The Seagull sez : This blog is for the people that actually watch films. the said people are, however allowed to read publicity material elsewhere, gaze at plastic wrappers featuring their favorite stars on dvd or othervice, go to dressing rooms and do stuff, go to their fundraisers/ parties/ develop business that may or not involve sex,and in other ways edify them. This blog is about , primarily, actually seeing films..operas….art…that one enjoys.This says nothing about my actual business which may or not have to do with pimping properties, women,stockpicks,fashion, sports people, underage sex children or cosmetics to and from the third/non english speaking world.That said….
I tried not to write this review.It’s an old film, I didn’t care. This was a manipulative movie. I knew this from the …uh get go. Every character in it dripping monsoon wedding identification. You might call this the monsoon wedding of the sports movie. Venkat prabhu’s directing reminiscent of tamil stage plays, and the subject: local tennis ball league cricket. An unsung game, not because it’s not played any more but because the 30 crore people that play it have no time to go and do advertising for toothpaste, or indeed care for international critical recognition. They have the game.
This is something you think you outgrow, and you come back to . It’s not the same thing playing it in echo park with ex Pakistani first divisioners or Jamaican fast bowlers. You have to have been there. And “there” is still there. The film is document.
What makes the film click, like a sweetly timed drive through cover point, is its memorability in its small details. Three days later I find myself still thinking palani’s highschooler sister’s amused smile when kartick pecks her in the cheek. The squat wide armed anxious anger of the team sitting under the canopy watching the game. The barber that hangs with the boys. Rajini’s picture(you gotta be there….).
The music is a subterfuge to draw you in.(no division cricketer I know raps)
The Filmi references are a subterfuge too (rockets and jets?). The championship is a subterfuge. The film is a cricket shrine. We’re talking beach cricket here , and schoolkids thrashing grown men in a bet match. In the end we care about the characters. We feel a real sense of loss when the barber says , casually, without drama, “There’s no point sending me in to bat now ,when noone would give me a chance when I could”. We feel the pain of the captain, restraining his maniacal rage when he tells the fast bowler”macchan, don’t bowl on the leg side, he’ll hit you” . The commentary nonsense was pretty funny too.
You get the feeling someone finally made a film about something that genuinely interests them.and its infectious. Good job SP Balasubramaniam.