Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hours 40 minutes Censor Rating : U

Production: Sithara Entertainments Cast: Nani, Sathyaraj, Shraddha Srinath Direction: Gowtham Tinnanuri Screenplay: Gowtham Tinnanuri Story: Gowtham Tinnanuri Music: Anirudh Ravichander Background score: Anirudh Ravichander Cinematography: Sanu Varghese Dialogues: Gowtham Tinnanuri

The sun is shining bright, and Arjun (Nani) enters the stadium to roars and cheers from the audience. Somewhere from the stands, his girlfriend Sarah (Shraddha Srinath), who later becomes his wife in the film, cheers for him saying "I love you!" We're not sure if he hears it, but he raises his bat towards the spectators and acknowledges their gesture.

Are we going to see another sports drama that shows how great a cricketer our protagonist is? Fast forward ten years and our man is lying on a sofa with a child on top of him. Sarah is sleeping on another sofa as the roof keeps leaking. There are plenty of problems around him as mundane life strikes him in the head. Cricket becomes a lost dream.

Jersey has more depth and lesser idealism than the average sports drama. The filmmaker's vision is enhanced by the performances. While Shraddha Srinath delivers an intense performance as Sarah, Nani looks natural as Arjun and portrays the role with a great amount of conviction. The performances complement the characterization, with the characters' motives clearly explained, making them more grounded and organic. Sarah comes across as a complex personality who is burdened by various chores in her life - that of an office-goer, a cook, and the head of the family. This complexity, combined with her flaws makes Sarah a character you can relate to a lot.

The film doesn't put down Arjun and make him the villain of the relationship. He undergoes his own set of problems that you can empathize with. You can exactly understand the confusion inside his mind, which results in the director striking a balance between both the characters and the relationship on the whole. But the pick of the cast has to be the brilliant Ronit Kamra, who plays the son of Arjun. His prowess can be seen in a scene where a street cricket match is taking place and his friends talk about his dad appearing in the newspapers frequently. He doesn't care about that and asks them to concentrate on the match. His caliber levels up to the screen presence demanded by that character.

The writing is complemented by effortlessly electrifying music of Anirudh in the cricketing portions makes us sit on the edge of the seats. We do certainly know which team is going to win the match, but it is these technical values that keep us engrossed and invested in the story. With the majority of the film set in 1996, Jersey establishes the timeline through pop culture references of the era- Television sets echoing Doordarshan shows and poster of Sachin are some of the pleasant touches we get to see throughout the film.

The film also speaks a lot about second chances, not in a preachy, talky manner but conveys it through a cricket match in the climax that is brilliantly juxtaposed with the life of Arjun. It doesn't glorify the hero's struggles to be a part of the Indian team. Rather, the film zooms in on the clash between his life on and off the field. Such layered writing makes Jersey stand out from the run of the mill sports films. Jersey is a restrained drama that shows what sport, accompanied by the trials and tribulations in it, can do to a man rather than what it does to him.

Verdict: Jersey is a layered sports drama with strong technical work, making it a must watch.


3.25 5 ( 3.25 / 5.0 )





Jersey (aka) Jerseey

Jersey (aka) Jerseey is a Telugu movie. Nani, Sathyaraj, Shraddha Srinath are part of the cast of Jersey (aka) Jerseey. The movie is directed by Gowtham Tinnanuri. Music is by Anirudh Ravichander. Production by Sithara Entertainments, cinematography by Sanu Varghese.