22 Yards(Amazon Prime)
Starring Barun Sobti, Panchi Bora, Amartya Ray, Chaiti Ghosal
Directed by Mitali Ghosal
Rating: ***(3 stars).
“Just Know”. Says the film’s protagonist Ron Roy at the fag-end of narrative to the girl he loves . “Just know that I love you.”
Normally I wouldn’t trust a hero named Ron Roy. It sounds like an alias for scamsters 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 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.