Jersey is no less than a dream project for Nani who spent good time on the project. He even underwent vigorous training in cricket to play his shots right. Displaying his confidence on the flick, he promoted the film aggressively. Critically acclaimed maker Gowtham Tinnanuri of Malli Raava fame has directed Jersey that starred Shraddha Srinath in female lead. Will Nani and team hit a sixer with Jersey?
Arjun (Nani), a Ranji level player, aspires to play for Indian team. But, owing to internal politics, Arjun doesn’t get place in Indian probable list of players for next big international tournament. So, he makes his mind to put full stop to his cricket career, as he is now a responsible family man with a wife Sarah (Shraddha Srinath) and son Nani. Sadly, Arjun is suspended from his job on false corruption charges. Since then, he becomes jobless and depends on his wife’s wages. He couldn’t even fulfill his son’s small wish of buying an Indian Cricket Jersey. Fortunately, Arjun gets to play for a charity match of Hyd Vs New Zealand. This brings big change in Arjun who is now willing to play for Hyderabad team and then for India. Where his journey ends? Will he achieve it?
Director Gowtham Tinnanuri has his own style of portraying stories. Like in Malli Raava, the story runs in different time periods in Jersey as well. He narrates the story of an aspiring cricketer and his struggles to fulfill his life ambition. Jersey is not just another sports film. It inevitably has romance, family emotions and also has heroics in right dose. The journey of the protagonist has so many ups and downs and we can call it as a biopic of a fictional character. Though cricket is main backdrop, family drama takes the driving seat. The hard-hitting emotions haunt you throughout. Dialogues are thankfully not hero-worship, but are thought-provoking. Best thing is each and every character is so significant and is true to life.
Gowtam Tinnanuri has got cent per cent support from all his technical team. The cinematography by Sanu Varghese is so authentic that we feel like watching live characters and live cricket match. Anirudh Ravichander has come up with situational tunes and background score is hypnotizing. The BGM just gives life to the visuals. Editor Naveel Nooli needs a definite mention here as he makes the narration look simple and clear, though his task was tough as the subject deals with journey of protagonist in different time periods. Production values of Sithara Entertainments are top notch.
Onto performances, Nani has come up with a life time performance as films like these comes rarely. He just lived in the character which needed him to show variation in different time period starting from a young lad to a middle aged man. Especially, he makes everyone emotional with his inner pain as a family man at 36. Shraddha Srinath didn’t look striking, but her performance was arresting. She scores with her mature show as a responsible ‘only earning’ family person. The kid played Nani’s son was charming and superb. Sathyaraj is at his best. Nani’s friends’ batch including Praveen gives some comic relief. The other artists too made their presence felt.
Slow Take Off
Very Few Boring Scenes
Lack Of Elements For Masses
Making a sports based film is not an easy task, even though a director has winning script in his hands. Gowtham Tinnanuri is just one film old and his debut directorial Malli Raava was not a commercial hit. However, his love, enthusiasm and attachment for this film, we sense the whole time. The journey is so emotional and exciting that, thanks to exceptional writing and taking.
Movie begins with Nani proudly giving his dad Arjun’s biography book, a best seller, to an enthusiastic reader who is desperate to read the life journey of a cricketer. This is a lead to flashback of Arjun who is a Ranji cricketer aspiring to play for Team India. From here on the real struggles emerge which every struggling youngster (not just cricketers) will relate to. Love, marriage and then responsibilities force him to give up cricket. His lifestyle is completely different now as a dependant husband who wants his son to have bright future, but is relying on his wife’s salary, after losing his job. Arjun postpones his duties owing to his psychological trauma he goes through. However, life gives him another chance when he gets to play for a charity match. The moment his son bows to him after his almost match winning knock, he takes a serious decision, towards intermission.
Latter part begins on an interesting note with big stumbling blocks before Arjun. Coaching and selection team is always against giving one last chance to veterans as it will throw an aspiring cricketer in waiting list for more time. Typical coach mentality is shown in a scene where when everybody appreciates Arjun for his tremendous batting performance, coach cautions him for his stroke play. “Sir Nenu Meeru Cheppinde Chesau, Day Ayipoye Varaku Not Out Gaa Unnanu,” uttered by Nani is a fitting reply. Then, the cricket matches that Arjun and his Hyd team plays with various teams in Ranji trophy is like watching live matches back to back. Then, a big challenge for him is to pick among family and cricket. “Nanna Nuv Cricket Aduthunte Hero La Untav Nanna,” this dialogue from Nani gives clarity to Arjun on his decision. The climax portion is also emotional with Nani explaining greatness of his father Arjun at a felicitation program. “Maa Nanna Geliche Varaku Prayathnam Cheyadam Kaadu… Thanu Chanipotharani Thelisinaa Kuda Aadaadu…” a perfect end to an emotional journey.
On the whole, Jersey is definitely one of the finest films in recent times and is a must watch for all section of audience. Those who love cricket and those who left their ambitions in the middle, owing to financial conditions and other family difficulties will love the film to the core. Cj goes with 3.25 star rating and the film has all the chances to shake the box office!