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Movie Review: Hurman's Victory


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  #1  
Old 01-29-2009, 02:48 PM
soniya soniya is offline
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Default Movie Review: Hurman's Victory

It is a sad attempt at making a film on the most popular National pastime.






On learning about his son's exclusion from the Indian team, Anupam Kher suffers a paralytic stroke. Later when the boy steers his team to victory in a thrilling comeback, he miraculously recovers - for one last time. This is just one of the many melodramatic moments this so-called sports flick boasts of.

Promising cricketer Vijay Shekhawat (Hurman S Baweja, in a daring attempt to appropriate what has been Bachchan's screen alias for decades) makes it to the Indian team after years of struggle. Following a smashing debut, he is flooded with contracts and endorsements deals. Expectedly, our young man loses both focus and form. After being dropped by selectors and snubbed by advertisers, Vijay undergoes an attitudinal change. And what do you know? Braving a serious head injury during a match, he leads India to a near-impossible win. Interestingly, Hurman's rise and fall and rise again is quite similar to his ex-girl friend's award-winning track in Fashion. But minus the emotional impact.

Dull innings:

Come to think of it, expectations from a sports flick are not that high. It's usually about the underdog's journey from obscurity and failure to being recognised, appreciated and feted. And it all comes together in a gripping, emotional finale. Victory follows the same premise. But what is appalling is that it fails to deliver the basics. In a film about cricket, there is not enough cricket to watch. None of the innings played on screen manage to evoke the staple edge-of-the seat thrills of a sports flick. Even a Holland vs. Canada ODI promises more action than what is shown here.

Clichéd melodrama:

The film is saddled with clichéd melodrama that makes you cringe. I can't even recall the number of stereotypical dialogues and scenes this film crams in. It's a film where an out of form cricketer touches the coach's feet before a crunch game. It's a film in which celebrity managers are referred to as dalals and endorsement money is called 'gandi kamai'. It's a film where everyone screams out of their lungs regardless of the situation.

Zero research:

Clearly not enough research has gone into the depiction of an actual dressing room, team selection processes, fitness regime details, coaching methods and the sportsman - celebrity manager equation. Instead this film looks like an cut-paste of cricket gossip from prime time news bulletins. It seems someone out there wanted to tap into the hype and the sensationalism around the most popular sport in the country. There is little in this film to prove the filmmakers' love for the game. If anything, the filmmakers seem to be awestruck by the stardom, the hysteria and the fanaticism around cricket. And that's all they want to capture. If there's big monies in the game, why not make some with a film on the same, eh?
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:48 PM
soniya soniya is offline
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No sporting spirit:

In a truly objectionable sequence, Anupam Kher's character is shown justifying the mob fury that erupts after any big defeat, the mindless acts of vandalism perpetrated by hysterical fans. On a number of occasions Hurman swears at his opponents before sending them to the cleaners. Where's the sporting spirit?

A sincere premise:

To be fair, Victory has a relatable premise. In this era of 20-20 cricket, we are used to stories of meteoric rises and mighty falls. Victory makes several indirect references to Dhoni's success story and Yuvraj's flamboyant lifestyle. There's also a scene showing Hurman raising his bat to the sky, much like Sachin Tendulkar who dedicates all his innings to his deceased father. But all such attempts at striking an emotional chord, ends up tickling you silly. Unintentionally of course.

Too many extremes:

Victory works like a Manoj Kumar film. Where life is all black and white, good and bad, swinging between extremes. Vijay's successful run is implausible - he scores a hattrick of centuries. On being exposed to the glamour world he seems to enjoy more riches than a Hollywood star. And when he is down he can't even go past a duck. Post his comeback, 'endorsement' is a bad word and he is able to score 50 off just 12 balls! Compare it to the believable failures and hard-won triumphs in Iqbal and Chak De India, and Victory would seem way too simplistic, unrelatable.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:49 PM
soniya soniya is offline
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Bret Lee's acting debut:

For a cricket fan it's fun watching some of the biggest names from the international circuit. You even have half a dozen commentators from Navjot Singh Siddhu (whose Siddhuisms get generous screen time) to Tony Greig to even Atul Wasan - all mouthing their trademark cricket jargon. Bret Lee is actually quite a delight on screen. Displaying typical Aussie wit he tells Hurman he wants him to recover soon so that he kick his **** once again. In another scene he warns him saying his deliveries are meant to break skulls. Hurman's repartee is simply a bunch of Hindi expletives. Hope Symonds' legal team does not watch this scene.

Sports films are known for their snappy one-liners, inspirational speeches and nail-biting finishes. None of which can be found in Victory. Even the most average American soccer flicks manage to win audiences because, end of the day, they are fun films to watch. Victory is no fun either.

Sincere Hurman needs to get clever:

Baweja's effort shows (sometimes a little too much for his own good) and you can't question his sincerity. He has even shaken off the Hrithik-isms. But thanks to his choice of projects he seems destined to be stuck in a rut, much like the struggling batsman in the initial reels of this film. After making a mess of science fiction in Love Story 2050 he messes up yet another genre this time.
The rest of the actors sleepwalk through their parts. Hurman and Amrita however make a very cute couple - much better than his Priyanka Chopra pairing.

Verdict: Victory is a sad attempt at making a film on the most popular National past time. You'd be better off playing book cricket at home instead.

Rating:
1.5/5
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