After nearly 2 years, I went back to a place that has always comforted me, the theatres. The last film I watched was Gully Boy, and it swept me away. 2 years later, it is again a Ranveer Singh film, that has implored me to hit the theatres despite my apprehensions regarding safety. After spending approximately 3 hours in the cinema, I come out gleaming like a little child filled with happiness, pride and sheer joy. That is precisely what 83 the film and the game did to me. Born long after the 1983 World Cup, I was alien to the glory that spread through the nation that time, but Kabir Khan’s 83 makes up for all of it, an exhilarating experience that made me fall in love with the movies all over again.
Kabir Khan brings together an enthralling star cast that is worthy of playing the greats it does. Ranveer Singh is a phenomenon, a man who proves once again that he is an actor par excellence. He makes us believe that we’re lucky to be living in a time where we can witness his magic because he simply seeps into the very soul of Kapil Dev. The flamboyant, and overt Ranveer that we’ve grown so used to, disappears to give space to the captain, and it is safe to say that he plays his best inning so far. Jiiva makes your heart smile as the endearing Shrikant, while Tahir Raj Bhasin captivates you as the original little master and Saqib Saleem gives a heart-touching performance as Mohinder Amarnath. Although, the most striking part of the film has to be Chirag Patil playing his own father, Sandip Patil, and he of course is bang on! However, all 12 players of the team make for exceptional performers, whether it’s Jatin Sarna playing the late Yashpal Sharma, or Adinath Kothare playing Vengsarkar. From Harrdy Sandhu as Madan Lal, Ammy Virk as Balwinder Sandhu, Dhariya Karwa as Shastri, to Nishant Dahiya and Sahil Khattar as Roger Binny and Syed Kirmani respectively, every actor leaves his mark. Also, special mention to Pankaj Tripathi, Deepika Padukone and Neena Gupta for being just the best versions of themselves.
83 as a film resembles the spirit of the very event that it’s based on, a spirit of uniting every person dwelling in this nation into one emotion — India. An emotion that transcends, age, generations, religions, states, borders and barriers, an emotion so fierce that it blurs all differences, and evokes only love. 83 recreates that same emotion 38 years after it happened. There is no dangerous enemy, no jingoistic chanting, no nationalism, and yet the kind of patriotism that the film evokes is the kind that one needs to make this nation great. A thirst to give India the respect it deserves, and whether it was 1983 or 2021, truth be told we’re still fighting for the same thing, and this movie reminds us to be better and try harder.
Alas, if there’s one thing that the movie and this historic event have taught me, then it is that victory tastes sweet only if you’ve fought and earned it. Here’s to the champions of 1983, the men who make our chests swell with pride, and make us believe that nothing is far-fetched.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.