Review by Vinoo
Language : English
Director : Stevan Riley
They brought the world to its knees, and a nation to its feet. I don’t know if they put it in the best possible words but yeah that pretty much sums it. A documentary on the West Indies cricket team of the 1970s through to the 80s, it tells the story of the golden era of the WI cricket team. It was more than just about cricket, about their fight for identity and the fight against racism and their victory over their colonial masters and of course their domination of world cricket for over a decade. Fifteen years without losing a single test-series surely was something. Tony Greig’s ‘I intend to make them grovel’ was enough to make the Windies, and Clive Lloyd’s men, give the English a response they will not forget.
The movie captures the arrival of Clive Lloyd almost like it was perfectly set up for him to make an entry, and then goes on to his era of dominance that continued with the team led by Sir Vivian Richards, my all-time favourite ‘gum-chewing’ cricketer with the inimitable swagger, and the most fearsome pace bowling the world has ever seen in Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall a little after. Do I need to say anything more?
Legendary stuff Bob Marley walking into the dressing room to cheer them on
Another favourite sequence of mine is where Bunny Wailer goes on to say this about Vivian Richards “Had he not been in cricket he would have been a dreadlocked rastaman”.
‘Fire in Babylon’ features all the greats of West Indian cricket and may surely have a bias but no bias is too bad considering the bias they were fighting. Here is some relevant read in the context of this film.
Also watched ‘Kahaani’ which did have some moments but I could immediately recall the ending from ‘Taking lives’. Watched Ranjith’s ‘Indian Rupee’ which was a fairly good watch, Blessy’s ‘Pranayam’ was a little disappointing. Successfully stayed away from most of Bollywood but I am looking forward to watch ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ soon. Check out Flipkart for some classics like Saeed Mirza’s ‘Arvind Desai ki ajeeb dastaan’, ‘Salim Langde pe mat ro’, ‘Naseem’ ‘Shesha drishti’ by A K Bir, ‘Diksha’ by Arun Kaul, ‘Sanshodhan’ and ‘Party’ by Govind Nihalani and Amol Palekar’s ‘Bangarwadi‘, ‘Bhinna Shadja’, Mani Kaul’s ‘Uski roti’, ‘Duvidha’ and ‘Nazar’ and quite a few Marathi flicks. Look for a whole list of NFDC films ‘Massey Sahib’, ‘Jaya Ganga’, ‘27 Down’, ‘Bioscope’, ‘Ek hota vidushak’ etc.
And, while on Cricket, what an end to this years football. Juventus the ‘Invincibles’ winning the SerieA without losing a single game, Borussia Dortmund win the Bundesliga, Real Madrid win the La liga finally, and Manchester City needing a last minute injury-time goal to win the English Premier League. And the Gunner can take pride in finishing third. One of those times when third is better than second J.
Useless Trivia : I don’t know if this story is apocryphal but here goes an incident from one of the deadliest bowlers ever, Joel Garner. Joel Garner was once approached by a totally besotted sloane at a social event in Taunton. ”Oh, Mr Garner’ she simpered, “how tall are you?” “I’m 6 foot 8” Joel replied. “Is everything else in proportion?” she enquired. “Oh no”, said Joel. ”If it was, I’d be 8 foot 6.”
Sorry guys for the long break. The abuse egged me on J. The frequency at which I am posting I’ll soon have to call it ‘Movie for the month’. This is an attempt to stick to weekly reviews again. Cheers!The Escapers Flux, Karelia Sandvox, XtraLean Software ShutterBug