R Balki’s latest film Ghoomer kind of works on an emotional level because of the basic theme of not giving up and showing resilience. Regarding craft and writing, the movie is very much in a familiar space, and if you are someone like me who is a massive fan of Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal, Ghoomer would feel like a very over-the-top push of the same concept. Having said all this, Ghoomer ultimately manages to put a smile on your face.
A cricketer named Anina is our central character. She has great talent, and after playing an excellent match for the state team, she was eventually selected for the Indian Women’s cricket team’s probable list of 16. But before she could go, she got involved in an accident and lost her right hand. In the movie Ghoomer, we see this cricketer’s return to mainstream cricket with the help of an ex-cricketer named Padam Singh Sodhi.
One of the very first scenes in the movie has a professor explaining to his students why Indian cricketers couldn’t perform in England conditions, and our leading lady interrupts him and asks him to teach physics because she is applying physics to improve her batting skills. This unsubtle motivation is evident in the earlier portions of Ghoomer, despite Balki’s typical cool dialogues making things light in most of the scenes.
It is actually the second half, where the second chapter in Anina’s life begins, and the movie starts to feel engaging. How they have infused cricket and determination in that training phase of the script is something I might watch again when the film releases on OTT. I would say it was as good as Iqbal.
As I said, Balki has a way of creating these cool characters who crack humorous punchlines, and here also, in scenes, we can see that element of peculiar humor. Even the rhyming dialogue the characters say in emotional sequences doesn’t feel that corny or cheesy. The spoon-feeding that happens at specific points is a bit annoying.
There are a lot of structural similarities between Iqbal and Ghoomer. Be it the coach’s character, the drinking obsession, how they sought redemption through coaching, the rough dynamic between the coach and player, and even a different version of the Chakravyuh is visible in Ghoomer. Even though the match we see in the movie’s final moments has emotions depicted neatly, the way it gets centered around Anina is overtly filmy. Amit Trivedi’s music hits the sweet spot and delivers the feel we would anticipate seeing some moments.
As Anina, Saiyami Kher is excellent when it comes to portraying the challenging side of the character. One can sense the determination of that character in the way Saiyami projects the body language of Anina. Abhishek Bachchan, as the grumpy and rude coach Padam Singh is also really sharp. There is this monologue kind of scene where his character sort of explains the other side of his harsh treatment towards Anina, and editor Nipun Ashok Gupta cuts to a different shot very rarely during that sequence. Shabana Azmi looked very real and calm as the less emotional Federer fan grandmother. Angad Bedi as Anina’s love interest Jeet was also fine.
While Kukunoor made it feel a lot more real because of the way the movie ends with Iqbal in the Indian team after that Ranji Trophy journey with largely empty stadiums, here Balki imagines the entire first international game of the character with a packed gallery for a Women’s ODI. Even when you get those goosebumps seeing the rise of a star, the fact that it is entirely cinematic diminishes the charm. Because of the performances of both Abhishek Bachchan and Saiyami Kher, I would say Ghoomer is worth a watch.
Because of the performances of both Abhishek Bachchan and Saiyami Kher, I would say Ghoomer is worth a watch.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended