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”Normally I wouldn’t trust a hero named Ron Roy. It sounds like an alias for a scamster in the stock market. But no. Barun Sobti plays the cricket talent manager for real. The way Sobti says his lines, they seem to be real words and not bumper sticker wisdom hurled at us in exaggerated tones.He just knows.
Sobti(what happened to him?) holds together a film about cricket and its machinations where some characters are stilted, others unsure of what they are doing .Sobti makes us overlook the glaring errors and glitches. For example, Ron’s right-hand man Boston is played by two different actors with a passing resemblance.
Did they really think they could get away with it?When it comes to cricket , Indians tend to overlook at lot of glitches, Luckily for us this film about a disgraced cricket agent who rediscovers his mojo by teaming up with a young banished cricketer Shome Ray(Amartya Ray) doesn’t require too much effort to ignore its faults.
Although it sometimes plays too hard for cuteness , 22 Yards is not an unlikeable film.The director Mitali Ghosal keeps the characters and their dilemmas on the credible level even when the narrative keeps prancing from one dramatic rush of renewed energy to another.
Mid-way through the film just as we are coming to terms with Ron’s renewed zest for life(and cricket) through his new protégé Shome, the script introduces yet another loser ,a psychologist turned –believe it or not—tailor played by Rajit Kapoor.
Kapoor is , as usual, in fine and believable form. But his belated presence makes us wonder how many more disgraced/damaged characters will show up before Ron rises from the ashes in a victorious finale that is as predictable as monsoon rashes after a rush of rain.
As stated Barun Sobti keeps us watching,even when his giggly love interest gets down to psycho-analyzing Ron. “You use your sense of of humour as a defence mechanism….It doesn’t happens(sic.) to everyone,” she states solemnly.It doesn’t, indeed.Wish she would just follow Ron’s advice . Just know.
Ajay Rai’s JAR Pictures is reputed to deliver quality films with the least noise. Bawri Chhori will make you smile. It comes from the right place , a modest but genuine place, and it pulls no punches, as Radhika(Ahana Kumra) takes off from her smalltown in Punjab to London to wreak revenge on her husband who deserted her.Just like that!
No money, no contacts, just a passport and loads of vengeful confidence to get even with the man who wronged her, Ahana Kumra plays the part with a controlled zest. Just because she is desi and emotional it doesn’t mean that she has to be loud and abrasive all the time, right?
Right! Ahana plays the vengeance-seeking Punjabi wife with a restrained chutzpah.She anchors the show and she has solid support from an austere unpretentious screenplay which is written like as an adventure story with Radhika running into various desis in London who give her a warm bed, warm food and well…warmth. If only the real world was so friendly!
At times I got a severe attack of déjà vu specially when Radhika and her new London-desi bestie with blue hair Anna(Ruman Molla, entertaining and quite interesting) get high on ganja: think Queen. Think Kangana Ranaut. Think Lisa Hayden.Luckily for the film and for us, Ahana Kumra makes the role all her own. She’s feisty and goofy wise and stupid, brave and cowardly all at once.
Isn’t that how life is? Not to say that Bawri Chokri is a mirror of life. Some of the episodes in ‘Radhika’s Adventures Abroad’ take unacceptable leaps of faith. And yet the plot always lands on its feet,a bit bruised sometimes, leaving us with a pleasant feeling at the pit of our stomach.
The supporting cast is …well…supportive and it’s good to see Niki Walia back on screen after so long(she was once Anil Kapoor’s leading lady in Mr Azad). Also, it’s a welcome departure from the norm to see London being used not as a touristic attraction, but a character in the film.So does Radhika get her revenge on her absconding husband? The answer to that depends on which side of the fence you are standing on.Either way, this is an engaging modest unpretentious sincere film that serves up a topical warning to wife deserters. Don’t!