In a country where cricket is the biggest religion, it is a safe bet to make one on its spirit and nostalgia. Debutante filmmaker Abrid Shine while embarking on a subject just needed to put the heart at the right place, which he does with finesse making this '1983' a real tribute to cricket and classy cinema. He also uses the brand of Sachin Tendulkar in a parallel track so successfully that anything that is related to this great legend cannot be an unlikeable one.
Nivin Pauly is Rameshan in the film who gets glued to the magic of cricket, ever since he watched the winning ways of India since 1983 world cup. The fine student in him who aspired to be an engineer, very soon gets infected with cricket fever, ever ready to carry the bat for his local team and friends. Even when stooped down to a third class in S S L Cand even when he failed in P D C or even when his long time sweetheart walked away with an American husband, Rameshan did survive the heat due to his passion for the game and his friends. Later we find him as a middle aged man, who is now the father of a ten year old, quite astonished to see his son handling the heavy bat just like a feather.
The movie works heavily on the nostalgia that every cricket lover carries in his heart. When it combines with the inherent honesty of storytelling and pitching the name of Sachin in every possible scene, '1983' graduates to become one of the fine films of the recent times. The dialogues are simple, appealing and realistic just like the muddy terrains where the lads play all the day. Abrid Shine's story and the script (cowritten by Bipin Chandran) fit perfectly on the grammar of commercial cinema. The messages are not preachy and comes natural that adds to that feel good mood of the movie. The brainy techniques used for the time lapses and meticulousness with which the time period is depicted also will vouch for the bright film maker in this debutante, who delivers a perfect shot even in the pacing of the movie. Add to that the brilliant camera work by Pradeesh Varma and editing by Manoj, which takes the movie much about the regular terrain of similar sports based flicks. Gopi Sundar once again scores big time with his BG'scores. This time all of his songs including the title track 'Nenjile' and Olanjalikkuruvi... rendered by the legendary singers, P Jayachandran and Vani Jayaram also does the trick of finely bonding with the narrative structure of the film.
Every character in the film is accurately carved with supporting stars like Joy Mathew, Srinda Ashab, Anoop Menon, Jacob Gregory, Saiju Kurup, and Dinesh finely executing their roles. So is the naturality of their dialogues in every sequence that a cricket lover could have definitely spelt in his life with the game. Nikki Gilrani looks stunning and performs well while Shrinda Ashab gathers maximum applauds for her natural act as Susheela, Rameshan's wife who hardly knows who is Sachin. Nivin Pauly is apt as the young Rameshan , but also manages reasonably well as the father of a ten year old. This may be his finest role after 'Thattathin Marayathu', with unbending sparks in his eyes still talking much about the hungry cricketer in him. Bhagath aka Kannan, the small cricketer plays to the galleries with the natural act.
In the final analysis, this 1983 is sure to bring in smiling, satisfied faces, just like the year had with Indian cricketers. Abrid Shine and team do need applause for going the honest, sincere way, rather than opt to work after the glamour behind the game. Prescribed for a decent watch....Satisfaction guaranteed.
Rating - 7/10