Even with the release of Shahid Kapoor‘s Jersey in cinemas, the Yash-starrer KGF: Chapter 2 continues to shine at the box office. The pan-Indian action drama has been inching towards collecting close to Rs 300 crores and has successfully raked in audiences, much like recently-released commercial entertainers like Sooryavanshi and RRR.
As most films continue to release in cinemas, others have chosen to premiere directly on OTT platforms, such as the Tamil film Oh My Dog.
Silverscreen India brings to you, a compilation of reviews of films, which have released theatrically and online, this week.
The story revolves around 36-year-old Arjun (Kapoor), who returns to cricket after ten years.
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, calls the film melodramatic and writes, “Tinnanuri’s film, like an Instagram travel influencer, looks down on those leading a quiet (and uneventful) domestic life.”
She furthers her statement and cites Vidya’s example, who is essayed by Thakur, and explains her transition from the head-turner, to “the humourless matron of the house the son and father tiptoe around,” ten years after.
Gopalakrishnan also notes that the portrayal of Arjun surrounded by friends, as Vidya comes to be regarded as someone lonely, is borrowed from South Indian cinema and mindlessly makes its way into Hindi cinema.
For her, Jersey comes with an uneven narrative. “The implausibilities aside, the situation is poorly staged, loud like a television soap opera.”
Anupama Chopra of Film Companion, questions the need for a remake, which she notes is also directed by Tinnauri.
“But he doesn’t enlarge or significantly alter the story. He merely transplants it from Hyderabad to Chandigarh. The original and the remake are almost identical, including dialogue, situations and even frames – like the aerial shot of Arjun at the interval, declaring his intention to play cricket again and stepping out into the cricket field. The relocation of city, language and culture isn’t explored in any deeper way,” she writes.
Chopra also notes that the cricket matches in Jersey take one back to those in 83, and adds that Anirudh Ravichander‘s music and Sachet-Parampara’s songs help to heighten the drama and lift the storytelling.
According to Devansh Sharma of Firstpost, the film finds “great comfort in the familiar, in the nostalgic, and in the mundane,” and notes, “The sightings of an old Rs 100 note, the old Dairy Milk packaging, and glass Pepsi bottles at cricket stadiums are nice touches to a film that wants to celebrate the less-is-more times.”
“But Tinnanuri’s direction only fleetingly adheres to this less-is-more school. While his writing doesn’t take convenient, crowd-pleasing full swings, it also doesn’t make every single count. Effort has gone into detailing here, from Arjun crushing an unfinished cigarette under his foot to Vidya’s eyes that well up because of exhaustion and sacrifice, but that effort often shows,” he writes.
For Sharma, the love story between Kapoor and Thakur’s characters could have been fleshed out more.
He also notes the film’s dearth of any nuance in the depiction of Punjab or specifically, Chandigarh, due to the director’s unfamiliarity with the same.
“The director is unfamiliar with that turf, but even the dialogue writers Siddharth-Garima (who penned dialogues for Kabir Singh) only perpetuate the Punjabi cliches that riddle the Hindi film industry,” Sharma adds, and highlights the performance of child actor Ronit Kamra, who took on the role of Arjun and Vidya’s son.
The film performed decently at the box office on its first day and collected around Rs 3.75 – 4 crore.
Oh My Dog (Amazon Prime Video)
Directed by debutant Sarov Shanmugam, Oh My Dog stars actor Arun Vijay alongside his son Arnav Vijay, in his acting debut, and his father, veteran actor Vijayakumar. It also features Mahima Nambiar and Vinay Rai, among others.
Talking about the film, Sarov had earlier told Silverscreen India, “The film follows the relationship between a blind dog and an eight-year-old boy. The story has an element of sports as well. It is about how one should not be discriminated against on the basis of their disability and how, given a chance, anyone can make it. But there is no preaching.”
According to Vishal Menon of Film Companion, the film is a genuine effort towards making a children’s movie.
He writes, “This is also reflective in the way the film never appears to be patronising. It doesn’t have a lot to say but there’s an amount of honesty in Oh My Dog that makes you want to give credit to its intentions, although it’s not conveyed in an engaging manner.”
Menon also notes the topics that the film highlights, namely, “good parenting, compassion and love towards all animals.”
However, he writes that the writing is flat. “With one half of the film being about the dog’s blindness only to switch later into the aforementioned sports drama, it doesn’t have the focus to make the film about one big issue.”
Ashameera Aiyappan of Firstpost, writes that the film is an addition to “the long list of films bogged down by commercial platitudes and predictable writing.”
However, despite the familiarities in the plotlines, she notes that the film comes with potential. Aiyappan cites the example of the father-son relationship between Arun and Arnav, and draws a parallel to The Pursuit Of Happyness.
“It is a pity that the writing does not mine any of this. There is no set-up for the emotional conflicts which feel very superficial. We hear a lot about Shankar’s (Arun) strained relationship with his dad, but we do not see much of it, except for one misplaced argument,” she adds.
The film has an IMDb rating of 8.2.