Genre : Drama
Year : 2005
Director : Nagesh Kukunoor
Cast : Shreyas Talpade, Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Shweta Prasad, Yateen Karyekar, Prateeksha Lonkar
IQBAL : Heart-warming !
With this film, Kukunoor’s direction comes of age. I’ve seen “Hyderabad blues” and “Iqbal” is a vast, vast improvement over it, in terms of screenplay, direction and execution as a whole. This film is not stylish, has no funky camera angles, or item numbers, no -oh-so-cool people sporting hip wear. All it has is a simple story told well and effectively. Save a few simplistic treatments to the story, which had me raising my eyebrows (is life ever that simple ?), everything else was good.
Iqbal is the story of the lead character, a deaf-mute villageboy (Shreyas Talpade), who dreams of playing cricket. Cricket is his passion, and while herding his buffaloes, he secretly watches, and tries to lip-read cricket coach Guruji (Karnad) coaching his students in the Cricket Academy. In this he is helped by his impish sister Khadija (Shweta Prasad). FInally when Khadija persuades Guruji to look at Iqbal’s talent, Guruji decides to coach him too. This coaching is short-lived when Iqbal gets into a skirmish with an arrogant, rich kid at the academy, and Guruji is forced to let him go in favor of the rich kid.
Iqbal is dissapointed, but is renewed with hope when he discovers that the drunkard Mohit (Shah) he brings food to everyday, is actually an ex-cricket player. Can Iqbal force Mohit sufficiently out of his drinken stupors to actually coach him ? And if so, where does this all lead ? Watch Iqbal to find out.
Firstly, applause for the great acting in the film. Besides the pleasure of seeing stalwarts like Shah and Karnad in the film, Shreyas and Shweta are revelations. Shreyas acts like a pro, while Shweta proves her mettle as she did in Makdee. Besides that, the story is strong, the pace just right, and the situations like the locale believable. Finally a film that relies on itself rather than the snazzy art of film-making ! Sans frills and frippery, this good film is in a class by itself. Nice, nice, nice , is all I can say !
A very worth-while watch.