(Crisp) Movie Review: MAIDAAN by FENIL SETA

Maidaan’s trailer doesn’t do justice to the greatness that the film offers. In fact, the first half is just fine and one wonders if will truly be worth it. But the film goes to dizzying heights in the second half. The manner in which the protagonist navigates the politics and his personal turmoil are seen to be believed and are clapworthy. The VFX matches global standards. No one can guess that the match scenes are not shot in Rome or Jakarta but in Madh Island! The match scenes are also highly nail-biting. The last 50-55 minutes are such that viewers will not move from their seats. And this is huge since we have seen many sports-based films. But that’s the genius of the writing, Amit Sharma‘s direction and the work of the technical team. The climax is highly moving and gives goosebumps. What adds to the impact is depicting the real-life players, during the end credits. It was so good to see the audience clapping for each and every one of them; it showed the film has left a deep impact. Ajay Devgn, meanwhile, delivers not just one of the greatest performances of his life but also of Hindi cinema. There were talks that he deserves a National Award for Maidaan. Having seen the film, I can vouch for it. Priyamani is lovely and lends able support. Rudranil Ghosh (Shubhankar) and Gajraj Rao (Roy Choudhry) are great as the villains while Baharul Islam (Anjan) is adorable. From the players, the ones that leave a mark are Davinder Singh (Jarnail Singh), Tejas Ravishankar (Peter Thangraj), Tanmay Bhattacharjee (Pradyut Burman), Sushant Waydande (Tulsidas Balaram), Amartya Ray (Chuni Goswami), Chaitanya Sharma (P K Banerjee) and Aryann Bhowmik (Neville Dsouza). Songs are okay but ‘Jaane Do’, sung by A R Rahman, adds to the impact. All in all, Maidaan is outstanding and it’ll be a crime to miss this film in cinemas.

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