Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi Series Sixer which is now streaming on Amazon Mini TV. With this series, TVF is forraying into the sports genre which may have been done and dusted but a new genre as far as TVF is concerned. From its title you may have guessed that the series is based on cricket which is the pulse of the subcontinent in many ways.
As we now know, India has been knocked out in the semifinals of the World Cup and thus ending another unsuccessful campaign as far as ICC trophies are concerned. Since the past 9 years(and counting), Indians have had a love and hate relationship with the sports particularly due to the multiple knockouts by India in ICC tournaments. So with regard to this series, the timing of it may have just been a little off considering that India did not qualify for the finals. Nevertheless, I was really curious as to how the series would fare in a genre that is tried and tested. So then does the series Sixer hit it out of the park, lets find out!
Story & Screenplay
Sixer follows the story of an underdog cricket team as they venture into a local tournament wherein they aren’t even considered as contenders. Will they go on to win? The story is not quite novel and it does follow some standard tropes of a sports drama. The novelty factor lies in its treatment of local politics that goes into local tournaments. This was a fresh angle in a not so fresh genre. The screenplay standing at 6 episodes of 40 odd minutes each(barring the final episode of 74 minutes) promises a gala time and is supremely entertaining.
The drama opens with the introduction of the main players who try to assemble a team for a local tournament. But when you are entering a film or series about cricket, you do expect a lot of the sport and that too in a palatable manner. I say pallatable in the sense that there shouldn’t be too many jump cuts and the characters should be shown actually playing the sport without cheating the audience. And here you do get plenty of cricket which was food for my soul along with many other cricket fanatics.
The initial episodes are invested in a few subplots that help mount the drama and set the tone for it. There is an interesting political angle to it also along with subplots featuring other players. These subplots are engaging and quite entertaining. The humour is nicely sprinkled in the narrative.
In many ways this drama is nostalgic too much like any other drama of TVF. The earliest memories of cricket involved watching some closely fought matches on TV, or watching a cricket match in a stadium for the first time, or playing gully cricket with your ‘mates’ and always dreaming to play for your country and scoring the winning runs. These are the fantacies of any boy and all of these are nicely packaged and integrated in the drama.
But the real fun begins when the tournament begins and the choreography of cricket matches which I thoroughly enjoyed. It steered of cliches barring that one cliche in the final match that I will get to in a bit. But these comprised of some nail biting moments that made for a compelling watch. So then what is the cliche that bothered me? It was a team scoring 110 runs in 5 overs. At any level(let alone international cricket), these runs are really, and I mean really far fetched. I just couldn’t quite give leeway here and that definitely goes down as a flaw in my books. But overall, the screenplay is heartwarming in a drama that captures cricket as a sport very well!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The drama is set in Indore and that instantly adds texture with the manner in which the characters mouth their lines. They do have a typical Indori dialect which was bang on here! The music and BGM are really good and go well with the drama. The sports choreography and editing are really good with minimum jump cuts that in turn add a layer of intrigue to the cricket matches that are shown. Director Chaitanya Kumbhakonum who had previously directed one of my favourite TVF shows Cubicles, is in red hot form here. He is able to weave an engaging drama around a very popular sport in a genre that is tried and tested which is honestly commendable.
The performances are excellent here. Onima Kashyap as Urvashi looks pretty and has her moments to shine. Brij Bhushan Shukla as Rajesh is really representing most of the boys who could not pursue cricket as their passion and represent India. And he is wonderful to watch. Vivan Karan Singh as Gulli is first rate as is Kunal Pant as Sameer and Anandeshwar Dwivedi as Nagu Bhaiya. Suraj Rikame as Arshad does a really good job here. Karishma Singh as Gargi has an energetic presence onscreen and she is phenomenal to watch. The commentary by Ankit Motghare is hilarious and entertaining to the core. I mean ‘Harsha Bhogle aur Ravi Shastri ki commentary ek taraf aur Ankit ki Commentary Ek Taraf’.
Rahul Tewari as Alok is earnest and sincere and well restrained. Badri Chavan as Aussie is a delight to watch particularly due to his characterization that he pulls off so well. And Shivankit Parihar as Nikku is a star. He is such a natural onscreen and excels in almost every emotion. But coming to his cricket, boy can he smack the ball. If he was in our World Cup Team then even Jos Buttler and Alex Hales would have surrendered in front of him🤣. On a lighter note, India would have lifted the world cup with Shivankit in our team. But here he is in excellent form and steers the drama across the finish lime really well.
Sixer is a heartwarming cricket drama that hits it out of the park. Available on Amazon Mini TV and Highly Recommended!