boy when he’s going for his first tour) or even Hurman’s ‘main bahut akela hoon’ when everyone has abandoned him. We’re used to such dialogue’s while watching films from the 60’s and 70’s but not anymore

Shallow characters : no character is built up sufficiently for us to care about him, including the lead character. The makers seem so intent on showing us what is happening to him, we never really know whats going on in his head. What about being successful was so attractive to him, is it the fame, is it the women, is it the money ? What is going on through his head when he sends his Dad away ? I have no idea.
Unrealistic : I wish the Indian team had a coach who could walk up to a Ranji selector and order him to put a player in the team. I wish players (who were not even in the Ranji team) could walk up to the coach and after an impassioned plea (again using 60’s dialogue) could get a net session with the Indian team. I wish players after just one Ranji match could get fast-tracked into the Indian team. And this is just a sample – there are too many instances which are so implausible, it just ruins the overall film, makes a mockery of cricket.
Hurman S. Baweja : probably slightly unfair, but Hurman (check out the new spelling BTW) is too overly made-up throughout the film to look real. He of the designer sideburns (even during his struggling days) and hennaed hair looks too pink (too much foundation, methinks) to look like a cricketer. Acting is ok, he tries really hard and while he fits in easily while playing bad boy, he never really fits in the part of a struggler. I predict a long list of roles as hero’s partying friend.

Amrita puts in an honest effort, is the only decent thing in the movie, though even that was ruined somewhat by naming her Nandu. Who names a heroine Nandu ??!! Everytime her name is mentioned, all you can think of is ‘do chai leke aana’, which I don’t think is the desired response. Also, like the previous film I reviewed, there are a horde of current and ex-cricketers, along with cricket related people like umpires, commentators etc to attempt to make it more real. As per my wife, my kids really enjoyed it so there is a target audience for this after all, the under 12’s. The 'Balla Utha' song is quite peppy, locales are nice hence making up the three rating for the film.

I know it is hard work making a sports movie. I know there are very few really good ones. But I do wish they had tried a different tack to the film. What if the movie had been about a boy who in his debut match (like Shahid Afridi in real life or even the more recent David Warner) makes a huge impact by blasting a blazing 50 or a 100. He then encounters a lot of failures, getting out going for big shots and at this stage a lot of people (coaches, cricketers, commentators etc) offer him different, even conflicting advice, urging him to change his game, technique etc. He is left out of the team as he’s an obvious failure when he tries to change, play defensively. How he then fights back and rediscovers his form then becomes the core of the film. Would you pay to watch this film ?


rhythm fadia-maniar said...

sure i wud...ur idea sounds much better than the VICTORY idea...maybe the producers should rope u in as some sort of advisor :)

iSm said...

" nandu " ... " do chai le ke aana " ... hahahahaha

Anonymous said...

wow! i dont intend to waste my time on a cliched, predictable,unrealistic movie. Thanks for having saved my time :) .. Cheers, Bee