Monday, February 17, 2014

1983


Cast: Nivin Pauly, Anoop Menon, Valsala Menon, Tiny Tom, Jacob Gregory, Saiju Kurup, Kalabhavan Prajod, Neeraj Madhav, Saji, Sanju, Joy Mathew, Jiyad, Nikki Galrani, Rajeev Pillai, Shine Tom Chacko, Srinda Ashab, Dinesh, Seema G Nair
Genre: Sport, Family Drama
Direction: Abrid Shine
Production: TR Shamsudheen
Story: Abrid Shine
Screenplay : Abrid Shine, Bibin Chandran
Cinematographer: Pradeesh Varma
Music: Gopi Sunder
Editing : Manoj
Studio : Shams Films
Distribution: LJ Films (India),PJ Entertainments (Overseas)  
Release Date: 31st January, 2014 (Kerala), 14th February, 2014 (Delhi)
Language: Malayalam
Duration: 2 hours 18 minutes
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
1983, has captured the euphoria of cricket so efficiently and effectively. It is indeed a great treat to the country that eats, drinks, breaths and sleeps cricket.
The beginning note of the movie itself is power packed with the 1983 Cricket World Cup victory in the backdrop, jubilation in a remote village Brahmamangalam in Kerala, supported with great musical score in the background.
Rameshan, a 10 year old boy, remained glued to the television to watch the match and the victory sparked a new passion within him for the sport. There is a beautiful scene where this boy while playing cricket along with his friends falls in the field and for the first time he notices the dew drop, its freshness and beauty. It shows how the sport and the cricket ground became the entire universe for Rameshan who started living cricket.
The grown up Rameshan is played by Nivin Pauly, another great performance by him. He grew to be a great batsman who gave mesmerizing shots at the local club matches along with Pappan (Saiju Kurup), Babukuttan (Sanju), Saji (Dinesh), Prahladan (Neeraj Madhav), Mantle Johny (Kalavbhavan Prajod), Varkey, Chandru, Basheer forming the rest of the gang. 
Rameshan’s whole focus was to practice and play matches; academics and even his love interest Manjula (played by Nikki Galrani, who looked very fresh on screen) took a back seat.
Meanwhile the passage of the decades is smoothly shown through visuals of India’s defeat at the world cup matches, which followed thereafter, movie poster of Chitram… Harikrishnans…on the walls, b/w television sets to colour televison sets and the historical 2011 Cricket World cup victory.
A bit of drag was felt towards the end of the first half, since it seemed like the movie is shifting its focus from the main frame of sport into domestic things. It was painful to see a great player Rameshan settling down to his disillusioned father Gopi’s (Joy Mathew) mechanical shop, but then also, it was delight to watch him hitting brilliant sixers during local club matches. Srinda Ashab essayed the role of his onscreen wife Susheela very naturally, innocently and certain scenes of hers were full of humour.
The pace again picked up in the second half where Rameshan sees the fire in his son Kannan. There starts the journey of the father Rameshan in living his passion and I must say Nivin Pauly excelled even as a forty year old man. Vijay Menon (Anoop Menon) as a cricket coach is very impressive, who is sharp to understand the talents of the young boys, disciplined and empathetic. Rest of the movie is woven around how Rameshan chases his dreams through his son. Certain father-son moments actually gave a lump in my throat.    
Jacob Gregory as Sachin’s namesake, though in a short frame in a cameo, creates an impact through his performance. All other supporting cast and child artists have also given great performances.
Fashion Photographer turned director Abrid Shine actually shines through his debut film. A great work by him. He is flawless as a story teller with his minute detailing. Screenplay by Abrid and Bibin Chandran has elements of humour, sadness, disappointment, hope, passion, dreams, innocence, expectations, joy etc. The movie seems to be a dedication to the living legend Mr. Sachin Tendulkar whose emotional good bye speech had a message (his father’s advice to him), which was – “Chase your dreams but make sure you don’t find short cuts”. Indeed, a beautiful message…
Cinematographer Pradeesh Verma has captured the beauty of the village very nicely. Yes, it indeed seems to be part of God’s own country. Editing by Manoj is also very sharp and appropriate.
Gopi Sundar has done amazing music. The song “Olanajali kuruvi...” sung by P Jayachandran and Vani Jairam  is so melodious. Background music is also full of life. “Thallvettam Kanumba…” is also full of positive energy.

1983… a great treat to watch…it hits a sixer…