Lengthy, But Delivers In The End
2h 32m • U
What Is the Film About?
This is 83 is the story of India’s first World Cup Victory. The film is all about what happens between March 1st and June 25th, 1983 – the day the final match is played between India and West Indies. How India an underdog in the tournament and World Cricket took on the monstrous West Indies under the leadership of Kapil Dev forms the story.
Ranveer Singh is the real rockstar of the film. Firstly, we have an uncanny resemblance to Kapil Dev in his look. He also got into the skin of the character which is in complete contrast to his real-life persona. He also did good homework on Kapil Dev’s body language and bowling action. We do not find him imitating Kapil Dev but is actually inhabiting him.
Cricket is a religion in India, they say and the 1983 World Cup victory is a landmark in Indian Cricket. So, a film about it should be an easy victory. But then, there are some problems associated with it. The major one is the lack of familiarity with the cricketers. Except for Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, and Krishnamachari Srikanth, none of the others is familiar to this generation. So, their introduction and establishing the characters in the film are not effective.
That is the reason why even enthusiastic cricket fans can not totally relate to the story. Coming to the film, any underdog story is easily convincible to the masses because they relate to passion and emotion. Films like Chak De India have worked so well because of that factor. But it is not the case with 83. Kabir Khan missed the trick here. For some reason, we do not find that passion in the team especially in the first half. It is almost like they are winning the matches by fluke. While the issue is addressed during the second half, the way it’s shown is flat. The drama around the matches too aren’t that engaging. The movie is 2 hours 46 minutes long testing our patience. It is another drawback.
The entire first half with two unexpected victories and two crushing defeats does not excite much. The interval bang (a very short duration) is impressive. The initial portions of the second half are again boring. We get to have some high only in the later parts – the high commissioner’s dinner sequence, the semifinal and final matches (maybe the last 45 minutes or so). Even in the final matches, we get a feeling that they can be exploited further. But the feeling of nationalism and India winning will provide the necessary high.
One more thing that works is some of the real incidents that are used in the film. Sports lovers who are aware of them will relish them. Kabir Khan used real pictures and videos at places and even had some of the stars doing cameos. They work in those moments. That neat ending will leave you with a decent feeling when you come out.
Overall, This Is 83 is a well-mounted film that ticks all the expected boxes. It leads to predictability and the length is a major dampener. But, the final hour and its emotional high cover everything. It makes the movie an easy watch once.
Deepika Padukone plays Kapil Dev’s wife and it is a small character with not much significance to the story. She is okay in it. Jeeva is energetic as the real Krishnamachari Srikanth. He is excellent and makes the proceedings bright at places. Pankaj Tripathi does a file job as Team manager Man Singh. The other characters are also fine.
Music and Other Departments?
This is 83 has excellent technical values. The artwork, the setup, VFX, are top class. The background score is crucial for a film like this. It fails for most of the film but works towards the ending portions. Dubbing of the main lead is a big disappointment. Sumanth has dubbed Kapil Dev which is a put-off. Siddharth has dubbed for Jeeva and is okay. The length issue has been discussed already and some portions of the first half can be easily chopped.
Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev
Some nostalgic moments (only for Sports lovers)
Final Portions of the film
Disappointing First Half
Lack of Emotional Connect
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Try with Zero Expectations
83 Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti