For a change, lets begin the Victory review with Hurman’s performance. Quite a few things have changed since the Love Story 2050 debacle last year for Harman Baweja, who has now changed his first name to Hurman. First and foremost, he seems to have shaken off his onscreen Hrithik-isms, which is good. Secondly, the actor has put in loads of effort into Vijay Shekawat, his character in the film and has managed to deliver a very good performance.
But the writer-director (Ajitpal Mangat) of the film has not just let the actor down, but also a cricket fan. Victory is filled with major flaws in the script :-
- In Victory, there is no captain for Team India, or so it seems. The coach looks after almost everything, right from the selection of the team, to attending team meetings, to making all the important announcements to the media. There is hardly any mention of a captain.
- Vijay Shekhawat (Hurman) is a mixture of several Indian cricketing superstars, which makes the character slightly weird. He is a Yuvraj Singh at times, when it comes to partying and living life king size. He is a Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who hails from a small town – makes it big in cricket – and endorses almost every single brand. He reminds you of Sachin Tendulkar, when he scores a century just after the tragic death of his father and raises his bat towards heaven dedicating the century. And last but not the least, he is better than a Sehwag and who never believes in singles or boundaries. Its all about sixes!
- The lead character is either in top form who strikes every ball for a six, or terribly out of form, struggling to get off the mark!!
- The other major flaw in the story is when Vijay claims, he has no money left even for a back surgery in Australia. Would love to get the director cum writers thoughts on this, what exactly was he thinking? Is the director trying to tell us that a man who has signed countless brand endorsements, played several matches for India; cannot afford surgery which even his lower middle class friend’s father can?
A sport based film is usually about underdogs, who achieve the impossible, Victory is the same. What it lacks though is the excitement of a Lagaan, the emotions of a Iqbal or the passion of a Chak De India. The pace is pretty fast in the first half, but dead slow in the second. The music is good, cinematography is excellent.
Coming to the other performances in Victory. Amrita Rao does well, looks cute and her chemistry with Hurman is good. Much better than the Hurman – Priyanka pair in LS2050! Anupam Kher is brilliant as he always is. The coach of the Indian Cricket team (Dalip Tahil), does a decent job too – so does Gulshan Grover. Amongst the cricketers, its Brett Lee who stands out. Indian cricket fans would love his role in the film, which is quite close to his real life self. The makers have managed to rope in several international cricketers and its treat to watch the aussie boys sledge. Harbhajan Singh too did a fine job.
Overall, Cricket fanatics would be disappointed by Victory. It’s by no means a bad film, infact with better writing and direction, it had tremendous potential.
Finally, just for the effort Hurman has put into the film, he deserves praise. A tremendous improvement from his last film, as we look forward to further improvement in Ashutosh Gowariker’s What’s your Raashi!Rating: