83 Movie Review: Surreal, Heart-Wrenching and Underdog Story for Respect
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83 Movie Review: Surreal, Heart-Wrenching and Underdog Story for Respect

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The heart of the film was the sad truth that despite our independence from the British Raj, we were unable to acquire respect. Even after 35 years of independence, Indians were still considered losers, and their success was dismissed as a coincidence and luck.

This underdog story is a lovely depiction of Kapil Dev’s World Cup team of 1983, which won hearts and mended the degrading attitude of Britishers and Indians who had lost faith in the team. Why? Because India had never won a match, let alone one at Lord’s Stadium in London.

With impeccable matches played by the squad in 1983, the narrative was passionate, surreal, and heart-wrenching. As a kid growing up in the 1990s, I had no idea something like this had happened and had only heard about it from the mouth of legend (Kapil Dev) and the news, so it was the most amazing sight to see and be proud of.

The Story:

It’s a wonderful story about how the Indian Cricket Team, despite the press labelling India’s victories as luck or coincidence, performed the unthinkable with limited funds but maximum motivation. 

  • It’s the story of cricketers who proved that, despite being the underdogs, they can compete with any other country. 
  • It’s a story about how, no matter what’s going on in your personal life, you must show up and play for your nation with all your heart and soul, because this could be the day you’ll come to regret the most in the future.
  • It’s a story about not allowing negative words to get to your head and doing your own thing to achieve your goals.
  • It’s a tale of Indians who, while knowing that their country is losing, are desperate to see it win, swearing along the way. However, it is their faith that ultimately leads to India’s World Cup victory in 1983.
  • Whenever India was in trouble and Kapil Dev entered the game, everyone knew we’d be saved. We all felt the same way when MS Dhoni stepped onto the field. So, it’s reassuring to learn that Kapil Dev was the one who pioneered the concept.
  • It’s a story about how it was time to demonstrate to fellow cricket veterans and journalists that India can win and defeat the two-time champions West Indies. Before 1975, the West Indies were deemed a terrible team, but they didn’t issue a statement to quell the negative press; instead, they played their game and won two world cups in a row, as Kapil Dev noted in the film.
  • The film is a tribute to all of India World Cup 1983 cricketers, who helped the country earn a place with dignity among the world’s top cricket teams.

The Best Parts:

  • The idea that changed the presentation of the movie was how while they were playing on the ground, the telecast was being shown of the original 83’s team and how they played. We did get some glimpses of the amazing shorts and unfortunate accidents through photos. 
  • We did see appearances from the legendary Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, the Vice-Captain of the 83 squad and Neena Gupta, who plays Kapil Dev’s mother Rajkumari Lal Nikhanj. Interestingly, Viv Richards dated Neena Gupta, who was renowned as the Invincible and the finest batsman in the 1980s. Masaba Gupta, India’s leading couturier and actor, is the couple’s daughter.
  • The filming of India against Zimbabwe was entirely based on research conducted by eyewitnesses to the match. Kapil Dev set a world record with his smashing 175 runs against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells, which is still regarded as one of the best ODI innings of all time. Unfortunately, there is no video evidence because the BBC did not cover two matches played on that day, including the West Indies Vs Australia match. During his 138-ball hit at the Tunbridge Wells, he hammered 16 fours and six sixes, shattering a few car windows and prompting others to manually remove their vehicles from the parking lot.
  • Yashpal’s innings, Mohinder Amarnath’s semi-final and final man of the match performances, Sandeep Patil’s strokes, Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s wicket of Greenidge in the final, Kapil’s match-saving 175 against Zimbabwe, and finally Kapil’s catch of Viv Richards from Madan Lal bowling in the final are all fantastically depicted memories.

My review: 
I admire how they blended the reel and real-life scenes. All of the actors did a fabulous job, it felt like watching the real match. When Kapil Dev sir and young Sachin Tendulkar entered the movie, the audience erupted in applause. The background music was spot on and spurred patriotic emotions. When India won, it gave me goosebumps. I’m delighted that, because of this film, I was able to relive how the country felt on that particular day. 

Picture-perfect casting, outstanding editing, spot-on photography, mind-blowing character acting and mannerisms down to the last detail, little over-dramatization, and maximum impact were all present in the film. 

The bowling actions of the great West Indian fast bowlers (Roberts, Garner, Holding, and Marshall), as well as our own Kapil, Sandhu, Binny, Madan, and Mohinder, were so close to the actual actions; even the batting of Viv Richards, Gavaskar, Yaspal Sharma, and Sandeep Patil, was as if we were transported back to 1983. The entire 83-member production team deserves praise for their dedication. Pankaj Tripathi is such a gem, and he’s outdone himself yet again! The CGI work on the ball movement was incredible!

The wildest and most amazing aspect of all was that Indians of all religions, states, races, and creeds celebrated like mad that night and month in utter astonishment at the unthinkable, and today I could finally feel it! Pakistan even ceased cross-firing along the border to allow India to hear the semi-final match between India and the West Indies on June 25, 1983. This demonstrates that while we may speak various languages or hold different ideologies, our hearts all beat at the same time.

Finally, a lovely film to revisit old experiences with grandparents, parents, friends, family, and children. This is a wonderful film that will make you cheerful and energetic during these difficult times.

About Post Author

Pallavi Gupta

A wandering soul finding solace in the tidbits of life and the little things it has to offer.
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