83 Full movie Review : A team from India, considered underdogs, won the country’s first-ever World Cup title in 1983 under Captain Kapil Dev. In ’83, Kabir Khan beautifully captures this team’s journey of inspiring a continent to believe in its cricketers and pinning its hopes in them by returning home as world champions.
First few minutes of the film, Kabir Khan introduces the audience to characters through an intelligently crafted passport sequence. Also, he uses dialog and light conversation to let you know that Indians were not confident that India could win the World Cup. It’s precisely at that point that you realize this film isn’t about winning on a global scale, it’s about earning respect.
Throughout the film, Kabir juxtaposes real images with reel images, causing the audience to sit up and take notice of how much time and effort was put into research and recreation (the scenes look exactly as they did during the 1983 World Cup matches) of pivotal moments in Team India’s journey. Drama as well as sport were clearly incorporated into the film. This was ultimately successful.
In 1983, when India won the World Cup Finals, it knocked out the West Indies, which was a near-unbeatable team during that time. There was a point during the tournament when Team India’s expectations were so low that a broadcaster could easily choose to show a game between West Indies and Australia over the clash between India and Zimbabwe. Those legendary innings by Indian skipper Kapil Dev with the Mongoose bat had not previously been captured by cameras.
That sequence alone will be worth the price of admission if you’re watching this film. Besides saving the day for India, Kapil Dev’s innings earned India a spot at the table and the respect it had been lacking from all corners until then – the cricket board back home, Indians living in India and abroad, the international press, and even those who have already made their mark.
This lack of respect for the captain’s desire to win the world cup is evident at different points in the film, which highlights what ultimately drove the team to achieve its goal. A dramatic film about Kabir Khan’s dramatic ’83 highlights the highs, lows, glorious wins, painful defeats, and the internal turmoil experienced by each player, as well as their journeys to create a team that could defeat the mightiest men in the gentleman’s game.
With Ranveer Singh accurately recreating Kapil Dev’s unmissable style of talking, mimicking his Natraj shot on the ground, and recreating his bowling action and body language, you immediately know you’re immersed in a sports drama about the game of cricket. The more he talks about why he feels, perceives, and thinks the way he does about the sport, the more you understand the reasons for his distinction in the sport. In the film, we learn about the emotional effects of seeing Kapil Dev holding the world cup each time we see it; the picture has become iconic.
On the surface, ‘83’ is a story about a team overcoming odds and winning. As you go deeper into the film, you realize each actor effortlessly portrays an iconic cricketer from the 1983 team, which gives the impression that this is a picture crafted with a skillfully written narrative, supported by internalised performances, and each department contributing their own brilliance. Ranveer plays the captain here, but Tahir Raj Bhasin, Boman Irani, Hardy Sandhu, Jatin Sarna, Ammy Virk, and Hardy Sandhu are also among those who add a shiny quality to this film.
We must also draw attention to the way the iconic moments of Team India’s journey in the 1983 World Cup were portrayed for the film. Drama and emotions were woven seamlessly into the film.
The film’s writers deserve credit for seamlessly weaving it all together. Based on real events, one cannot take too many cinematic liberties with this film. You will see that at the end of the day, it was an internal journey of a group of underdogs, who had to fight their own odds both internally and externally – a factor that as Indians we will all be able to relate to, notably in light of the sport 83 is based on and the time period in which the events took place.
I agree with your assessment that 83 overplays the nationalism rhetoric. By its own spirit, the film’s rhetoric scenes would have succeeded in driving home the point. There was potential for good music in ’83, which could have given the story more tempo. However, Kabir Khan does once again set himself a high bar with this.
Ratings on The Basis of
Visual appeal: 4.0/5