1983 Malayalam Movie Review
Reverberating with vibrant voices, Abrid Shine's directorial debut '1983' roots itself resolutely in a vivacious milieu called the game of cricket. The sense of warmth that the film exudes arises out of the upbeat air of hope that lingers around, as a cricketer who had had his dreams razed to the ground, relives his reverie through his gifted son.
Ramesan (Nivin Pauly), one among the thousands of youngsters that remained glued to their television sets as India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, realizes at that very spectacular moment that cricket will forever remain a part of his life. Fascinated by the game and becoming increasingly obsessed by it, he does emerge a brilliant player, but one who is destined to remain a sensation at local club matches.
When you hold fast to a treasure in your heart, everything else at times, appears trifling in comparison. Ramesan comes to terms with this vital truth a bit too late, when he watches his childhood sweetheart Manjula (Nikki Galrani), walk by with an affluent looking hubby and a baby in tow. Academics take a back seat as well, and the once diligent boy who was expected to turn out an engineer, ends up helping his disillusioned dad (Joy Mathew) at his lathe.
There is something very special about the characterization in '1983', and the crisp detailing is almost faultless. And this eminence spreads across almost every character in it, be it the namesake Sachin (Jacob Gregory in a side-splitting role) who drops in like a thunderbolt from Mumbai to play a match, or the beautician (Priyanka) who looks like a flustered peacock with a hair job gone all wrong, who decks up Ramesan's bride Susheela (Srinda Ashab) at his wedding.
I should admit I have never been a fierce aficionado of the game, and if Abrid Shine still manages to make my hair stand on its ends in sheer euphoria, it's apparent that the man has delivered a perfect shot. Above everything else, its Abrid's love for the game that drives this film forward with a gusto, making us, in the process fall in love with it as well.
It cannot be left unsaid, that the film itself is a luminous tribute to the greatest batsman ever, Sachin Tendulkar, and Abrid leaves no stones unturned to emphasize how ardent an admirer of the sportsman he is. In a very obvious tirade against Sachin's detractors, Abrid spells out in clear terms through the words of Vijay (Anoopm Menon), as to why he believes they don't make great players like Sachin anymore. Tendulkar, believe me, should be proud.
It goes without saying that this is perhaps Nivin's best performance as yet, and as a forty year old man who stills holds on to the stars in his eyes, he is out-and-out impressive. Nikki Galrani looks refreshingly stunning, while Srinda Ashab delivers a self-assured feat. There is a huge supporting cast that includes such names as Anoop Menon, Joy Mathew, Seema G Nair, Saiju Kurup and Shereej Basheer, and a few amazingly talented child actors as well, all of whom pitch in their worthy bits to this remarkable film.
'Olanjali..' is undoubtedly one of the best melodies that I have listened to in years, and if Gopi Sunder has succeeded in spluttering some exquisite glitter with his remarkable musical score, Pradeesh Varma makes sure that '1983' is a visual delight, with his dazzling frames that further add to the delectable charm of this film.
'1983' casts a spectacular nostalgic spell over a nation that is known to breathe cricket, and in the process gifts us with the first cinematic gem of the year. It does a magic trick that makes you smile, that breaks your heart and that inspires you to the hilt. Match splendidly won, Abrid, and further matches keenly awaited!