20 September 2005 | tauri_acti
Take a bow Nagesh Kukunoor
Everybody wants to see the underdog triumph. But what we Don't want to see in the process is unnecessary over-the-top pity/sympathy created for the underdog. Nagesh Kukunoor understands this. He gives us the kind of cinema which is entertaining, simple and intelligent. The plot itself is simple but it's always difficult to keep it simple and yet entertain. "Iqbal" achieves this. The moment we see Iqbal(played wonderfully by Shreyas Talpade) with his rag-tag "kit bag" slung over his shoulders,carrying it like it was his most prized possession and steaming in bare feet with that look in his eyes, we want him to win. We want him to knock the socks out of the opponent (batsmen, wheeler-dealer coaches and anyone who's in his way), we want to see the world recognize him. That's what "iqbal" does to you. Iqbal's journey ( I wouldn't call it a struggle because the triumph was in his journey) takes us into his village with its rustic dusty backgrounds, buffaloes named after cricketers and a drunk ex-almost-was Naseeruddin Shah, not to mention his family. Shreyas Talpade holds his own against Naseer who seems as though he just woke up drunk in a haystack and carried on from there without knowing there was a film crew around him. Shweta Prasad as Iqbal's sister is just gifted, she brings a maturity to her character which is beyond her age, outstanding. The cricket part is handled very effectively and doesn't look amateurish.The dirt behind the selection process, you-help-me-i'll-help you situations is shown well although Kukunoor solves it simply as well. It might just be a tad more complicated than that in the real Indian cricket world. Nagesh Kukunoor seems to be growing as a film maker with each movie. His "Teen Deewarein" was splendid and Iqbal is a step further in the right direction. He has handled the potentially could-have-been-overdone story to a nicety and manages to bring out the emotions without the usual " look at me, i'm all pitiable and lovable" stuff. Iqbal isn't pitiable, but he sure is lovable.