Lorai is a good-hearted film that gives us a fair share of drama, humour and, of course, football.
And despite our inclination to draw parallels with hits that have similar storylines — like
Chak De! India
still manages to make a good impression.
In Pics: In Pics: Prosenjit, Param play ball with Alvito
That doesn't mean it's perfect; it has its share of flaws. For one, it starts very slow, focusing too much on Ryan, his life and his past. The tempo picks up in the second half, but never reaches the crescendo a sports film demands. The biggest flaw, however, is the very pillar on which the film stands — Ryan's football team. To begin with, he virtually makes a team out of thin air, because, as his host and assistant Mokhar Alam (Kharaj Mukherjee) points out, most of the village boys had never seen a football, let alone play it. And though the timeframe is not very clear, we can infer that his team locks horns with the Kolkata team around six-seven months after he first lands in the village — and wins! The question isn't how can 13-14 boys learn football in six months; they can. But how can they become skilled enough to beat a seasoned team from Kolkata in that timeframe? Cinematic liberty can go only that far. In a film that hinges on reality, this win, however emotionally charged it may be, sends realism for a toss.
Prosenjit is good as the caustic-tongued, asthmatic, alcoholic ex-footballer, though his frequent use of English despite being eloquent in Bangla, especially while communicating with the village lads and Mokhar, seems unnecessary at times. Kharaj is really good as the large-hearted villager who liaisons between the government and Ryan. His diction too is spot on. Gargee shines as Mokhar's silent sister who goes about the household chores without uttering a word. And when she does speak, she makes quite an impression. Indrasish, as Dip Narayan Choudhury, is good both on the field and off it, as he juggles dormant emotions and the ball with equal elan. But somehow, his character seems a bit too mellow for a man boiling with anger and inner turmoil. Maybe a little more venting would have given it the perfect edge. Paayel, too, stays in character throughout the film, though her relationship with Ryan is pretty obvious from the moment she is seen. So, there seems to be no need really to stretch the 'revelation' till the end. Kanchan as the chicken thief, Doa, is one of the best things about the film. His body language, diction and expressions are spot on. And, of course, the humour he adds to the narrative is always welcome. Parambrata, who plays the elusive leader of an extremist outfit, doesn't really make a lasting impression. It seems he hasn't really put much effort into playing an extremist and ends up acting like any other guy. The other actors who play the various footballers are surprisingly good with their expressions and are truly in character.
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As for the music, Indraadip Das Gupta has done a good job, with the songs adding to the mood and the background score complementing the adrenaline rush towards the end.
is a film you shouldn't give a miss. After all, despite its flaws, it has a good storyline, a smart concept and smooth flow. A little tweaking here and there, and it could have certainly made it big. So, go ahead, have your share of smiles, tears, football and popcorn. You certainly won't feel cheated.
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