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Iqbal movie review

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Cast Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Shreyas Talpade, Shweta Prasad    more...
Director Nagesh Kukunoor
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The Iqbal Movie Review

Bowls You Over
By Nitika Desai
Rating: 0.5/5

Nagesh Kukunoor's latest directorial venture 'Iqbal' is a gritty tale about the rise of an underdog. The movie tells the story of a deaf-mute boy who harbors a dream of making to the Indian Cricket team as a pace bowler.

Besides having Cricket - which is more than a sport for the Indians (despite our team's repeated dismal performances) - as the common thread that runs through the entire movie, 'Iqbal' is the story of a deprived boy's grit, determination, hardwork and unending passion for becoming a pace bowler in the national team.


Iqbal (Shreyas Talpade) is a deaf and mute Muslim boy from a nondescript village. He has a natural talent and flair for bowling at good pace.

Despite his inability to speak and hear, Iqbal dares to dream of becoming a cricketer in the Indian national team. He practices voraciously on his father's parched farmland with mere three roughly cut sticks as the stumps. Iqbal's doting mother and supportive sister have full confidence in the young boy's ability and potential.

Thanks to his sister, Iqbal gets enrolled in the Kolipad Cricket Academy where he gets training under a professional coach (Girish Karnad). But Iqbal's training is short-lived as he is thrown out of the academy for no fault of his.

By now, Iqbal knows how to approach the game. And to further hone his skills he pesters the village drunkard Mohit (Naseeruddin Shah) into coaching him.

Mohit himself used to be a pace bowler who never could make it to the national team. Now he douses his frustrations with liquor.

At first, Mohit is reluctant and shrugs off Iqbal's zeal with blithe disregard. But slowly, he relents. He takes Iqbal under his wing, teaches the young boy the intricacies and technicalities of good bowling. And Iqbal shapes up well.

But Mohit's job is not to just train Iqbal. He takes it upon himself to see that the internal politics that mar the game of cricket doesn't sink Iqbal, just as he himself fell victim to it once.

Finally, Iqbal gets his big break - a crucial Ranji trophy match, the fate of which would decide Iqbal's future.

Despite having no big stars and despite having no romantic angle (so much indispensable for Hindi films), 'Iqbal' is a movie that keeps you glued to the screen during its entire run. It entertains you, inspires you and leaves you with the feeling that anything is possible if a man sets his mind and heart to do it.

The film rests on strong acting performances from Shreyas Talpade and Naseeruddin Shah. Just through his facial expressions and body language, Talpade effectively brings forth the inner zeal, passion and never-say-die spirit of his character.

Naseeruddin Shah plays his part with such natural ease that it never seems that he is acting. Shah delivers a highly balanced and controlled performance worthy of praise.

In marginal roles, Shweta Prasad (as Iqbal's sister) and Prateeksha Londkar (as his mother) are noteworthy.

One good thing about the movie 'Iqbal' is that it doesn't make you pity the handicap of the protagonist. It rather captivates you with his determination to make a worthy man of himself despite his limitations.

Nagesh Kukunoor has told the story simply without evoking superfluous sentimentality and melodrama. The dialogues in the movie seem straight out of life. And the ultimate denouement to the story, the last fifteen minutes, brings you to the edge of your seat.

And by the time the movie concludes, you find yourself completely bowled over.


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