Verdict: Attention to detail and the crew’s dedication serve as the highlights of this biopic.
Captain is a tribute to one of India’s football legends, V. P. Sathyan. Jayasurya shines in the biopic, which traces Sathyan’s captaincy and career through his victories and fails. Touted as one of Mollywood’s most expensive films ever, Prajesh Sen’s maiden directorial venture produced by T.L. George under the banner of Goodwill Entertainments has music by Gopi Sundar. Anu Sithara, Renji Panicker, Siddique, Deepak Parambol and Saiju Kurup play the lead characters.
What’s Captain About:
V. P. Sathyan, essayed by Jayasurya in Captain, was one of India’s best defenders who led the national side to victory in the 1980s and 90s. The biopic, packed with intense moments, traces his life through his trials and challenges as he fought bureaucracy, battled depression and braved through injury. In all this, his wife, Anitha (Anu Sithara) stands by his side as his anchor when he drifts away into depression owing to a bad leg. His was a life set apart for football and he chose to end it when he felt he had nothing more to offer the game.
Jayasurya is one actor known to breathe life into any character he essays, and as Sathyan he has done a commendable job. Jayasurya’s physical transformation to show three phases of Sathyan’s life is convincing. Apparently, the director had given Jayasurya three months to get into shape and master the technique of the game. Without an iota of doubt, Jayasurya has justified his director’s trust. Journalist-turned-director Prajesh Sen’s attention to detail is what catches the viewer’s eye. The timeline of every event in the movie has been executed accurately, quite true to the athlete's real life. Captain has over 100 professional football players in its cast, which makes it most convincing. The excitement of Kerala’s Santosh Trophy win after 19 years is captured very well. The movie has its share of drama too – like this intense scene where Sathyan tries to inflate a football by blowing into it. The movie is peppered with stellar performances by its cast. Anu Sithara shines as Anitha. Renji Panicker plays coach Jaffer and Deepak Parambol essays the role of U. Sharif Ali, Sathyan’s teammate and one of India’s finest players. Siddique plays a small role as a football enthusiast but stands out the most with his makeup and meaningful one-liners. The movie also pays homage to the leader, K. Karunakaran, (played by Janardhanan) for his support and encouragement to the game. The Gopi Sundar’s melodies are beautiful to the ear and Roby Varghese Raj does wonders with the camera.
What Could Have Been Better:
In all fairness, a biopic comes with its baggage of being honest to the subject. That way, Captain scores. The movie plays yo-yo with the timeline, which might be a little confusing at times.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch it for Jayasurya, for the passion and dedication he brings to the screen. Watch it for V. P. Sathyan and for the sport that once held a billion dreams. In other words, watch it to celebrate the memory of one of India’s finest sportsmen.
–By Jan Mary Varghese