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Quite a few times, after first few minutes of the movie, you will be transported to some other world. You will remain there, laugh and cry with characters, cheer at some scenes and become dumb during others, gasp and finally clap. You move out of the theater nodding, smiling at others. Everything looks beautiful.
Iqbal was one such experience for me. I knew the story, but is not a movie much bigger and different than a story ?

The plot is simple and simplicity is in everything – the dialogues, the humour, the drama, the action. Iqbal is dreaming to play cricket and get into Indian team. He tries hard but meet hardships. He is determined, but the difficulties at home are more demanding. He finds a coach for himself and beats all odds to achieve his dream. There are many small notable dialogues. Like the one where mother in just couple of sentences, changes her husband. Like when Mohit(Naseer) confronts Iqbal’s father(Yateen Karyekar). The humour too comes in short sentences and visuals. When the mother threatens Naseer that she would kill him, whole theater bursts into laughter. When the family members pretend to be working just before Yatin’s returning home attracts smiles. Naming of buffaloes after crickters too. The drama – just one ball Iqbal bowls at Kamal is as good a drama as the climax match or the Guruji’s talk with Iqbal before the match.

We don’t actually dislike any character (except perhaps that of Guruji’s(Girish Karnad)). The father dislikes his family members wasting time on watching cricket – a common scene in many families. He expects his son to work with him, but that is ok, he too is helpless. Kamal’s jealousy is also normal. The adoring characters, apart from that of Naseer and Iqbal’s are the mother – ever smiling and encouraging and wait: the most adorable character/ child artist in recent times has to be Iqbal’s kid sister(Shweta Prasad).

The way Iqbal practices in the night is my favourite part of the movie. We often land in no-way-out situations due to many factors and blame the circumstances and resign to the destiny. Or we compromise and get defeated. That part shows that everything is not over if one door is closed. I can quote many, but let me say in cricket lingo: It is not over till the LAST ball is bowled.

The story telling, performances are all first rate. A little pace in second half would have been better. That said, there is nothing that takes it away from the movie.

Iqbal is not Lagaan. The comparision stops at that the both involve cricket. Iqbal is not Black. Iqbal is colorful – green fields, blue skies, bright hopes (except for 2 black shades of politics and jealousy).

In Hyderabad Blues in which Nagesh showed simple lives, in Bollywood calling where he exposed dramatic life in movie making, in this film he carries same finisse in showing a boy’s dream, and its coming true. Between poetic narration, he packs other aspects like scenic beauty, the corruption, the leg-pulling activities, the fun.

Please stop reading this and watch Iqbal if you have not yet.

I have few complaints. Very few. First – the parents should have been watching him play the last match. They should have been shown watching it on TV, at least. Second, Just like for a batsman hitting a sixer is, for a bowler, the ultimate thrill and satisfaction is in getting a batsman BOWLED out. Middle stump. And that is an ultimate answer to a batsman. Given Iqbal’s bowling, I thought, that was how it should have ended ideally – Iqbal authoritively bowling out Kamal.

Third, this movie is not given a fair chance in the theater I went – Only one night show is being screened in a small auditorium (For me, small audi is one reason to hate multiplexes.)
Crossposted on 70mm

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