India would indeed be amongst one of the most amazing countries where though cricket is given a cult status, when it comes to enlivening this experience, as a cinematic experience the effect is not encouraging. VICTORY seems to be following the same path, as the reports from all over the country about the response to the film has been less than encouraging so to say.
The response to VICTORY throws up interesting formulations, as sports films as a genre have had a resounding success in Hollywood but it does not seem to have the same success in India. Is there a problem in the approach in terms of being digressed from the subject matter of sports and veneering into all kind of other formulations, which does not gel with the public, CHAK DE being one of the rare exceptions? As a matter of fact the success of CHAK DE was more owing to the fact that the core formulation, i.e. Hockey, the theme of the film never was allowed to meander. In case of LAGAAN as well, when the subject converged to LAGAAN it focused only on cricket and therefore the built up of the passion was the catalytic factor in it being a hit with the audience.
In most of the sports films that are produced in India this seems to be the major problem, and VICTORY also seems to be affected by the same problem, inspite of having a luminaries of the likes of Bret Lee and other international cricketers being a part of the star cast. The Indian public, it seems is not amenable to take a look at the perceived seamier side associated with cricket.
Is it also owing to the over dose of cricket that an audience is subjected to in India, which discourages them to view it in the form of a film? Cannot be, as in Hollywood as well, it is the same thing.
In USA people are bombarded with all kinds of sports related programmes, still they patronize the film related with sports as a subject. It then again reemphasizes the point that the subject of cricket needs to be treated in a fresh manner.