Writers: Abrid Shine, Bipin Chandran
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Joy Mathew, Anoop Menon, Saiju Kurup
The story of Rameshan, who looses his love and life due to his craze for cricket, and his final try to realize his big dream.
The film starts with Sachin's retirement speech, which I have not heard in full till now because of the sour taste that all the BCCI hoopla surrounding it had left in my mouth. Sports films are really hard to get right but this is not a traditional sports film in the sense that you are not supposed to root for someone who is playing it professionally. 'Sreenivasan inferiority complex vittu kaashundakkiyapole ee filmilude ivar Nostalgia vittu kaashundakkukayanu'. All the nostalgic elements that one could think of from late 80s and early 90s get an outing like watching cricket in Doordarshan, old malayalm film posters, Reynolds 040 pen, Ambassador & Premier Padmini cars, irritating elder sister, Kuwait war etc.
The period part of the story is extremely well done with a great group of supporting cast who were played by not so familiar actors. The cricket scenes are also very well done capturing the chaos of village cricket. They also managed to avoid the cliched 'hero hitting last ball for six after the fielder goes over the boundary taking catch'. I haven't seen 'Lagaan' in full but the climax cricket match in it was unbearably cringey. The second half of the film which is largely contemporary is predictable and dragging in places. I also thought that they couldn't get out of the period mode which might be intentional since Rameshan is a character who kind of got frozen in time due to the disappointments in his life.
Overall it is a very good watch with a surprisingly good script and performances. There is also scope for them doing a sequel with the kid turning into a Uber prick in the mold of Malayalee's favorite mallu 'Sreesanth'.