Captain : The Review.

Biopics are a risky business and demands extreme diligence from the makers, especially the writer and the director.Its an even narrower line to walk when tragedy is involved and the person on whom the movie is based has passed after an equally successful and troubled life.A movie in this genre that hasn’t been plagued by some sort of controversy or been a source of  disgruntlement for the kith and kin of the individual who’s the subject, is a rare occurence.This is where Prajesh Sen stands tall as a debutant director who has  pulled off the impossible with a film that’s flawless in terms of conception and execution.Sen’s greatest sucess as the writer of the film too here, is that he has told the tale of V.P.Sathyan,former captain and defender par excellence of the Indian Football Team, with the greatest of respect for his memories as a player, son, husband and father.Sen has ensured that the dignity of the man is preserved even when his least proudest of moments were portrayed on screen.The film stays true to its tagline and indeed tells the tale of an unsung hero.

Jayasuriya delivers the performance of his lifetime in the role of V.P.Sathyan.He has always been an actor who takes great pain and goes to great lengths to transform himself into the characters he plays.Those efforts have paid off indeed this time around and more importantly it’s one of his most restrained and measured performances as an actor, if you ask me.Anu Sithara perfectly complements Jayasuriya in the role of Anitha Sathyan which has been sensitively written by Sen.Siddiuqe is not around for long in terms of screen time but leaves his indelible mark as always in his role of a very unique character who essentially represents the football lovers of Kerala.In an equally compelling role, Renji Panikker reaffirms that he is here to stay as a character actor.Janardhanan who used to play characters inspired by E.K Nayanar in Shaji Kailas films of yesteryear gets to play K.Karunakaran, the Leader here.Prajesh Sen is not without a subtle sense of humor you get to know when Janardhanan thanks Guruvayoorappan while watching Sathyan lead Kerala Police to win in the Santosh Trophy finals. Gopi Sundar’s music elevates the film to a different level entirely and is an integral part of the storytelling here.

The movie follows a non linear style of storytelling and tells the tale of the of V.P Sathyan from his days as  a kid who played in his backyards to being the captain of the Indian Football Team.He was a player who literally gave his life to the game and stuggled to accept and handle the fact when the game was done with him.Sen has also highlighted the unfair discrmination the game faced in the country from the public compared to the frenzy and fanfare that Cricket kicked up.The movie also brings to light the lack of a support system, especially pschological, for the players and people in the game which is essential for rehabiliation, mental and physical in moments of crisis.Sen’s masterstoke as a director here to me was the climax where he chose to end the film not around his death but with a dramtised version of the defining moment in V.P Sathyan’s career, his legendary goal against South Korea.Captain is not just the best biopic ever in Malayalam cinema ,its one of the best biopics to hit the screens in Indian Cinema I’d say where sport themed films happen once in a blue moon.A fitting tribute to the Sathyan’s legend and life.

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