Movie Review: Striker (2010)
Striker: Is a good film
Rating: 3 out of 5*
Starring: Siddharth, Aditya Pancholi, Padmapriya,Vidya Malvade, Ankur Vikal and Anupam Kher
Director: Chandan Arora
Feb 5, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): Its December 1992 and curfew time in Malvani, Mumbai’s north western suburb when Suryakant Sarang aka Surya (Siddharth) arrives back in Mumbai from an out of town trip. Communal riots have broken out in the area mostly dominated by Muslims. Surya is stopped by the police, headed by local in charge Faroukh (Anupam Kher). But Surya is restless after he comes to know his family members have fallen prey to the riots. From hereon the narrative alternates between the flash back and current scenario mode. It narrates the tale of how Surya, a lower middle class boy, the youngest of the three siblings rises to become an ace carrom champion in the carrom betting syndicate headed by spearheaded by Jalil (Pancholi). Surya and Jalil keep crossing paths as Jalil desperately wants him to play under him. But Surya nurses a childhood grudge against him. Making matters more complicated is Surya’s childhood buddy Zaid (Ankur) who is working under Zaid.
Editor turned director Chandan Arora (Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hun, Main, Meri Patni Aur Who) has always narrated character based tales and this time with through the eyes of an extremely well written central character he has showcased a never before exposed on Indian screen, the betting underbelly. The carrom game sequences are fantastically shot what with real carrom champs used. Making them more entertaining is the sledging running commentary by the bystanders. Vijay Maurya and Pankaj Saraswat’s dialogues are sufficiently spicy. The camerawork enhances the edgy mood of the film. Sound design is excellent too. Songs are not lip synced and don’t act as speed breakers but carry the story forward. In fact even Siddharth has sung a song in the film.
Siddharth is nothing short of excellent in the film. Exhibiting a cute boyish charm he is very real and vulnerable at the same time. His splendid carrom playing skills are in full display in the film. Aditya Pancholi with amazing screen presence exudes scare whenever he appears on screen. Ankur Vikal is perfectly cast as Siddharth’s druggie best friend. Vidya Malvade gets few scenes but she manages to leave an impression. Playing a fisherwoman running the local dingy bar, newcomer Padmapriya resembling Tabu is wonderful and is extremely expressive. Anup Soni, Anupam Kher and Seema Biswas are good as usual. Nicolette as Siddharth’s first crush is good too.
Chandan Arora’s Striker works for the fact that it actually narrates a never seen before story as also for its authentic setting and excellent acting. Do not give it a miss.