Directed by Kabir Khan
Starring Ranveer Singh as cricketer Kapil Dev, Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Jiiva, Saqib Saleem, Jatin Sarna, Chirag Patil, Dinker Sharma, Nishant Dahiya, Harrdy Sandhu, Sahil Khattar, Ammy Virk, Adinath Kothare, Dhairya Karwa and R Badree.
We as a nation just love anything that would bring us laurels. But there are some very rare achievements for which we could just go on and on, and rightfully so. The Cricket World Cup in 1983 that changed the entire course of cricketing events in our country is one such moment of extreme pride the echoes of which will resonate for all times to come.
Held from 9 to 25 June 1983 in England and Wales and won by India, the 1983 Cricket World Cup was the 3rd edition of the Cricket World Cup tournament in which eight countries participated. It was an event full of dramatic cricket all through the tournament. Teams like India and Zimbabwe which were not playing well during those times scored victories over the West Indies and Australia respectively. England, India, Pakistan and tournament favourites West Indies too, qualified for the semi-finals. The preliminary matches were played in two groups of four teams each, and each country played the others in its group twice. The top two teams in each group qualified for the semi-finals.
But the entire story becomes all the more important as India, as the least favourite of all the participating teams, scripted history. And what a victory it was as India, playing in their first final, defeated the West Indies to claim their first World Cup title. India's victory in the match is generally regarded as a landmark moment in cricket.
The film by Kabir Khan is an emotional saga of valour, hard work team spirit bonhomie that the Men in Blue are known for. But even as one gets a glimpse into some of the toughest players that India has ever produced – be it Sunil GavaskarKrishnamachari Srikkanth Mohinder AmarnathYashpal SharmaSandeep PatilKirti Azad, Roger Binny to name a few, the 1983 World Cup was, is and shall always remain associated with Kapil Dev. The seminal victory at Lord's also ended the reign of Clive Lloyd’s mighty West Indies, as it paved the way for the team's glory at the World Championship of Cricket two years later and helped the Indian cricket Board become a powerhouse in world cricket.
The film written by Kabir Khan, Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan and Vasan Bala is a breezy entertainer fast-forwarded with deft editing and unemotional tracks. Our nation’s obsession with cricket and the interest the film has generated even after almost four decades of the historic event amply proves that none of us would ever let it fade from memory.
Dev’s sporting triumph will always have an emotional appeal for not just cricket lovers but for all Indians. His swift catch to dismiss Viv Richards, and Balwinder Sandhu’s banana inswinger to hit Gordon Greenidge’s stumps have left a deep imprint on the minds of generations. Though India has won the title two times, first in 1983 and then in 2011 when MS Dhoni captained the 2011 team to win their second title after 28 years, it is always Kapil Dev’s immense contribution as the Captain that spells class and undivided attention that many cricketers seem to learn from. .
Every bit of our triumph has been superbly recreated and woven into 163 minute film. While watching the film, if anyone as a proud Indian swells with pride, one’s admiration and fan moment come alive while watching Ranveer Singh too, who surrenders himself to the role without ever trying to mimic Kapil Paaji. So effortless he is that at times one forgets that it is a professional actor and not Kapil Dev himself playing the role. Not that other key role players - Pankaj Tripathi as PR Man Singh, Tahir Raj Bhasin as Gavaskar, Jiiva as Srikanth, Saqib Saleem as Mohinder Amarnath, Jatin Sarna as Yashpal Sharma, Chirag Patil as Sandeep Patil, Dinker Sharma as Kirti Azad, Nishant Dahiya as Roger Binny, Harrdy Sandhu as Madan Lal, Sahil Khattar as Syed Kirmani, Ammy Virk as Balwinder Sandhu, Adinath Kothare as Dilip Vengsarkar, Dhairya Karwa as Ravi Shastri, and R Badree as Sunil Valson are any less. In fact, each one of them lends authenticity to their respective roles without resorting to the usual caricaturish portrayals that one I so used to seeing in Bollywood films.
When Kapil Dev was named by Wisden as the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002, we all know why. His tenacity, cool and composed demeanor and unwavering and almost persistent dedication is all evident in Ranveer Singh’s portrayal.
Go watch it with family!