Anyone heard of the movie ‘Striker’? This is not a Hollywood movie. It happened in our India and our own Bollywood. Surprisingly, the movie is just months old.
The biggest lesson this movie brings with it is: You needn’t be a Khan, Kapoor, Roshan or Bachan to do a good movie. B-wood is churning out bad film after bad film. Still the big names find takers, theatres and audience. But sadly for the second rung B-wood life is a struggle.
The only two areas the film fails are trailers and marketing. Creating a trailer is an art in itself .In near future we would be seeing technicians specialized in trailers. People form their first opinion based on the trailer. Sadly, ‘Striker’ couldn’t impress with its trailers. People would have gotten the wrong ideas. Preview/review is one of the unspoken, powerful tools of marketing. Paid review is another synonym for review. Not a single review I read had the true story. The reviewers came up with stories of their own. The movie was reduced to a caricature of stereotyped love story cum carom game championship.
The movie is made in the likes of ‘City of God’. The bad man’s evil grows in him as the good man struggles on with his life until the bad man is vanquished.
The only blemish would be the editing. The finesse is lost at times. The Director of Photography in B-wood has become very skilled in depicting the claustrophobic atmosphere of Mumbai slums. Slick shots have helped the pace of movie. The casting is a real coup. There is not much heard of names but the performance deserves full marks.
Siddharth is top class as usual so he is sidekick, Zaid. I was quite surprised to see Padmapriya as the loud bartender. She is the best one down here in South. Since she doesn’t have much of what men yearn for she doesn’t get the superstar flicks. The sidekick of Sid has also done commendable performance. Aditya Pancholi dons the paint of the evil man. One can’t forget the fact that he was supposed to conquer the heights with his good looks. But life doesn’t be necessarily fair especially in the cine world.
The focal point of the movie is the ghetto, Malvane, in the suburbs of Mumbai. We see the growth of Malvane through the growing stages of Sid. Thankfully film doesn’t dwell on the poverty of a typical Mumbai ghetto. The writer has simply produced a gem out of his pocket. The dark side of Malvane is portrayed through the carom board. The evil dons, gambling, bad policemen, communal riots, dreams of a common man all revolve around the carom board.
Please do not mistake that it’s a movie where hero gets glory through carom game (where he has to win the last game). The director has purposefully avoided focusing on the carom board so as to capture the emotions and helplessness of characters.
Sid grows through three stages of his life- childhood, rebellious youth and married man settled down happily. Each time the evil don takes away something from his life causing a tumultuous turnaround.
In his childhood Sid watches his brother, an expert carom player, beaten up by the don. This result in his elder brother giving up on the game and Sid takes it up,
In his youth egged on by his childhood friend, Zaid, Sid plays carom for bet. He wins the money and gets involved in more games to get back his money he lost for the dream to migrate. Ironically it is the don himself who stole it and Sid has to win it through the caroms. He borrows money for his sister’s wedding which is stolen by the villain and Sid is drawn more and more into the gambling world to get back his money. In the end of second stage Zaid is murdered putting an end to the life of gambling.
In the third stage a communal riots spreads through the ghetto. His sister is killed by the don who has turned into a menace bent upon burning up the place.
The three women portray the dilemma and struggles of Sid himself. The characters had done a powerful portrayal and no character is given more than necessary focus.
Friends, if you seek a masala entertainment, this is not the one for you. Else, pick the DVD right now.