Come on, be a sport! That’s the chosen field of recreation for many forthcoming film including—hold your breath—Amit (Badhai Ho) Sharma’s Maidaan, Srijit(Begum Jaan) Mukerjee’s Shabaash Mithu, the Anushka Sharma helmed cricket-biopic Chakda Xpress, Vijay Deverekonda’s Hindi launch by Karan Johar in the mixed martial-arts action adventure Liger…..
The list of forthcoming sports film gets longer by the month. Should that be a reason to be happy? Not for the makers of Jersey whose cricket film about Shahid Kapoor losing and regaining his career , is the next sports film on release.
The producers are reportedly worried after the crippling failure of Kabir Khan’s cricket film 83. But I think they have nothing to worry about, ’83 failed because the reported 220 crores that were spent in its making were not visible on screen. Who can see the most expensive London hotels where Ranveer Singh reportedly insisted on staying?
And who gives a flying duck if the climactic cricket match was shot at Lords, the poshest stadium in the world?Also, today’s generation is not at all emotionally connected with Kapil Dev and team’s Gold Cup victory in 1983 whereas Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey has cricket only as a backdrop. The main plot is an emotional heart-tugging father-son story. So Jersey can breathe easy.
Which brings us to the biggest problem that sports film have to face: the expenses don’t show in the product. Nagraj Manjule’s Jhund was not as costly a film to make as Kabir Khan’s ‘83. But it was nonetheless a very expensive film(estimated budget 90-100 crores) in spite of only one star in the cast Amitabh Bachchan. The rest were actual slumkids who were apparently paid peanuts.
And yet Jhund is a costly disaster for its producers. Considering the enormity of its failure(it did not even get an opening) the losses run into a minimum of 40-50 crores.
Manjule who earlier made tightly-budgeted Marathi films didn’t know how to handle the sudden swing from a 5-crore filmy fling to a 90-crore cinematic affair This often happens with auteur directors who are saddled with the responsibility of directing superstar-driven big-budget projects.
The biggest problem with Jhund was its length.At almost 3 hours , watching the film was slog. If the content had been edited down to 2 hours it would have been a much more digestible film.