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800 Review: Honest But Lacks Drama!

800 Review: Honest But Lacks Drama!

Movie: 800
Rating: 2.5/5
Movie Tran
Cast: Madhurr Mittal, Mahima Nambiyar, Nassar, Narain, King Ratnam, Vadivukkarasi, Riythvika, Vela Ramamoorthy, Sharath Lohithaswa, and others
Screenplay: MS Sripathy & Shehan Karunatilaka
Music: Ghibran
DOP: RD Rajasekar ISC
Editor: Praveen KL
Sports Choreography: Dhruv Panjabi
Directed by: MS Sripathy
Release Date: Oct 06, 2023

Muthiah Muralitharan needs no introduction. He is one of the all-time greatest cricketers in the world of cricket. “800” is a biopic on him.

Let’s find out how good or effective this biopic is.

Muthiah Muralitharan's (Madhurr Mittal) grandparents migrate to Sri Lanka as laborers from Tamil Nadu. Despite being born in Sri Lanka, Muthiah is not considered theirs by the locals. Faced with such identity issues, he begins to pursue his dream of representing the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Initially, he experienced numerous challenges in getting selected to the national team. After securing a spot in the team thanks to captain Arjun Ranatunga (King Ratnam), he faces new challenges in the world of cricket, such as the chucking controversy.

How does he overcome all of these obstacles and take 800 wickets?

Artistes’ Performances:
Madhur Mittal delivers the right performance. More than the bowling style, Madhur Mittal conveys Muralitharan's inner turmoil and the frustration he feels as a result of various crises. He is convincing.

Nasser plays a sports journalist who also serves as the story's narrator. Mahima Nambiar is okay as Muralitharan's wife.

King Rathnam is an excellent choice for the role of Arjuna Ranatunga. So is Naren for the role of LTTE Prabhakaran.

Technical Excellence:
Among the technicians' work, sports choreography and background music stand out. The film also has a good production design.

Some unknown facts of Muralitharan’s life
Episodes related to Chucking controversy
The final moments

Documentary style of narration
Lack of cinematic style

Anyone who follows cricket (and almost everyone does in India, where cricket is a religion) is aware of Muthiah Muralitharan's greatness, bowling style, accomplishments (he is the only bowler to take 800 Test wickets), chucking controversy, and his Indian connection.

His ancestors are from India; he married a Chennai girl and visits the Tirumala Tirupathi temple regularly. All of these details are well known to us.

However, drama is necessary for audiences to enjoy or become engaged in a biopic.

Director MS Sripathy had a good idea. He knew that Muralitharan's cricket achievements and his bowling prowess alone would not make for compelling cinema. So, the director focused on lesser-known aspects of Muralitharan’s life.

In this film, we learn that Muthiah Muralitharan has always struggled with his identity. The local Sri Lankans saw him as Tamil/Indian, while the Tamilians (Eelam group) didn’t fully embrace him. And the Australians accused him of being a cheat. All of this bothered him. The constant pressure he felt to prove himself to everyone caused significant mental stress, a fact established by the film "800."

The movie also reveals that Sri Lankan captain Arjun Ranatunga had always been completely supportive of him.

While these are the highlights, the film also has many flaws. Sripathy had difficulty telling the story convincingly and engagingly. Every detail of Muralitharan's life unfolds in a matter-of-fact manner. There is no dramatic treatment or cinematic style.

As a result, despite its sincere efforts, "800" fails to engage us.

Overall, "800" feels more like a well-made documentary about the life of cricket legend Muthiah Muralitharan than a film. A film requires more than a matter-of-fact tone.

Bottom line: Not a Smooth Pitch


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