Review By : Movie Run Time : 1 hour 48 minutes Censor Rating : U/A

Production: Kalanjiam Cine Arts Cast: Jayaprakash, Mirnalini Ravi, Narain, Roshan Direction: Suseenthiran Screenplay: Suseenthiran Story: Suseenthiran Music: Arrol Corelli Background score: Arrol Corelli Cinematography: Sujith Sarang Editing: Thiyagu PRO: Johnson Distribution: Studio 9 Production

Suseenthiran's latest sports flick Champion's plot is a bit similar to his breakthrough film 'Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu' (in a good way) as this film is all about the journey of a talented underdog football player who struggles to come out and shine due to the various personal, societal and economic problems he faces.

Champion is a good mix between a story of the under privileged's passion, which is ultimately restricted by their lifestyle and their environment and the personal quest of revenge. Despite releasing closely after a few football oriented films (Bigil, Jada, etc), Champion mostly remains fresh and engages well throughout. The casting of the lead (played by Vishwa) has played a major part in how this film has turned out. The new face and the unfiltered realistic emotions of his makes the setting and the plot more credible.

Despite poverty and societal inequality, the protagonist leads a happy life until he uncovers a ghastly truth about his father's death. The boy's struggle of choosing between the game which will lead him to victory or avenging his father's death is presented tastefully by the director. The viewers do feel the protagonist's family's situation and the need to make the right choices, but also understand the young boy's thirst for vengeance, as there is equal weight to both the parallel settings of the plot.

Actor Narain has been gifted another memorable character after Kaithi. He plays the coach of Vishwa in the film and Narain's character acts as a pillar of hope, a guide and as a reality check for the amateur college student Vishwa. The passively aggressive coach gets an amazing scene in which he matches the 'mass' factor of leading heroes. Apart from Narain, the casting of the protagonist and the antagonist worked well with the set locale. It will be surprising if Vishwa is not an actual football player, after seeing his dribbling and juggling skills in the film.

Like the director's debut Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, the match sequences are real and the minimal editing on those scenes really brings this football-based film apart from its recent competitors. The focus shifts and the slow-motion shots were used well and the focus on the yellow color palate worked well with the setting. There were minimal 'lags' in the film and the screenplay was seamless. The running chase sequence from the bus to the narrow streets in Puliyanthoppu was stimulating.

Arrol Corelli scores big-time with his BGM's in the film. The hook from the Manathil Salayil song sticks to your head for a long time, only to be brought back again at the right time in the second half. The school portions weren't the best in the film due to the cliched and predictable story and due to the dubbing issues of the protagonist's love interest. Manoj Bharathiraja suited the character well given to him and delivered a realistic performance. Mirnalini Ravi merely plays an instigator to develop the plot further, but her convincing performance is amiable.

The film is sound when looked at from a distance, but you need not be a film expert to find out the obvious flaws like the hero's house which remains totally unchanged for years together or his mother, who hasn't aged a day for more than 10 years. Even though the film is about elucidating the struggles faced by a sportsman from north madras, the connection to the topic might be little off with the audience, as all the major problems of the protagonist are rather personal than universal.

Overall, Champion is an engaging sports thriller that is worth watching at the theatres. The various interesting characters, their motives and the multiple conflicts presented with balanced emotions in the plot, make Champion work.

Verdict: Suseenthiran's Champion has the right mix of sports and emotions that makes it an engaging watch.


2.75 5 ( 2.75 / 5.0 )



Entertainment sub editor

பிரேக்கிங் சினிமா செய்திகள், திரை விமர்சனம், பாடல் விமர்சனம், ஃபோட்டோ கேலரி, பாக்ஸ் ஆபிஸ் செய்திகள், ஸ்லைடு ஷோ, போன்ற பல்வேறு சுவாரஸியமான தகவல்களை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கு கிளிக் செய்யவும்