Jersey takes you on an emotional journey and shares a heart-warming relationship between a father and son. Shahid Kapoor steals hearts as a father, as he takes his second innings as a cricketer with utmost seriousness, to be a hero in his son’s eyes. But does he succeed?
Director: Gowtam Tinnanuri
They say: Age is just a number. We have all heard that but only a few take a leap of faith and achieve their dreams. Jersey’s story revolves around a successful cricketer ‘Arjun Talwar’ (played by Shahid Kapoor), who quits cricket to focus more on his family. He instead takes up a government job. But life takes an unexpected turn when he is asked to leave his job after his name surfaces in a corruption case.
Without cricket and a job, Arjun feels defeated in life. But he never lets his emotions ruin his relationship with his son ‘Kittu’ (played by Ronit Kamra). In fact, Shahid portrays the role of an adorable and a playful father, who always makes his son smile, despite facing adversities in life.
But reality hits him when his son demands Indian cricket team’s jersey as a birthday gift. Arjun agrees to his son’s demands but realises that he does not have money to fulfil his promise. He asks his wife ‘Vidya’ (played by Mrunal Thakur) for the money, but she outrightly refuses it, understanding their family’s monetary situation. The sadness in his son’s eyes melts his heart and years later, Arjun decides to fulfil his son’s dream and takes up cricket.
But does he find the light at the end of the tunnel? Or will he face dejection like he experienced in the past? For that, you need to watch the film. We won’t spill the beans.
Jersey is originally a remake of a National Award-winning Telugu film of the same name that released in 2019. Helmed by Gowtam Tinnanuri, the Telugu version starred Nani as a lead. While the makers haven’t changed the story, the film’s striking point is the emotional journey that viewers get on while watching it.
Story and screenplay
The first half of the film revolves around Shahid and Mrunal's struggles and Shahid's guilt of not making it in life. The second half concentrates more on cricket. There is too much of emotional turmoil that one can see between Arjun and Vidya in the first half. The second half focuses on Shahid’s second innings as a cricketer. There are several moments in the second half that will make you jump out with joy and celebrate. The climax is the turning point of the film where the real reason for Arjun to leave cricket is unveiled.
In terms of direction, the director has captured cricket and refrained from trivialising it. Shots featured in the film look real. A major impetus is dedicated on Shahid’s footwork, the atmosphere in the dressing room and sledging during the matches. Shahid too has done a brilliant job as a cricketer. He has hit shots across the field that evidently proves that he is worked hard to get into the shoes of a cricketer.
Shahid has hands-down given the best performance in the film. He will charm you with his acting and expressions. His relationship with Kittu comes out beautifully on the screen. No point in the film would you feel that Shahid is acting. There are several scenes involving Shahid where you would have to reach out to tissues.
As a cricketer, Shahid has done a brilliant job. Apparently, the actor learnt cricket for nearly eight months as part of his preparation. This evidently comes out while watching the film as well.
Mrunal too has shed her bubbly girl’s image. She has done justice to her role as a strong and responsible woman, who works at a hotel and single-handedly manages all the monetary expenses of the house. Her on-screen chemistry with Shahid looks great. She has aced emotional as well as strained moments to perfection.
The film also stars Pankaj Kapur as an assistant coach. He plays a supportive and adorable coach who is a father figure to Shahid (no different than real life). He boosts Arjun's morale throughout the film despite the latter's failures.
The only flaw in the film is in terms of the use of Punjabi. The film is based in Chandigarh but only in a few scenes, we can hear Punjabi. Even in the shots where Shahid plays cricket in Punjab, the players are shown speaking Hindi. Also, the film's running time (2 hours and 45 minutes) looks stretched. The editor could have reduced the first half.
Overall, Jersey is a well-made sports drama that you can watch with your family. It is a treat for all the sports lovers and those who want to watch a father-son film.