83 Movie Review – Does the Film Do Justice to India’s Unlikely Dream 1983 World Cup Journey?




83 Movie Review - Collage of Actors & Players
The greatest consequential underdog story?

83 Movie Review – The much-anticipated Bollywood film on India’s unlikely 1983 World Cup victory has hit the theaters.

Watch it or Skip It? Here is my 83 movie review. Comment on what you thought of the movie. Below my Verdict, you will see India’s 1983 match scorecards, highlights of the semi-finals and finals, interviews, and the trailer/clips from the movie.

Also Read: Netflix ‘Bad Sport’ Fallen Idol Review: Must Watch for All Cricket Fans

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83 Movie Cast

  • Kapil Dev (C) – Ranveer Singh; Romi Bhatia (wife) – Deepika Padukone; (Mother) – Neena Gupta
  • Sunil Gavaskar – Tahir Raj Bhasin; Pammie Gavaskar (wife) – Parvati Nair
  • Krishnamachari Srikkanth – Amar Choudary (Jiiva)
  • Dilip Vengsarkar – Adinath Kothare
  • Mohinder Amarnath – Saqib Saleem; Inderjith Bhardwaj (wife) – Aditi Arya
  • Yashpal Sharma – Jatin Sarna
  • Sandeep Patil – Chirag Patil (actual son)
  • Ravi Shastri – Dhairya Karwa
  • Madan Lal – Harrdy Sandhu; Annu Lal (wife) – Wamiqa Gabbi
  • Kirti Azad – Dinker Sharma
  • Roger Binny – Nishant Dahiya
  • Balwinder Sandhu – Ammy Virk
  • Syed Kirmani (WK) – Sahil Khattar
  • Sunil Valson – R Badree
  • PR Man Singh (Manager) – Pankaj Tripathi
  • Farokh Engineer (Commentator) – Boman Irani
  • Malcolm Marshall – Mali Marshall (Actual son)
  • David Firth (Journalist) – Simon Balfour
  • Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister) – Avantika Akerkar
  • Guest Appearances from Kapil Dev (spectator) & Mohinder Amarnath (as father Lala Amarnath)
  • Other characters include Mr. Wankhede, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Joel Garner, Michael Holding, Jeff Dujon, Indian army, little Sachin Tendulkar (and older brother)
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83 Movie Detail & Information

Release Date: 24 December, 2021

Director: Kabir Khan

Length: 2 hours, 42 minutes (162 minutes)

Rating: 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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83 Movie Review – The Summary

83 is unlike any sports movie out there. Rather, it is an extended highlight reel (which has been shot spectacularly well) of the 1983 World Cup from the point of view of the players sprinkled in with some inspirational music.

The movie begins with that Viv Richards’ shot in the 1983 World Cup Final. Madan Lal’s seemingly innocuous delivery, Richards attempted pull, Yashpal Sharma closing in, and Kapil Dev running towards and completing that catch.

The movie pivots back to the months prior to the World Cup, where the Indian cricket team receives the invitation to the 1983 Prudential World Cup and manager PR Man Singh starts his preparation for the tour.

The rest of the movie is set in England. 83’s theme revolves around doubt cast by the rest of the world on Kapil Dev’s team and how they overcame it. The Indian cricket board, MCC officials, English journalist David Firth, Indian journalists, Indian fans, the commentators, and even some of the players themselves—none of them gave Team India a chance.

In order to NOT spoil the movie for you, I am not going to go in the details but let me lay out the general idea.

The rest of the movie basically dives into each and every fixture for India in the World Cup—What happened between each match, the conversations in the dressing room and net practices, the shenanigans in the hotel or bus during downtime, cultural influence back home, support from wives and family, and finally, the tension in the match itself. The direction of Kapil Dev’s 175* is the best moment of the movie, giving life to an innings uncovered due to BBC’s strike.

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83 Movie Review – The Performances

Special mentions to the acting performances.

Ranveer Singh’s portrayal of Kapil Dev is spot on with accurate bowling action, accent, and leadership moments. Another character who is central to the movie is Pankaj Tripathi as PR Man Singh. He is the glue that keeps the movie together.

With Ranveer Singh highlighting the show, I had an underlying fear that he would overshadow the rest of the characters.

This could not have been farther from the truth as each actor came into his own just like each of the actual players coming to the party in the 83 WC. Ammy Virk (Sandhu) and Jiiva’s (Srikkanth) comic timing, Jatin Sarna’s (Sharma) fluency, and Tahir Raj Bhasin’s embodiment as Sunil Gavaskar with his subdued demeanor add immense value to the movie.

Even though they do not get as much screen time, Saqib Saleem (as Amarnath) and Nishant Dahiya (Roger Binny) shine and provide the best moments in the film while portraying their vulnerable side. From Patil & Shastri to Kirmani & Sunil Valson, each character has been given due role.

Boman Irani’s (Farokh Engineer) commentary acts like the fourth wall, conveying the differences in perception between the rising Indian dressing room and the outside world.

The beauty of this movie is that halfway in the movie you will feel like you are watching the actual players and are hooked into the storyline.

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83 Movie Review – The Verdict: To Watch or Not to Watch?

Pros: Screenplay; Chemistry Between the Actors; Seamless Immersion of Real-Life Photos in the movie

Cons: Climax Ends Too Quickly (Not much focus on post-match speeches or the aftermath); Political References Interrupting flow of the World Cup

Verdict:

Is 83 the greatest sporting movie of all time? No, not even close.

Remember the Titans, the Rocky movies, Last Dance documentary, Moneyball, and Invictus all rank higher up that list. In terms of Bollywood, Chak de India, Lagaan, Iqbal, and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag are the golden standard.

Comparing 83 to any other sports movies would be an injustice. You see, there isn’t a rousing emotional speech in this one. There isn’t much background of players’ personal lives either like other stereotypical sport movies. The sole focus is on the couple of months preceding June 25th, 1983, and they do this exceedingly well.

The movie’s delivery is simple because Kapil Dev was a simple man.

The strength of 83 lies in the inside jokes and stories. We may have heard a few of them during the numerous interviews over the years, but 83 has breathed life into these characters on the big screen.

Credit to the writers of the movie for infusing little details like Keki Tarapore’s influence on Indian fast bowling and for illuminating on the aura of West Indian players at that time—Captain Clive Lloyd, Sir Vivian Richards, and the fast-bowling unit, Joel Garner, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and Malcolm Marshall.

If you are a cricket fan, this is a 5/5. You will enjoy each and every moment of this movie. If you are watching objectively from a film critic point of view, there is a little more left to be desired at the very end.

Don’t miss out on this gem.

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The Most Consequential Underdog Story Ever?

While it cannot be claimed that this is the single greatest underdog story in sporting history, it definitely ranks among the top. What India’s 1983 journey can claim is the Most Consequential Underdog story.

In 83, you will see that Team India came in with dire financial situation and zero expectations. The Indian cricket board facility looks archaic, allowance per day & food is at a bare minimum, the 83 WC is just a stopping point for a self-funded trip to Miami, and there is no respect from the cricketing world.

The only WC game India had won so far was against East Africa (1975), and they even lost to Sri Lanka in 1979, a team with no Test status back then (equivalent of USA defeating Ireland in today’s world).

Fast forward 30 years, the BCCI controls world cricket as a multi-billion-dollar governing body, depth of Indian cricket is unparalleled, cricket is central to India’s culture and economy, and the Indian Premier League, limitless sponsorships, world class facilities & coaches are a given.

India is at a great position today due to the efforts & hard work of these men in 1983. If there was ever a fairytale story to get inspiration from, this is it. Never lose hope despite outside noises. Keep believing – you never know, it might come true.

I will leave you with one final thought – What if India had NOT won the 1983 World Cup? What if Kapil Dev had dropped Richards? If Dev had failed to arrest the slide at 17–5, with the 175*, would we be playing the Zimbabwe Premier League today?

Also Read:

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1983 World Cup India’s Scorecards

  1. India Won by 34 Runs Vs West Indies, Manchester
    • Yashpal Sharma 89 (120)
  2. India Won by 5 Wickets Vs Zimbabwe, Leicester
    • Madan Lal 3/27
  3. Australia Won by 162 Runs Vs India, Nottingham
    • Trevor Chappell 110 (131)
  4. West Indies Won by 66 Runs Vs India, The Oval (London)
    • Sir Vivian Richards 119 (146)
  5. India Won by 31 Runs Vs Zimbabwe, Tunbridge Wells
    • Kapil Dev 175* (138), 2 catches, 1/32
  6. India Won by 118 Runs Vs Australia, Chelmsford
    • Roger Binny 21 (32) & 4/29
  7. India Won by 6 Wickets Vs England, Manchester
    • Mohinder Amarnath, 46 (92) & 2/27
  8. India Won by 43 Runs Vs West Indies, Lord’s London
    • Mohinder Amarnath, 26 (80) & 3/12

Bonus: India Won by 10 Wickets Vs East Africa (1975) Farokh Engineer 54* (93)

Team India’s Statistics at the 1983 Prudential World Cup

Batting – Most Runs

RunsAverageBest100/50
Kapil Dev30360.60 (108.00 SR)175*1/0
Yashpal Sharma24034.28890/2
Mohinder Amarnath23729.62800/1
Sandeep Patil21630.85 (90.00 SR)51*0/2
Krishnamachari Srikkanth15619.50390/0
Madan Lal10234.00270/0

Bowling – Most Wickets

WicketsAverageBest4/5
Roger Binny1818.664/291/0
Madan Lal1716.764/201/0
Kapil Dev1220.415/430/1
Mohinder Amarnath822.253/120/0
Balwinder Sandhu837.122/260/0
Ravi Shastri (5 matches)421.753/260/0

Fielding Most Catches

Catches
Kapil Dev7
Ravi Shastri (5 matches)3
Sunil Gavaskar3
Krishnamachari Srikkanth3

Wicket Keeper – Dismissals

DismissalsCatchesStumpingMax in 1 Innings
Syed Kirmani14 1225 catches

1983 World Cup Videos and 83 Movie Clips

83 Movie Review – Trailer and Clips

  1. 83 Official Trailer
  2. Kapil Dev-Sandhu “There, There, & There” Scene
  3. Madan Lal-Kapil Dev Scene Before the Catch
  4. Kirti Azad Vs Ian Botham Scene
  5. Mohinder Amarnath-Yashpal Sharma Scene
  6. Srikkanth’s Speech Scene
  7. Kapil Dev’s Attempted Motivational Speech Scene

1983 World Cup Video Highlights, Interviews, and Documentaries

  1. India Vs West Indies Finals Highlights
  2. India Vs England Semi-Final Highlights (Crowd storms the field as England as Patil-Dev clinch victory)
  3. Post-Match Interview with Kapil Dev & Clive Lloyd
  4. Indian Team Meeting with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

Interviews

  1. Gavaskar on Kapil Dev’s 175
  2. Breakfast With Champions (Kapil Dev)
  3. BwC (Michael Holding)
  4. BwC (Ravi Shastri)
  5. Team Interview at Kapil Sharma Show

Documentaries

  1. ICC – Kapil Dev and the story of the 1983 World Cup
  2. How We Won the World Cup with Sandeep Patil (ESPNCricinfo)
  3. 1983 World Cup Fox Documentary

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© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 12/28/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).




Nit X
About Nit-X 230 Articles
I dreamt of being a No. 3 batsman saving test matches and hitting winning runs. Well, that did not exactly go to plan, but I have since become an avid follower of the game. As long as there is a live cricket, you can guarantee that I will be checking the scorecards, watching the game live on TV, and certainly, discussing the game and statistics with family and friends.

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