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Film Review - Chennai 600028
Chennai 600028
Movie review

Chennai 600028 - For the love of the game

Cast: Premji Amaran, and lots of new faces

Direction: Venkat Prabhu

Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Production: Capital Cinema, SPB Charan

This review is being written in the wake of the World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka turning out to be one of the most lopsided matches seen in the tournament. If you are one of the fellow sufferers disillusioned by the seemingly unshakeable dominance of 11 men from Down Under and are yearning for some real seat edge cricket that makes you gnaw at your fingernails until you have none left, then go watch Chennai 600028 - for the love of cricket.

Let’s get things straight. This movie is not a masterpiece, nor is it going to form a case study for students of cinema in the years to come, but believe me, if you have ever felt a ball thud on a bat, ever enjoyed the sound of leather striking timber, ever felt butterflies in your tummy as a bowler stands at the top of his run up; then you are going to enjoy this movie. Chennai 28 is a reality catch of one thing that can bring together all the people of our amazingly diverse country - cricket.

Cricket for many of us is the elixir of life. What if the ‘Men in Blue’ were back home long before the World Cup gathered momentum; we did find men in green, black and yellow to support. Now decide. Will you support the Sharks or the Rockers?
Chennai 600028
Who are the Sharks and Rockers? Well, they are the backbones of Chennai 28. Two teams playing local league cricket. Their standards might be pretty ordinary but their passion for the game is unmatched. The teams are a motley collection of young men who are from very middle class families, for whom life is a big challenge. Both teams can’t set their sights on each other without coming to blows. It’s a rivalry that when brought out on screen matches the Indo-Pak one. The tension is palpable when they come face to face.

The story takes off when one guy from one of the teams is forced to shift along with his family to the locality of the other team. Interesting twists and turns and a neatly woven love track result in something that one thought was impossible. The guy is estranged from his home team and very soon in vengeance finds a place in the team that he thus far swore against. Then it is the build up to the all important meeting between the two teams on the cricket field.
Chennai 600028
Leave the story aside; it is the characterization that is par excellence. Every character seems to have been picked from the streets of Chennai. The composition of the two teams is perfect; just what you will find in any local 11. A star performer, a few good players, a few hangers on and one absolute dud who hangs in the team just because he is too sweet to avoid and because the team can’t find anyone else. In most cases it is this dud who is most passionate about the game. In the movie Premji Amaran plays the dud of one of the teams and he is simply adorable, always failing to catch the ball, even if it is what cricketers call ‘plum pudding’. The moment in the big match where one stunner of a catch sticks to his hand is easily one of the best parts of the movie. The expression of disbelief on his face after realizing that he has caught the ball cannot be described.
The Chennai lingo has been used to perfection in the movie, you can connect to it if you are from Chennai.
The big match as usual (it is cinema) is a seat edge thriller, you cannot guess the winner till the end. The fact that there is no ‘hero’ in this movie does not make a certain team’s victory mandatory (in Lagaan you always knew who was going to win). But that’s just the semifinal and the victorious team enters the finals where it meets……oops, we shouldn’t be telling that…for that you must see the movie and it all ends on a hilarious note.
You might have got a picture of what the movie is by now. Well, if you think so, you are wrong. The fun and energy in the movie have to be experienced. It will help you a lot if you have played cricket, but even if you are one who has even the slightest inclination towards sporting activities, then too you will still enjoy it. There is everything in it, the team formation, the selection, practice, strategy and the actual match. You can enjoy seeing the team mates squabble, blame, ridicule and then forget everything and play together. You can feel the innocence and energy of youth and why not, this movie is a product of youth, the results are evident.

In short, Chennai 600028 is different, energizing and thoroughly enjoyable. Again remember, this movie is not a masterpiece, the inexperience shows in parts. But take my word, such a movie is not going to release in theaters for at least a few years and if you choose not to encourage this effort then such a movie may never release again.
Chennai 600028
Chennai 600028 is about youth, cricket and the everlasting bond. Enjoy…..For the love of the game.
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