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Movie Review : Striker

Director :
Music :

Lyrics :

Starring :
 Chandan Arora
 Shailendra Barve, Amit Trivedi, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Swanand Kirkire, Vishal Bhardwaj and Blaaze
 Jeetendra Joshi, Prashant Ingole, Nitin Raikwar, Swanand Kirkire, Gulzar and Blaaze
 R. Siddharth, Aditya Pancholi, Anupam Kher, Padmapriya, Nicollete Bird, Ankur Vikal and Seema Biswas

Striker Movie Review

February 6, 2010 12:29:41 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
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STRIKER stikes a chord for two overwhelming performances. One by a lesser-known actor named Ankur Vikal who plays Zayed and another by Aditya Pancholi who plays Jaleel. Take these two out and STRIKER will fall flat. The movie has a unique concept by way of a lesser know sport carrom, but dilutes it with the backdrop of the riots of 1992.

It is not clear where Surya (Siddharth) is coming from at the start of the film, and how his sister and her husband are killed in the riots when they live in Bangalore. If he is coming somewhere from within India it should be clear to him that there are riots in Bombay. This fact has not registered since it shows him asking a taxi driver to take him to Malvani, the place where he lives and where the entire movie is set. With the plot distorted in the very first frame, it becomes difficult to piece the script together. Another error is that Jaleel, even after 15 years, looks the same, with not a hair out of place, while Surya has grown and so has his elder brother, Chandrakant.

It then moves back and forth, stitching the life of Surya and his rise as a carrom player of repute. It shows in flashback his family, his childhood friend Zayed, and their dreams to make it big. Director Chandan Arora must be lauded for the detailing, both of the clothes, during the seventies as well, and the setting. It sucks you into the life lived in a chawl. Even the balcony romance is something that most will identify with.

Surya is introduced to carrom by his elder brother who quits playing after he loses a heavy bet with local goon, Jaleel. Surya goes on to become the National champion and soon forgets the game in his quest to make it big in life. He wants to work in Dubai and in the process is duped by a local agency. Zayed gets him back on track to earn money the quick way by betting on carrom games. Reluctant at first, the lure of the lucre soon draws Surya to the betting addas. Zayed, who too nurses a dream of making it big, but by playing a double game with two dangerous goons, plays the go-between.

Ankur Vikal is a revelation. Playing a buddy with a heart of gold, but whose idea of gathering wealth is distorted, he puts life into the character. You want to love him as well as hate him. A perfect 10 where character execution, dialogue and diction is concerned. As for Aditya Pancholi, the man delivers a mature performance as the dreaded Jaleel.

Siddharth as Surya fits into the common man mould but at times tries hard to be the part unlike Ankur and Aditya.

If only for its off-beat treatment and detailing, of childhood buddies and dreams, and subtle romance, this movie is worth a watch. There's no gloss, but lots of substance.

Rating - 2.5/5

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