Anina, a young batting prodigy, loses her right hand in an accident. An unsympathetic, failed cricketer gives her new hope, trains her with unconventional techniques, to turn her fate around. Ghoomer is a new style of bowling they invent.



Ghoomer movie review (2023)

R. Balki‘s “Ghoomer” goes beyond the usual confines of logic to emphasize the enchantment of magic, creating a poignant story of human resilience and vulnerability. The film draws inspiration from the life of Károly Takács, the Hungarian right-hand shooter who triumphed in the Olympics using his left hand after a severe injury to his dominant hand. While Indian sports films have typically adhered to the clichéd rags-to-riches motif, a few standout exceptions, like Jayprad Desai’s remarkable cricket biopic “Kaun Pravin Tambe?” (2022), exist. “Ghoomer,” in the signature style of R. Balki, shatters this mold and presents a potent and touching narrative of human tenacity through the lens of cricket.

Intriguingly, the film delves into aspects typically disregarded in conventional sports narratives, such as the politics within a team, the selection process, and the financial struggles faced by athletes. With “Ghoomer,” R. Balki innovatively departs from these conventions, offering a compelling exploration of human resilience through the world of cricket.

Balki’s unique style also defies gender and age-related norms, as well as superstitions and stereotypes. Shabana Azmi, radiating youthful spirit, portrays Anina’s cricket expert grandmother. She defies the notion that women cannot comprehend statistics, challenging the prevalent trend of female cricket enthusiasts primarily occupying anchor roles rather than expert positions. Azmi’s character showcases a deep knowledge of ICC cricket rules, cricket trivia, and even health drink recipes for professional athletes, subverting stereotypes and raising important questions.

The film thrives on the complex yet endearing relationship between the tough coach and his player, a familiar trope in such narratives. Paddy’s adoption of a harsh, even cruel coaching approach, though anticipated, proves effective, drawing parallels with movies like “Whiplash.” The fiery exchanges and differences between Paddy (Padam Singh Sodhi) and Anina contribute to the film’s depth. Paddy, a loner enveloped in sorrow, has his life altered by a chance encounter with Anina. He offers to coach her to regain her spot in the Indian team, showcasing his own journey of transforming adversity into strength. His personal quest to understand the feeling of being a winner drives this unlikely partnership.

Paddy’s interactions with the women in his life, particularly Rasika (portrayed by the spirited Ivanka Das), a transwoman, and a determined aspiring cricketer with a life-changing disability, highlight his complex character. His seemingly impolite and ill-mannered exterior conceals past good deeds, buried under years of rejection and silence. This portrayal echoes Meryl Streep’s character in the ‘Only Murders’ series, emphasizing the relentless pursuit of recognition in the spotlight, even when it remains elusive.

Undoubtedly, the film is elevated by the exceptional performances, but its essence lies in the collaborative writing efforts of R. Balki, Rahul Sengupta, and Rishi Virmani. Their heartening script triggers both tears and laughter, and the line “Woh leftie nahi left hi hai,” describing Anina, resonates as a tribute to her determination. The characters break away from stereotypes, embodying support, open-mindedness, authenticity, and compassion.

Despite its triumphs, the film slightly falters towards the end, veering into predictability and crowd-pleasing territory, particularly in the match sequences where creative liberties take precedence. The central question of whether India’s national cricket team can accommodate a one-armed spin bowler who struggles with batting and fielding raises complex issues. The film wrestles with artistic license, pondering the power of media attention and the selectors’ commitment to equal opportunity. Ultimately, “Ghoomer” chooses optimism, magic, and second chances over stark realism, prompting viewers to consider the profound impact of unexpected losses on one’s life.

Abhishek, Saiyami, and Balki’s shared passion for cricket is palpable throughout the film, engaging audiences in their dedication. With “Ghoomer,” they’ve crafted an evocative tale that echoes the sentiments of the unforeseen challenges life can pose, while emphasizing the importance of cherishing and preserving one’s passions and dreams.

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Country: India

Genre: ,

Director: R. Balki

Writter: R. Balki, Rahul Sengupta, Rishi Virmani

Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Abhishek Bachchan

Duration: 2h 15m