Review: Victory – 20 runs per over, no sweat!

Remember Hrithik Roshan‘s opening scene in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham where he closes his eyes and think of his parents? Well I just couldn’t help thinking of that as I saw Harman Baweja close his eyes and canter the last ball of Brett Lee over the ropes in the climax of Victory. I know I had promised not to make another Hrithik Roshan reference but it’s hard to resist when they both star in movies releasing on the same weekend. We’ve always had a soft spot for movies that are set against the backdrop of cricket and hence we made sure we didn’t miss catching victory this past weekend. To back our statement we also claim to have witnessed a dud like ‘Hat-trick‘, a reasonable watch like ‘Jannat‘ and the refreshing ‘Iqbal‘! OK fine, who are we kidding here! Hat-trick was for Nana Patekar, Jannat was to see if Emran would snog the cutesy Sonal Chauhan, and Iqbal was just because it was a Nagesh Kuknoor film. Victory was an excuse to see the refreshingly chirpy Amrita Rao and poke fun on her-man! It must also be noted that we saw ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur‘ only for Ms.Rao and then fell in love with the brilliant meetha marz song.

Now all this blabbering and no talk, the reason being that there wasn’t much
talk about
the movie
wasn’t much to talk about the movie. What if instead, we told you the story of a boy whose father dreams to see him in the Indian cricket team. He fails to go beyond the regional politics(read Arjun Yadav) and based upon a freak practice session outing get selected for the Ranji team where he scores a double century. Cut to his ODI debut and tonking the likes of Lee and Clark over the ropes scoring consecutive centuries, winning the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards. Overnight starlet of the media, endorsing everything from hair-oil to watches and swinging drunk in clubs. Missing practice sessions leads to the ball crashing into his wickets instead of the ropes as always. Picking up an injury and carrying it through the game till form and health both suffer and then being dropped. You may stop to remind us that we are only narrating the story of spoilt brat Yuvraj Singh. The similarities don’t end there and go on to a pub brawl and even being referred to as prince. So if you haven’t had enough of the ebullient Navjot Sidhu and his contorted phrases, let us get on with things.

How can we forget the man who saw 2050the man who saw 2050, who wonders how the plot that worked for Iqbal failed to click for him. The reason being that the Iqbal underdog story wraps up in an hour and there on we are treated to a regular fare of how fame engulfs Vijay Shekawat and he falls flat on his face. So you have the buildup to the climax where makes a comeback after going under the knife to prove himself to this father. You are almost convinced as it seems believable except for the dames and booze sequence where the moral card comes to play again. The dividing line between an innocent player from a small town and an inebriated star on the phone is a bottle of lager. That translates to arrogance, dip in form, losing matches, expert panelist comments and splashing the headlines. You also have Gulshan Grover remind you of Liz Hurley in Bedazzled as he pawns her-man’s soul for all the riches and his own personal gains. It might come of as a bad comparison for neither he is as sizzling as Ms.Hurley nor he grants seven wishes, but you get the drift.

As for Her-man if his next with magic-boy-gowariker fails to click, he might well vie for the post of the next biggest b-grade superstarthe next biggest b-grade superstar with our Dappan Koothu favorite Jimmy boy. I wonder why all movies with a sporting theme always feature a goody good selfless girlfriend who stands by the hero when he is down, helps him train, regain form, cheers for him as he overcomes his demons and then slips into oblivion. We’ve seen that always and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar being a classic example, and Victory is no different. The sassy Amrita Rao does the needful here and her potrayal of a cute small town girl fits the bill. Brett Lee has maximum screen time apart from the lead pair and boy he looks like a greek god! The closing moments can safely be negated and ignored for you have a heavily bandaged Her-man raining sixers at a run-rate of 20/over. I wonder how much Stuart Clark charged for ridiculing himself and adding insult to injury by letting Her-man canter him for six-sixes in an over. Sadly the movie that begun with a brilliant title sequence featuring kids play cricket in every nook and corner fails to hold ontot he excitement and grinds to a sorry halt after having run out of steam. It is amusing to note that the movie is named after the production house that made it and Victory Pictures sure got some publicity out of this gimmick.

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