This one will do well in the interiors of India; in the small towns where there are aspiring cricketers. VICTORY is all about a small town boy with 'rare' cricketing talent who is suppressed by the system; where selection to the state Ranji team is becoming a nightmare.
Luckily for him, the National team is in Jaipur for a conditioning camp and Vijay (Harman Baweja), who has lost all hope of donning the national colours, is given hope by his coach who has an idea. He wants Vijay to bat against the Indian bowlers and inspire the coach (Dalip Tahil). Vijay, the small town lad from Jaisalmer, makes the trip. He approaches the coach and tells him that he has read his interviews where he says he would give any talent a chance and asks for his chance. The coach scoffs. Vijay walks off. The coach has a change of heart and asks him to prove himself. Bowling to him are Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra. Balls are hit out of the stadium. Lad makes entry into Ranji team. Scores double hundred on debut, storms into the national team.
Next. Bret Lee of Australia and Andre Nel of South Africa have nightmares as Vijay goes on the rampage. Enter a manager (Gulshan Grover) who takes on the responsibility of marketing the latest Indian cricketing prodigy. Cricket takes a back seat and appearances at events and endorsements are now the focus. He even hides a back injury on the insistence of his manager. Vijay flops; manager goes to the media accusing Vijay of hiding an injury. Vijay's dad, played convincingly by Anupam Kher, is shattered as the mob burns his house.
Vijay, who had considered himself to be God, is now down to earth. Dad suffers a stroke, refuses to meet him. Even his close friend Amrita Rao (Nandini) turns away. To cut long story short, she relents, takes him to Australia for a surgery. He is back in the team after a six-month ban and slams a last ball six, along with six sixes in an over to win the Champions Trophy for India against Australia, against all odds.
Cricket being the driving force, this movie will be a favourite with the front benchers. It's the story of every Indian lad with dreams in his eyes. But can someone make such a forceful entry into the squad? I mean ridiculing the coach and asking him to take him on? Also, Vijay is not a cricketing genius as he is made out to be. At least the strokes in his arsenal have no cricketing class. And he is only playing the One-dayers. No reference to Test matches.
There are good cricketing moments, especially when the final is drawing to a close, but that's as close as it gets to a humdinger. Commercially it has its rona dhona moments. Harman does a better job than his debut and is supported well by Anupam Kher and Amrita Rao. For rest of the cricketing clan that makes it appearance, I wonder what their reaction will be when they see the 'highlights' [the film in total]. Maybe, like the main protagonist, they were lured by their respective managers to 'play this game as well'.
Having said that, there's a good chance of the movie doing well. It's cricket after all, and like they say, the game is a religion in India. Baweja may be no SRK or Tendulkar, but as Vijay, he carries the hopes of a million Indians.