Actors: Shreyas Talpade, Parambrata Chaterjee, Arun Nalawade, Chhaya Kadam
Director: Jayprad Desai
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
Hindi sports biographical films are famous for flirting with the best outsiders left alone. So it’s really shocking to see a movie like that Kaun Pravin Tambe?which plays with a really straight hitting as it unites a compelling life story that is more to bitter perseverance than striking accomplishments and staggering statistics.
Director Jayprad Desai (Kaun Pravin Tambe? is his first Hindi film and second feature after Marathi -speaking Nagrik) and screenwriter Kiran Yadnyopavit (himself a well -known filmmaker and actor) kept it very easy as they returned home with cricketer Mulund who spent the best year of his life struggling. The Times Shield match in hopes of penetrating the Ranji Cup squad of Mumbai. The season passed but Pravin Tambe didn’t reach the grade until he was on the wrong side of 40.
That’s not to say that Kaun Pravin Tambe?, streaming on Disney+Hotstar, is not occasionally tempted to try a fake fairy tale shot. In an effort to spark some drama about the constant resistance and reversal the protagonist faces as he struggles on the edge of a game he likes to distract, it throws in an engaging sports journo (Parambrata Chatterjee) that insults Tambe, dismissing him repeatedly as a cricketer a ‘ditch level’ that has no future in the higher game leagues.
The pen-pusher is a completely unnecessary addition to an otherwise perfect self-contained story. His inclusion is clearly intended to put a sort of villain, a hindrance and a chair critic, to an unwanted hero, not only betraying a vague knowledge of how journalism works, it also leads to a very frustrating sequence. As a result of the bet that she lost, the convicted journalist had to cross-dress as a woman and imitate the thali-and-lamp ritual prevalent at the Mumbai tennis ball cricket tournament. Wide ball with a fair margin.
Kaun Pravin Tambe?published by Fox Star Studios along with Friday Filmworks and Bootroom Sports, has enough natural flesh to not need outside elements to generate conflict and create context for the painstaking and painful progress of cricketers through the ranks.
His career was limited by extraordinary luck, thanks to the intervention of Rahul Dravid (who appeared as himself in the film’s prelude besides being imitated by actor Chirag Trivedi later) and former Indian fast bowler and DY Patil Sports Academy director Abey Kuruvilla (Nitin Rao), bringing him to round of the Indian Premier League (IPL) without ever playing a single first class match.
Tambe, a Mumbai ‘Everyman’ with a dream he would never give up, was 41 years old when he donned the colors of Rajasthan Royals. His first season IPL performance helped him fulfill his life’s dream of representing Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. What a story! Kaun Pravin Tambe?except for the occasional avoidable action that does not place any importance on the scoreboard, doing justice to the man and the things he represents.
What works well for him Kaun Pravin Tambe? is actor Shreyas Talpade, a Marathi and Hindi cinema actor who rarely gets his rights. As a simple-headed pacer, Talpade is really great. He captures, with consistent composure, the persistent confidence that sustains the man as well as the recurring frustrations that threaten to ruin his career.
The film, of course, has its share of the usual biopic tics but that doesn’t dilute the tone and realistic tenor that director Desai banks for the most part. Tambe receives relentless support from friends and cricket buddies, in addition to active encouragement from his brother (Varoon Varma). But life is not a stretch of roses for a lower middle -class boy who must earn a living and shoulder the responsibilities of being a wife and two children.
His wife Vaishali (Anjali Patil, who holds everything) and his mother (Chhaya Kadam, great as always) often doubt Tambe’s chances. But even though life seemed to pass and fill her with bitterness, the man refused to let go of her. His exploitation as a military moderate bowler turning to leg rounds on the instructions of coach Vidyadhar Paradkar (Ashish Vidyarthy), which gives another dimension to Tambe’s evolution as a cricket player and a man, keeps him and talent scouts interested.
Tambe, given the way he is wired, is more focused on the game than on the ‘player quota’ jobs he gets and loses. Exploited by one company and pushed against a wall, he was also waiting for a table at a bar – which gave the stray reporter another reason to belittle the man. But Tambe ignored the insinuations and the soldiers against the possibilities piled up against him. We knew how the story would end but we kept investing in it. That was the biggest success of the film.
“Live ho ya match, all you need is a good one,” Paradkar Tambe said. But the lingering wait for that life -changing one is all about this film. It illustrates, in all its sharpness, the nature of struggle and the many challenges that a man must face in a city that fuels many failed dreams.
Kaun Pravin Tambe? it is good to see the lighter parts often. The film doesn’t shy away from playing the jokes inherent in old age but physically Tambe’s undivided perseverance. In fact, part of the film also manages to convey the impossibility of the deceased’s seemingly impossible dream.
With Shreyas Talpade getting a sweet spot on a regular basis and director Jayprad Desai controlling the flow of the story strictly and measured, Kaun Pravin Tambe? find almost all the answers needed to formulate a meaningful statement about goodness never give up. It’s entertaining and exciting.