Jersey Review: Performances hold the film up but not your mood in this emotionally heavy drama!

Jersey (2022/ Cinema Release / Drama/ Sports)

An emotional story of a former cricketer, floundering husband and a doting father who makes a smashing comeback to the game! 

Director/Writer – Gowtam Tinnanuri

Cast – Shahid Kapoor, Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Kapoor, Ronit Kamra

Plot

The story runs in back and forth narrative in three timelines.

We get introduced to Arjun Talwar’s life in past and present. 

A dashing cricketer, his beautiful girl friend, Vidya, their love and a promising future.

An ex-cricketer, a broken man, failing husband, but a doting father to a 7 year old Kittu.

The story goes on to join the dots in between and gives us glimpses of the aggressive, confident player, dashing  lover that he was, his terrible current life in pieces and how he gathers up himself to boom back.

Analysis

The star of the film literally and figuratively is Shahid Kapoor (Arjun) who carries the film on his shoulder. The actor who has set his bench mark with fantastic performances in the likes of Jab We Met, Udta Punjab, Haider and Kabir Singh has always boasted of intensity in his portrayals.

As Arjun, he adds heft to the character with the varied range of emotions he displays. The stubborn streak, the aggression, seething anger, the quiet pain, the recklessness, the broken man, the loving father and husband.

You would pity him, be angry at him and at times feel like shaking him out of his madness. 

His relationship with his son touches a chord. His track with Mrunal and the dire straits of their marital life breaks your heart.

The sports parts of the film (the cricket matches), though over simplified, try to add euphoria in this otherwise emotionally heavy drama.

Mrunal Thakur makes Vidya look lovely, adorable, vulnerable and strong at the same time. She gives a good range to her character and plays it well.

Rohit Kamra as Kittu is great.

Pankaj Kapoor is superb as coach and mentor Bali.

These actors leave no stone unturned and make sure we are emotionally invested in the film.

Direction wise, you can see the finesse and detailing is great. The film definitely has its heart in the right place.

But just as life doesn’t run on emotions alone, neither does a film.

The film despite the heavy dose of emotions (and I think that could also be a reason) remains banal for most parts. So much so that even the cricket portions fail to create a magic. Too much melodrama , too less entertainment I would say. 

The basic plot which seems far fetched at times, Arjun’s failings, his stubbornness gets on your nerves at times. There are too many “oh! Why the hell can’t he do this” moments! 

Seeing things go downhill most of the time takes a toll on you after all.By the time the story gives you moments to feel inspired and overwhelmed, it’s too late and we felt kind of exhausted.

The music being very mediocre and forgettable, didn’t help at all. The run time of 2 hr 50 min is overtly long and tiring.

The film is a neat and clean family watch, offers a great set of performances, has its moments that overwhelm and inspire.

But considering that it was such a hyped remake  and as someone who was looking forward to it, I was slightly disappointed.

Must watch for Shahid fans but others to decide as per their palate and the reviews.

Score 2.5 on 5 

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