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Jersey review: Shahid Kapoor knocks the emotions out of the park as a late bloomer

Sometimes all you need is a little drama, and Shahid Kapoor's Jersey is here to provide it. It’s not a straight-up cricket movie, so temper your expectations and enjoy the movie.

3rating
  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 03.39 AM, Apr 21, 2022

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Jersey review: Shahid Kapoor knocks the emotions out of the park as a late bloomer
Story:

In Arjun Talwar's (Shahid Kapoor) struggle to fulfill his son Ketan's (Ronit Kamra) ambition of acquiring a jersey, he is forced to confront his heroic past and must decide whether to rise to the occasion or continue to live a life as a loser.

Review:

The confidence Shahid Kapoor shows as a young cricket superstar while walking on-field in his heroic entry scene is good enough to show that the actor has owned the character. With his arrogance of knowing he is the best, Arjun Talwar (Kapoor) hits it out of the park the moment the ball touches his bat. Then the moment comes when reality hits ten years ahead when Arjun and his family are living in a ramshackle house with leakages.

Kapoor is a silent, frustrated 36-year-old man whose priority is his son and his happiness. Arjun wants his over-enthusiastic son to play the game of cricket after his career hits a roadblock. It's gut-wrenching to watch the actor in this emotionally wrecked avatar, which is the opposite of what we saw in his last outing, Kabir Singh (2019).

While Kabir Singh's character spiralled into self-destruction as a result of whatever losses he suffered, Arjun's character tries his hardest to pull himself out of it, even if it seems to be too late.

Here, the loss is not being able to make it to the Indian cricket team, and in every frame, the actor nails the part. This is the first time Kapoor plays a dad on screen, and the bond shown between the father and son is beautiful to watch.

Jersey is the Hindi remake of the National Award-winning Telugu film of the same name (2019) in which Nani played the lead role. Despite it being a remake film, director Gowtam Tinnanuri brings a North Indian appeal to the filmmaking and does not make it lost in translation.

Kapoor plays a man from Chandigarh, and he mouths Punjabi every time he can. The actor known for bringing his element to the roles he plays will not even once remind us that he is playing a character who has already excelled on the big screen.

Similarly, Mrunal Thakur as Arjun's wife Vidhya is fantastic. She is shown equally frustrated with life while trying to meet her needs, and the makers make sure that she’s not the bad cop in Arjun’s story. You equally empathise with her character for not being able to lead a happy life as her stay-at-home husband is of no help to her in every way.

In a typical scenario, we have often seen that if either of the spouses is shown in a bad light or as a parent who is not fulfilling their child's needs, they are called selfish. But here, Tinnanuri made sure that this question is out of the picture and their sadness equally deserves empathy for the lives they are leading.

In Jersey, although it's a sports drama, the film focuses more on the drama than the cricket. But that's OK, as it's an emotional story about the relationship between father and son. However, the first half of the film is too slow, and after a point, you might just wait for the interval. The film gets too deep into emotions, and there's hardly any way to get out of it.

As for performances, Kapoor once again delivered the finest performance, which will be remembered for years to come. It was a lot of firsts for the actors in this film, including playing a father onscreen and also playing a man who is more or less his age. Jersey also has a story about "late bloomers" and cricket, which is an interesting subject to be touched upon. Kapoor is stupendous as a youngster and then as a 36-year-old man who knows his game very well.

Kapoor excels in the cricketer avatar and shows how much effort he has put into Jersey to get completely into the skin of his character. The cricketing sequences are well-choreographed and don't play with the camera tricks most of the time. The actor brings out sharp finishes in his gaming style, just as he was expected to.

Frame-by-frame, the actor’s ageing in the story is shown, and so is Thakur’s. She’s put through a lamp test in the film. For those who don’t know, the “sexy lamp test” is a thought experiment that aims to identify poor representation and faulty portrayal of women in the media by determining how relevant a female character is to the plot of a work. Jersey puts Thakur back on the map after a very long time and brings out the best in her in the best way. She is wholly a part of the film, as much as the leading actor is.

After a long time, Pankaj Kapur was seen on the big screen, and the veteran actor brought out the old world charm. Despite the real-life father-son duo playing coach and protégé in the film, their equation is palpable to watch.

Ronit Kamra, who also played Nani's on-screen son in the Telugu version, reprised his role in the Hindi one too. The child artist, despite having a language difference, brings his good performance, as he did a few years back with original Jersey.

Siddharth and Garima, who wrote the dialogues, balance it out well in both Hindi and Punjabi. But the interesting fact is that those dialogues are easier to understand and keep well with the emotional quotient of the film.

Sachet and Parampara, who have composed four songs for the film, work well in the background, and they take the story forward in quick succession. It's the songs that help Jersey keep up the pace of the film, which drops low in the first half.

The cinematography by Anil Mehta shows the beauty of the country in all its glory, be it Chandigarh or Dharamshala. Jersey is beautifully shot, and it is stitched together amazingly well by editor Naveen Nooli. He won a National Film Award for Best Editing for the Telugu version.

Shahid Kapoor once again brings out the best in him and the actor proves that he is here to stay for a very long time. The film might not make you teary-eyed during many scenes, but it will leave you intrigued by its high drama.

Verdict:

Director Gowtam Tinnanuri strikes the right chord by remaking his film in Hindi. In these times when we are filled with so much heavy content on both the big screen and OTT, Jersey comes as a breather. Well, sometimes all you need is some drama in your life and Shahid Kapoor-starrer is here for it. Well, it's not an out-and-out cricket film, so keep those expectations in check and watch the film.

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