Barun Sobti Holds 22 Yards Together

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.

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