Jersey Movie Review: Rides High on Emotions and Performances

Remakes are pretty common in the Indian Film industry, and Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey is the latest entrant to the list. Its origins lie in the National Award Winning Telugu film by the same name starring Nani.

Coming to Shahid, he is back on the big screen after three long years. Interestingly, his previous film, Kabir Singh, was also a remake. For the purpose of reviewing Jersey, I won’t outrightly compare it with the original film.

Let me first give you an overview of my Jersey Review.

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Jersey Review Summary

Shahid Kapoor’s aggression, combined with Mrunal Thakur’s charm and Pankaj Kapoor’s elegance, make Jersey a heartfelt movie celebrating the success of failures. The only major drawback for Jersey is its duration, which is over two and a half hours. However, its melodious music covers up for that.

Read on to find out how the film performs in several other aspects.

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Jersey Movie Synopsis

Directed by Gowtam Tinnauri, Jersey stars Shahid Kapoor (Arjun) and Mrunal Thakur (Vidya) in lead roles. Pankaj Kapoor (Madhav) and Ronit Kamra (Karan) play pivotal parts in the film.

Jersey’s story revolves around Arjun Talwar, who used to play cricket but couldn’t make it big in the sport. After marrying his girlfriend, Vidya, he decides to give up on the game and takes up a regular job.

However, things fall apart after he loses his job and remains financially broke for a long time.
Meanwhile, Arjun’s son, Karan, wishes to wear the Indian Team’s jersey and asks for the same as his birthday gift.

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Coping with a disastrous financial condition, resulting in regular quarrels with his wife, Arjun is ready to do anything he can to grant Karan’s wishes.

Will he be able to get a Jersey for his son? Or will the jersey take him on a fascinating journey of ups and downs?

What works for Jersey?

Performances

When Shahid Kapoor is at his best, it is hard to keep calm as a viewer. His performance in Jersey is a mix of Udta Punjab and Kabir Singh. The stylish actor aces all aspects of a father’s personality and effervescently infuses elements of calmness and aggression.

Shahid can be sweet and innocent and fierce and emotional, all in the same frame. He has a unique set of cards at his disposal that allow him to take a versatile approach. Even though the story is heartwarming, Shahid’s intensity makes for an intriguing watch.

It won’t be wrong to relate his character, Arjun, to Mahabharat’s Arjun. Both are focused on their goals; it’s just that the modern-day Arjun is reeling under pressure. Despite turmoil and chaos filling his heart, Arjun smiles, looking at his son as if everything is fine.

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Then there is the gorgeous and ever so charming Mrunal Thakur. She is strikingly similar to Shraddha Srinath, who starred in the original Telugu version of Jersey. Mrunal’s adorable act is a blessing to the film.

The ‘Toofan’ actress doesn’t lend a shoulder to her male counterpart, Shahid Kapoor. Instead, she picks her own pace and surroundings to weave what is called artistry on screen. Mrunal Thakur is amongst the best actresses India has at the moment.

Pankaj Kapoor’s well-balanced act is powerful and soothing to the eyes. The veteran actor was last seen in ‘JL 50’, a short web series that premiered on SonyLiv. His heavy and deep voice resonates with the contrastingly sweet and light chords of Shahid Kapoor whenever both share screen space together.

As in reality, Pankaj and Shahid play a father-son duo on screen, to some extent. Another cute performance comes from Ronit Kamra, the 11-year-old kid who plays Shahid’s onscreen son. Interestingly, he also played the same role in the original Telugu film.

Ronit is lovable and appealing as an enthusiastic and charming child. His bonhomie with Shahid Kapoor is visible throughout the film’s runtime, and both have a brilliant chemistry together. Though he doesn’t have as many scenes with Mrunal Thakur, they still engulf the screen with ‘as pretty as a picture’ like companionship.

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Emotional Ingredients

A family drama with a father-son relationship at its core is bound to evoke emotions. Jersey doesn’t disappoint in this aspect. The film manages to pull you at the right time and then releases the pressure of powerful emotions. By doing so, it ensures that the pact between the makers and the viewers is not disturbed because of the stretched duration.

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Though the love story of Shahid and Mrunal is a tad overdone, it doesn’t bore you to a yawn. Mostly, Jersey is about Shahid Kapoor’s character fighting his inner demons and past mistakes to become a stronger person.

Cricketing Visuals

Since Arjun is a Cricketer in the 1980s and 1990s, it was essential to keep the authenticity in place. The old-age scorecards, stands without chairs, and pitches looking similar to the color of mud instead of sand are all taken care of.

Moreover, the shot-making sequences of Shahid are well executed to leave no scope for ambiguity.

Story

Looking at Jersey’s story (original), one has to accept it is unique and unused. Therefore, the decision to remake it was a good one, considering people like me who are not too much into dubbed versions.

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What Doesn’t Work for Jersey

Duration

Jersey has a runtime of almost three hours, which could have been trimmed a bit to prevent overstretching. Ten minutes from the first half felt extra, while the second half might have used 5-7 minutes less.

The Presence of a Hindi-dubbed version

I have been thinking about this for a long. Why would people go to the theatre if they could watch the dubbed Hindi version of Jersey for free on Youtube? It is also available on SonyLiv. This makes no sense.

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Firstly, Jersey is a remake. Secondly, the Hindi-dubbed version is available online. All of this just doesn’t add up when thinking about the business of the Shahid Kapoor starrer. However, it could be due to contractual agreements, but I wonder if the makers could have avoided being in such a situation.

It will indeed affect the business of Jersey.

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