Moneyball: Movie Review

[Rating: 3.5] 

Director: Bennett Miller
 
Cast: Aaron Sorkin, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman
 
Synopsis: Based on a true story, Moneyball is a movie for anybody who has ever dreamed of taking on the system. The film is based on Michael Lewis’s 2003 book of the same name, an account of the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 season and their general manager Billy Beane’s attempts to assemble a competitive team. Beane (Brad Pitt) and assistant GM Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), faced with the franchise’s unfavorable financial situation, take a sophisticated saber metric approach towards scouting and analyzing players, acquiring players and winning 20 consecutive games, an American League record.
 
Review: The thing about underdog movies is one automatically feels for them. But this is so well written that it simply takes the cake as far underdog movies are concerned. Sincere and well directed, throw in some engaging performances and you have a great film to watch over the weekend.
 
Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: that all of baseball’s conventional wisdom is wrong. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. This is the turning point of the film.
 
Beane meets Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) and forms an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs and win games. Using mathematics and statistics, Beane and Brand make it more than baseball. Players are chosen not by their money value or their popularity, but by numbers generated through a code written by Brand. This challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul of the game. Initially they suffer severe setbacks, but what happens next in unbelievably record breaking and you must visit the theatre to enjoy that journey.
 
“Moneyball” is a sincere effort in filmmaking. Brad is fantastic and so is Jonah Hill. Mathematicians and statisticians across the world will be sitting in their chains and thinking “nirvana …finally”. The solid research put it, the character development , the dialogues, the well adapted screenplay, it all fits perfectly together to give you a great piece of cinema . It’s both entertaining and inspiring.
 
Verdict: It’s a must watch for sports fans and a must watch for math/stats fans. It’s a must watch for Brad fans and …umm let’s just say it’s a must watch.
 
Malvika Rao

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