Victory starring Harman Bawej, Amrita Rao, Anupam Kher and host of cricket stars from Brett Lee to Harbhajan, from Rohit Sharma to Sangakkara, Mike Hussey to Sohail Tanvir and Murlitharan was released today. ‘By chance’ I got a peek preview yesterday due to some lobbying. I rued my chances later thinking I should have watched ‘Luck by Chance’ instead.
Anyway, the movie is about Vijay Shekhawat, a small town boy from Jaisalmer with starry eyed dreams of making it to the Indian team. He is shown to be struggling player. But his struggle is hardly shown. What the movie is stuffed with is a series of melodramatic sequences that actually keep you pondering whether to cry or laugh. For example, Vijay makes a heart rendering request to Dalip Tahir, the coach of Indian team, to give him a chance. Dalip melts, gives him a chance and our Vijay becomes a superstar overnight. Wow! Thankfully our current coach is a South African who will not understand Hindi. Had he been like Dalip, our team would have been full of emotional badshahs who cry when they cant hit a boundary.
As the movie progresses, our Dada or Azhar part two cracks three centuries in a row despatching almost every one to the boundry. Sigh! Obviously the guy is now lured by innumerable ad campaigns, glamorous world, money thanks to our baddie turned agent Gulshan Grover. No prize for guessing what happenes next. So when our24yrs old simpleton boy wonder is thrown out of the team, his gandhian father suffers a stroke. I understand. And now Vijay realizes all his mistakes, fights back his way to the team and claims a victory in a crunch game. His father miraculously recovers. My brain refuses to understand this.
Harman’s theme in victory is similar to Priyanka Chopra’s theme in Fashion. Small town wonders, strike gold in the big game, buoyed by success and corrupted by fame, fall from the pinnacle and rise from ashes like a phoenix. The only difference is, Priyanka is a better actress. One of the things why I didn’t review Fashion was the above theme. The lead actors seem to be too gullible. At the same time their quest or come back seem to be too easy. Fashion however scored much higher on the emotional quotient.Victory tries but doesn’t. (To be fair they shouldn’t have tried)
I have a policy of reviewing movies that are either too good or really bad. Victory, to be fair, hovers from trough to crest. Though most of the time it languishes at the bottom of my appreciation list. After Love story 2050, I think Harman has come a long I think way. Though he needs to polish his acting much more. His pairing with Amrita is cute, much better than his pairing with Priyanka. Others, including cricketers, have done justice to their roles. Sadly, this was not one of the best roles they were offered. So not their fault. I think Ajitpal Mangat, the director, should have done much better than this. He chose a story which has a mix of Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s cricketing life. And he chose to make a movie on India’s second religion. Much more could have been done if he could concentrate more on the game rather than the melodrama. (May be I’m getting biased because I felt Iqbal, Chak De India and Goal were much better movies… much better!)
Overall I would say Victory is an average flick. Go watch it if you have nothing else to do, like I did.