Films | Movie Reviews | Standby – Moview Review

Standby – Moview Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on August 26, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Prakash Choube and Sagar Choube
DIRECTOR – Sanjay Surkar
WRITER – Sanjay Surkar (Screenplay), Pravin Tarde (Story)
CAST – Adhinath Kothare, Siddharth Kher, Sachin Khedekar, Dalip Tahil, Manish Choudhary.
MUSIC – Aadesh Shrivastav

Films with sports as their main motif generally are about personal journeys. Be it a Rocky, Chak De, a Wrestler or Iqbal. Characters grow and tackle the odds facing them, drawing from the spirit of sportsmanship  and their own passion for the sport. Sanjay Surkar’s ‘Standby’ does something similar but while putting an emphasis on the dirty politics in the game of national football. It unfolds as a commentary on the reality of our times and is more than one man’s journey of fighting his devils and realising his dreams.

The protagonists Rahul (Aadinath Kothare) and Shekhar (Siddharth Kher), young, passionate, professional football players are best friends. While the former comes from a middle-class background the latter is the son of an industrialist. They share a strong bond but this changes when Rahul, is selected for the national team while Shekhar, the Captain of the Maharashtra team, is chosen only as a standby. Ego takes the form of dirty politics and Shekhar’s father, Jayprakash Verma (Dalip Tahil), leaves no stone unturned to ensure Rahul is replaced with Shekhar. Relationships take a beating as the fight becomes personal with the father-son duo targeting Rahul’s family. Rahul and his ex-footballer father, Damodar (Sachin Khedekar) find themselves walled in against power and money. It becomes more than realising Rahul’s dream of playing his sport freely.

Sanjay Surkar chooses an undramatic narrative in an effort to bring out the devil of politics plaguing sports in India. He chooses a middle-class family with simple dreams and ambitions as the film’s protagonist because the aim is to reflect reality. The film is less a story of Rahul but more of the state of Indian sports.

To this effect, the film is low key, and devoid of the adrenaline rush of sports films. This works to its benefit because the film remains focused to the core issue, of the use and abuse of power. However, a slack editing sometimes dulls the pace.

The film pans out with a steadiness because the director chooses to delve in details. The earthy setting, unpolished production design and ordinary costumes put the film in the context of realistic films. The performances of Aadinath and Siddharth adequately carry the weight of the film even as Sachin Khedekar as the father and Manish Chaudhaury as the upright coach make for excellent viewing.


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