Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Kapur, Ronit Kamra
Director: Gowtam Tinnanuri
Dramatic sporty films, especially those set against the backdrop of cricket, are quite popular in Bollywood and this release fits well into that mould.
Arjun Talwar (Kapoor) is a doting father to Kittu (Kamra) and the father-son duo share a bond that seems distanced from hospitality professional Vidya Talwar (Thakur). It soon becomes clear that the Talwars have lost some of the passion that may have once existed in their marriage, with Kittu the only unifying force holding this couple together as they struggle to make ends meet.
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During one of the regular early morning rounds to drop off his son for cricket practice in the nets, former cricketer Arjun is accosted by his old coach Baali Sir (Kapur) who tries to convince his former star batsman to take up an opening for a position of team coach. From Arjun’s firm reaction against such a suggestion and dismissal of a charity game coming up, it is obvious there are underlying factors behind his dissociation with the sport he had once loved and excelled at. Now laid off and caught in the loop of a dead-end government job amid a corruption scandal, Arjun is faced with the excruciating situation of being unable to afford a cricket jersey (sports shirt) for his son’s birthday – a rare demand that becomes Arjun’s passion to fulfil, come what may.
Will this devoted father overcome his own demons to return to the cricket pitch one last time?
This is a very simple, effortless tale that doesn’t try too hard to tug at the heart strings. It is in this simplicity and the assured acting prowess of Shahid Kapoor and his veteran real-life father, Pankaj Kapur, that ‘Jersey’ manages to hold the audience attention all the way through.
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While some of the emotional aspects and politics of cricket board selections could have been decoded much further, this film chooses to skim over those complexities to offer a moving saga of beating all odds to get to one’s dreams.
An easy watch that is worth diving into, especially for anyone who enjoys some cricketing action in their Bollywood films.