Producers: Deepika Padukone, Kabir Khan, Vishnu Vardhan Induri, Sajid Nadiadwala, Phantom Films, Reliance Entertainment & 83 Film Ltd.
Director: Kabir Khan
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Tripathi, Saqib Saleem, Jiiva, Ammy Virk, Harrdy Sandhu, Nishant Dahiya, Jatin Sarna, Chirag Patil, Sahil Khattar, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Dhairya Karwa, Dinker Sharma, Addinath Kothare, R. Badree, Neena Gupta
Story: Sanjay Puransingh Chauhan & Kabir Khan
Screenplay: Kabir Khan, Vasan Bala, Sanjay Puransingh Chauhan
Dialogues: Kabir Khan & Sumit Arora
The film 83 aims to encapsulate the iconic moment where India lifted the 1983 cricket world cup. The world cup is set in the UK and the Indian team is led by Kapil Dev (Ranveer Singh). India isn’t even considered in the competition, let alone the underdogs. They’re merely considered as an honourary inclusion and nothing more than that. So when he and the manager Man Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) say they will win, the obvious reaction is that they get laughed at, not only by those foreigners but also so many of the Indians. The confidence is so low in the team that even some of the players thought it’s a good tournament after they won the first couple of games. The whole world thought that they’ve got more than what they came here for. But they didn’t count on one man, Kapil, and his team of tigers to prove them wrong. What happens next is, well, history.
First off, I still get the goosebumps as I write this thinking not only about the film, but about the history that was made. I wasn’t even born when India managed to write history and to me and a lot more like me this film is not only entertaining but also a lesson. Kabir Khan not only builds up to the victory in an entertaining way, but most importantly, captures its soul in the film and that just makes the film even better. Despite all that, the film does have its flaws but has the heart in the right place. It has taken some cinematic liberties, and they seemed a bit over the top and unnecessary for me. Instead, as someone not privy to the inside out of the dressing room then, would have loved to know more about what transpired and what happened. It would have been more accurate. Despite that, this film is meant for theaters and it should be watched with the crowd so as to you get the feeling you are witnessing it live in the stadium.
Technically, the film is great. Cinematography by Aseem Mishra is good. He captures the shots as well as the mood of the film with precision. Nitin Baid’s editing is simply fantastic. The cuts and transitions are done really well. I wasn’t too happy with the VFX for the long shots in the cricket stadium. The production design was brilliant and felt authentic. The costume designers deserve a special mention for being so accurate with each and every character’s looks and their costumes. They did a splendid job as it felt so real. Pritam’s music is not of the chartbuster variety but is used well in the film and it enhances the scenes. The writing is good but the melodrama could have been reduced a little.
Performance wise the film is great. Ranveer Singh is the catalyst of this film, similar to how Kapil Dev was the catalyst of the team back then. Ranveer makes it feel like the role was tailor made for him. He gets everything right down to the dialect/accent of Kapil Dev. The Indian team always had P.R Man Singh to fall on and the cast of 83 had Pankaj Tripathi’s ever dependable shoulders to fall on. He brings his best every time. Saqib Salem as Mohinder Amarnath is very good. Jiiva as K Srikkanth is simply brilliant. Ammy Virk as Balvinder Singh Sandhu is fantastic. Harry Sandhu as Madan Lal is great too. Jatin Sarna as Yashpal Sharma is simply epic. Chirag Patil is natural as Sandip Patil. Tahir Raj Bhasin is restrained and good as Sunil Gavaskar. Dhairya Karwa as Ravi Shastri is fine. Dinker Sharma as Kirti Azad is nice. Addinath Kothare as Dilip Vengsarkar is superb. Sahil Khattar as Syed Kirmani is fantastice as well. Deepkika Padukone doesn’t have much to do as Romi Dev but she brings her A game. At this point I’ve honestly run out of superlatives. But I’ll say that each and every actor has embodied their respective character to near perfection, if not a 100% perfect. The rest of the cast offer good support as well.
Kabir Khan delivers and entertaining film that will induce goosebumps and tears especially if seen on the big screens, although he could have cut down on the unnecessary drama and given us more about the team and the team’s dressing room.