A deaf-mute boy, from a poor family in rural south India – that is how many handicaps you can count on the path to becoming successful? Wait there is one more - I’d like to believe that the religion of the person should not be an obstacle but definitely there is one other major one – parental resistance, a monumental one. This is the story of Iqbal. Like a lot of Indian boys he loves cricket but there is perhaps a slight difference - he eats cricket, breathes cricket – and the game is his religion, his reason for existence. His dream – a place in the national team. But his father hates the game so much he could trace all that ails the country today to the love of that game!!! Against this background can the boy realize his dream?

Difficult but not impossible, says Nagesh Kukunoor. If you are determined to achieve a dream, cosmic forces will conspire to get you there – forces in the form of a strong, supportive mother who is willing to stand by him even if it means gravely displeasing her husband, a doting sister who acts as his ears and voice and has no doubts about her brother being the best, and a brilliant coach lying stone drunk on the haystack. The path to following one’s dreams is always strewn with thorns and hard stones to test one’s determination. There are sudden dead ends, doors that beckoned you close when you get there , but if there is determination and willingness to give it your all, other doors open up and the dead end curves to show you a long straight road ahead. Never fails, always true!

Stories that deals with the triumph of human spirit have never failed on the screen if they are presented believably and that kind of presentation is precisely Nagesh’s USP. His men and women are people we meet in our daily lives, there are no super heroes or fairy tale heroines. His people speak the language of ordinary folk, they do not spout heroic speeches or mouth lyricisms. They do things you and I do. They are people you relate to and you laugh with them , cry with them and desperately want them to succeed and feel so happy when they do.

The humour is so fresh, family animals named after bowlers ( the favorite buffalo is “kapil” and the youngest is “irfan” );the exchanges between Naseer and Shweta prasad are as endearing as they are funny.
Normally when Naseeruddin Shah is in a scene, it is tough for even some of the senior actors to attract audience attention , but here these lesser known artists effortlessly match up to his talent. Everyone fits his/her role to perfection – even Girish Karnad in his unusual avtar as a clone between chanakya and dronacharya types.

How do Indian villages look so clean and beautiful in photographs and films?

I love films that make you feel happy when you leave the hall – hardwork pays, merit gets recognized, justice gets done, dreams get realized – all is well with the world. Iqbal gives you that feeling.
10 Responses
  1. Unknown Says:

    I have been wanting to watch it for long...I guess after reading this post of urs, I will make sure I see it this weekend.

    "How do Indian villages look so clean and beautiful in photographs and films?"
    Good question. But why should people spend helluva lot of money to shoot / film a load of crap?

  2. Swapnil Says:

    Loved that movie.
    People SHOULD make films like Iqbal.

  3. Usha Says:

    Kripa, you must see the film and let me know how you liked it.
    "Why shd ppl spend a helluva lot of money to shoot a load of crap?" - here's why! Sometimes it is easy to shut your eyes or close the doors on the reality around you and pretend that all is well..When the shit all around you is shown in closeup , the reality may hit harder. If the theme demands it, then a load of crap it is!!
    I can still handle the scenes of poverty and suffering - it is the amount spent on shooting sequences in switzerland and South Africa that I find tough to handle.
    Swapnil, Perhaps we will still go the movie again together!!?

  4. I loved it too! After I saw it, mailed everyone on my Contacts list to go see it - and so many did! If such movies run well, I am hoping more people will be enthused to make such movies - we need to give them all the support we can.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    thanks for the review. Will see this one. But will have to wait for one with subtitles to enjoy it.

  6. Usha Says:

    Dubukku Ranga, My request to you would be to try watching this film without the distraction of subtitles - this is one of those films where language is no barrier. Of course you can watch it with subtitles later to enjoy the humour in the dialogues.
    Thanks for visiting me. Did i tell you how much i love your writing? Tamil friends, pls do not miss dubukku link under Tamil blogs in my index page.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    The movie was too good. Nagesh Kukunoor just demonstrated how good a story teller he is. Usha, the storytelling reminds me of the new movie Hanuman ( thanks to Swapnil, watched that movie first day first show ). Amazing animation. And it just made me wonder, with some 10000 gods and demons and all, Indian mythology has more than enough superheroes to give Batman, Spiderman.... a run for their money. There is a lot of scope for storytelling using this medium of animation movies.

    Kids would just love it. Also we should go and watch it for the kid inside us.


  8. Usha Says:

    yes, we have the stories, millions of them , the expertise and the amrket - what are we waiting for? we should have more animation movies, I completely agree. I love them too.

  9. In my wise opinion, he should become a "Bhai" and call himself "Iqbal Mirchi". Problem solved. q.e.d.

  10. Ok, cut the crap, and please tell me if they have any "item number" in this movie!

    Nobody cannot make me watch no movie that ain't have no item number, never!