Story: Arjun (Nani) is a 36 year old, ex-Ranji best batsman whose career fails to take off. But what happens when he decides to make it to the Indian cricket team despite his age?
Review: To call Jersey just the story of an ex-cricketer Arjun (Nani) who fights conventions to get selected in the Indian cricket team is a grave injustice to the film, even if that’s how it sums itself up. It is also the story of the love of his life Sarah (Shraddha Srinath), who struggles to stay in love with the man he has become. It’s the story of assistant coach Murthy (Sathyaraj) who sticks by an orphan through thick and thin, even at his most irrational best, in hope that he will be able to aid him in achieving his dream someday. But, most importantly, it’s the story of a father who’s so enamoured with his son Nani (Ronit Kamra) that he would do anything to not stoop low in his eyes and get him the birthday gift he always wanted.
Despite the multiple threads and three different time frames that connect to Arjun, Gowtam Tinnanuri does a stupendous job of not tangling them all up into a mess. Arjun is an ex-Ranji player, the best right hand batsman of his time and a cocky man who’s unfortunately soon grounded by reality. Sarah is the love of his life who marries him against her father’s wishes and now struggles to stay in love with the shell he is. The once in love couple now constantly seem at warring ends, but the ray of brightness in their life is their son Nani (Ronit Kamra), whose brings in a refreshing innocence to an otherwise hefty story. And then there’s assistant coach Murthy who pushes Arjun to maximise his potential, even when the latter refuses to.
Jersey is a beautifully told tale which sees Nani delivering his career’s best performance with ease. If he’s good as the cocky batsman who knows he’s talented, he’s doubly good as the man who’s constantly beaten by life but refuses to give up. The actor trained and practiced cricket while shooting for the film and it shows in the scenes in which he picks up cricketers’ body language with ease. A while into the film, Nani simply ceases to exist and it is only cricketer Arjun you see, someone who’s as comfortable on the field as he is on the couch in his living room. The realisation of how well he performed especially comes through in key scenes which require him to emote without speaking a word.
While Nani also shines through in scenes that require him to play cricket, the scenes between him and his son are the ones that steal your heart. Ronit Kamra nails his performance as the seven year old son who sees his father as nothing less than a superhero. The scenes between them don’t just radiate love, but also an understated humour that keeps the film from being too serious. Shraddha Srinath makes an impressive Telugu debut, as a woman who’s head-over-heels in love with her husband, but is still not someone who will agree to put up with his carelessness. Sathyaraj breezes
Released:18 April 2019 (USA)
Category:Featured, Featured 2, Featured Telugu, Telugu Dubbed Movies, Telugu Movies, Telugu Movies 2019
Country:India, South Indian
Stars:Nani, Sathyaraj, Shraddha Srinath
Actors:Nani, Sathyaraj, Shraddha Srinath