Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi film Kacchey Limbu which is now streaming on Jio Cinema which is quite honestly the next big thing to happen in the OTT space. The strategic manner in which the new OTT ‘Giant’ is churning out content is keeping the reviewer in me on my toes. Yes, the stretch is real but who is complaining!
Over the past couple of months, the country is immersed in the craze of cricket. The last leg of the IPL is underway and the excitement levels are at its peak. In this wave of enthusiasm, it was a good decision to sneak in a film which had cricket as its theme! Having premiered at TIFF previously, I was quite looking forward to watching Kacchey Limbu during the IPL fever.
Films revolving cricket are always a dicey proposition given the cricket fanatics that form a large chunk of the audience. One of the most important aspects of a sport based film is to pay attention to detailing while steering away from the regular cliches. These factors are a make or break for any sports based film, in particular cricket. Some of the films in this space that standout are Chak De India and Lagaan which are arguably the two iconic films of our generation. As far as Kacchey Limbu was concerned, I wasn’t expecting it to be as grand as these films but one thing that I was looking forward to were the cultural references or a heartfelt drama to come to the forefront. So then does Kacchey Limbu manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Kacchey Limbu follows the story of a pair of siblings who find themselves at opposite ends in a cricket tournament which would decide their future. The story here is simplistic but it still does hold the potential for a sweet little watch on a leisurely afternoon. The screenplay standing at about 105 minutes does run into a few cliches but ends up being a fairly compelling watch by packing in the right kind of emotions.
I must admit that I was on the fence as far as the first act of the film was concerned. On one hand, I did enjoy the simplicity of the drama that did encompass some interesting cricket cultural references while taking me on a nostalgic trip of my ‘Gully Cricket Days’, I did feel that a little more time could have been invested in the world building by getting into the psyche of the characters. You are introduced to the principal characters and shown them to behave a certain way with respect to their ambitions, but a little backstory on how their journey began would have made things even more interesting. Having said that, the heart of the drama is in its right place and the first conflict is originated out of that.
The proceedings are fairly engrossing and entertaining that does make for a leisurely lazy afternoon watch. The events are quite light and never too high on emotions. And there is a degree of sincerity to the proceedings that makes you want to go back to it. I just wished that the scene transitions were a little smoother(and that had to do a lot with the choppy editing of the film) which would have allowed the viewers to be emotionally invested in the drama. That said, the portions involving the assembly of an underdog team was interesting and I was partly reminded of the TVF series Sixer that had a similar theme of a local cricket tournament(although the conflicts are different). Some of the subplots here are fairly interesting but I did feel that they were half-baked and in my opinion needed more screen time.
The drama could well have showcased the preparation of the underdog team a little more(as opposed to that showcased over a song). But the writing does score in the third act when the actual tournament begins. The events might be slightly cliched but it does make for an exciting viewing. The entire tournament sequence is quite well shot as well and it did hold my attention throughout. Here, I must say that there were technical discrepancies with the score in a scene or two but I shall let that pass given how entertaining the proceedings were. The finale act is a little indifferent and it didn’t quite come together completely but it did ring in a feel good vibe to end the film. Overall, the screenplay does have its share of flaws but it still does make for a heartwarming watch.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and I did like the simplistic approach here that did allow the drama to be grounded to reality. The music and BGM are good and blend well with the vibe of the drama. The cinematography does comprise of some pleasant shots particularly in the third act when the matches are underway. The editing though was weak and it did bring the overall product a little down. Had it been less choppy with better scene transitions underway then the overall impact of the drama would have been better. Director Shubham Yogi does a pretty good job despite his simplistic approach here. He is able to control the proceedings well and that does make for a fairly engaging watch.
The performances are quite good here. Mahesh Thakur and Faiz Khan(as Zakir) have their moments to shine. Aisha Ahmed looks pretty and does a swell job despite a limited screen time. Rajat Barmecha as Akash is very well restrained and puts forth a commendable act. He could so easily have been presented to be snobbish but there are plenty of redeeming qualities that he has to his character in an overall job well done. Ayush Mehra as Kabir is fabulous to watch and he looked the most comfortable while playing the cricketing shots. Radhika Madan as Aditi delivers a heartfelt performance. While she is fiery and confident on the outside, she is tender and caring within and both these aspects of her character are so well presented by her. She is brilliant to watch as is the case always.
Despite its shortcomings, Kacchey Limbu is a sweet little gem of a film revolving around cricket and some heartfelt emotions which can be watched once. Available on Jio Cinema.