Shabaash Mithu Movie Review Rating:
Star Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Vijay Raaz & ensemble.
Director: Srijit Mukherji
What’s Good: the approach is not such that the story is focused on the main match creating a climax, but it is the journey that you must actually see.
What’s Bad: The obvious clichéd sports biopic troops that end up making the movie resemble things we have already seen and blurs the voice. Also, no one clearly ages in this universe.
Loo Break: It’s a long film, there is a predictable chunk that plays up and you will get the hint.
Watch or Not?: There is nothing that would create a strong impact on avoiding this one. You must give it a chance at least for a very gripping first half.
Available on: In Theatres Near You.
Runtime: 163 Minutes
With ‘cinematic liberties taken’, this is a visual account of the life of the glorious former Indian Women’s Cricket team Captain Mithali Raj who created a dent in the system and made the world shift their gaze towards women in sports.
The surge in content revolving around sports and especially biopics has almost trained our minds to automatically predict the storyline and if it doesn’t serve a hooking introduction, just quit it. Because 9 out of 10 times the blueprint ends up looking the same and that creates zero to no impact. So when there is yet another sports biopic from an actor who has given another in the same year, the above-mentioned situation is highly unavoidable.
Enters Srijit Mukherji with writer Priya Aven to shape the fictionalized biopic of the game changer Mithali Raj, whose victory in the real world is still fresh in our minds. Together they manage to win the introduction war as they chose to take the basic route of going linearly to tell the story. We meet an 8-year-old beautiful girl who is learning Bharatnatyam. The opening is so interesting because it isn’t about a girl who was determined since she was born, rather she was fuelled by someone who was determined.
The entire part and which is a huge chunk of the movie when Mithali was a little girl who was introduced to the sport and later hooked to it is interesting and entertaining. The idea of focusing more on the journey of this girl than her achievements also happens to be the cherry on the cake.
Where the cherry starts tasting bitter is when they make it all look easy. And that must be blamed on the rush even when the runtime is long enough. Like no conflict stays for a time that we are submerged in it so that the conclusion can move us. Here are women who are even deprived of basic rights by the Cricket Board of India, worse they are insulted when they ask for it. There is a moment where they have no proper washrooms, so they have to take the help of the buses by the side of a road. Such hard-hitting moments but never enough to make you question why did we look down upon them basis their gender? The idea was to realise how unequal our systems have been, but the voice is fluctuating.
On top of this, there are clichéd troops that look like the team thought cannot be avoided so they exist. Like a resembling 70-minute speech from Chak De! Or there is always one girl who is jealous and creates the most amount of negative drama just to be the biggest support in the end. Change of hearts happens super instantly and it all just boils down to almost nothing.
Also, why don’t people age in this world? If you thought Taapsee Pannu looked 15 when she was shown as a teenager, please enlighten me on how?
Taapsee Pannu has the art of changing her body language effortlessly and visibly. Observing her since Manmarziyaan, the actor uses her physicality to play her characters and somehow makes them all look different. Entering after a good 35 minutes, she manages to create an impact in the first half. It is in the second half where the continuity breaks and she ends up looking and behaving like Taapsee Pannu and not the Mithali Raj from the first half.
Also, Taapsee please a longer break before the next sports film. Let’s do another Thappad or a Manmarziyaan in between. I adore your craft and would love to rejoice it in a versatile nature.
Vijay Raaz gets to play a part he can sleep walk through and does it just right! Special mentions to the two little girls who are so adorable and amazing at their jobs.
Srijit Mukherji is stuck between creating a to the point, serious sports biopic like Jhund, and also one that moves people emotionally. He ends up creating one that is completely neither of the two but something entirely confused. Like as a director he choses to open his movie with a scene that we are going to see in the second half, was that another teaser before the movie? He plugs in some scenes with a shayari in the background, or just a spoof like character making them look like those 30 second Melo dramatic advertisements.
There is too much of music here. While the songs are average enough to keep you engaged when it begins, they are just too many by the time it ends.
Taapsee Pannu as Mithali Raj signs a wooden bat with a ball point cello gripper pen in the end. No one in an entire production and post-production team found that to be absurd. The movie could have been a lot of great things but it ended up being average.
Shabaash Mithu releases on 15 July, 2022.
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Yet to watch Varun Dhawan’s latest release? Read our JugJugg Jeeyo Movie Review right here.
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