One of Bollywood’s most anticipated releases, 83 directed by famous director Kabir Khan, has been slated for release early next year.
The film is a sports drama – produced by Khan, Vishnu Vardhan Induri, Deepika Padukone, and Sajid Nadiadwala – centered around India’s first-ever cricket World Cup win in 1983. It follows the dramatic journey of team captain Kapil Dev as he led the country to one of its proudest sporting moments.
Indians Don’t Like Cricket, They Love It
Cricket is the next best thing to a religion in India. The top players are worshiped as heroes and the mood of the entire country can swing on a good or bad result by the national team, so the story of them winning their maiden World Cup trophy is one many are eager to relive on film.
This isn’t the first time that Bollywood has leaned on India’s favorite pastime to inspire a film. The first Bollywood film to feature cricket was released in 1959 called Love Marriage. While cricket wasn’t a main focus for the film, it was certainly a prominent feature throughout.
Since then there have been plenty of other examples, such as 1984’s All Rounder – about young brothers who overcome hardship and poverty through cricket, the 2001 release Lagaan – which is probably the most famous Bollywood cricket movie ever, and 2009’s Victory – directed by Ajit Pal Mangat and starring famous cricketers from all over the world like Australians Allan Border and Tony Greig, Pakistan’s Waqar Younis, Graeme Smith from South African, and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, to name but a few.
The people love cricket so much, India does not even have to be playing to draw their interest, which is why a film like Victory starring so many foreign stars could attract such a large audience. It is also why the best cricket betting sites in India offer odds for different formats and cricket matches around the world throughout the year and why fantasy sports platforms like Dream11 offer games for various global cricket leagues and tournaments.
With all of that as a backdrop, it comes as a little surprise that 83 is one of the most hotly anticipated Bollywood releases of the next six to 12 months. Believe it or not, there is even more to get excited about this film.
With a topic that will be so emotional for the Indian as winning their first-ever World Cup, the director and producers have truly gone the extra mile to ensure realism and an authentic feel to the movie. How did they do it? By bringing in the sons of a few of the players to play the roles of their father.
Chirag Patil, famous for his roles in the Marathi films and several television serials, will play his dad, Sandeep Patil, who finished the tournament with one of the highest strike rates of any batsmen in the competition. “I don’t look like my father as much as my younger brother does. But my mannerisms are exactly like his – the way I talk and the way I walk,” said Patil junior.
He isn’t the only one either, Mali Marshall will play his late, great father – West Indian fast bowler Malcolm Marshall – and Carl Greenidge does the same for his dad Gordon. “It helps to have a little background in cricket to play such roles. I can’t get past how much we look alike these days. I noticed more of the resemblance as I got older. Apart from that, the mannerisms helped. I’ve noticed that I also sound a lot like my father did in those days,” said Carl.