Finals Review: an extremely earnest film you shouldn’t miss
The best thing about Arun PR directed Finals is that it doesn’t feel like a template movie. Everyone including me may have had this impression that this movie is about the rise of a girl to fame through hard work. As a movie, Finals is a little more than that. The movie abruptly approached its halfway point leaving us to wonder how they will rise again, and the good thing was that it took its time and flew high in the climax.
Alice is a young girl from Kattappana who aspires to win gold for India in the next Olympics. Her father Varghese is an athletic coach and even though he is a bit stubborn on the outside he is a super supportive father. Then there is Manuel who loves Alice and he is perhaps her biggest well-wisher. The hurdles that came in the way of this dream of Alice and how it molds each character are what Finals showing.
The aspirations of this movie are similar to that of Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal. There is a niche film feel to the movie and at the same time, it is ambitious. The scale of events is not humongous for Finals. But on an emotional level, there are many things that feel big-hearted. And like I said this movie isn’t only about Alice. Her father Varghese has a legit reason to be a stubborn person. The bond between the three is constructed very impressively. The inclusion of issues in our sports culture that gets included in the movie has not gelled completely with the narrative, but yet it wasn’t an unconvincing addition.
The growth of Arun PR from being the scriptwriter of a movie like Jamnapyari to being the writer and director of a movie like Finals is massive. Arun is really aware of the importance of being subtle about human emotions. Between Alice, Varghese and Manuel, the verbal communication is extremely minimal and yet we know that these three have a really deep connect. The emotional scenes never become cheesy sequences. Sudeep Elamon who has handled the camera has done an exceptionally brilliant work. Sudeep’s visuals and Kailas Menon’s background score has a major role in elevating this sports drama to a moving level. The lag the movie has post interval is an essential lag according to me as it really makes us feel that Varghese and Manuel had enough time to evolve to the level they change in the movie.
The sincerity with which Rajisha Vijayan has approached the role of Alice is commendable. Alice has a certain level of simplicity and she maintains it throughout in a graceful manner. For me, Suraj Venjaramood was a great performer in this movie. He plays a very reserved character who had to face some really harsh realities in life and the actor manages to bring in different styles to each of those breakdowns. It is well and truly a new beginning for Niranj Maniyanpilla Raju who managed to be convincing for the first time in his career and I hope a Sakalakalashala won’t happen in his career again. Nisthar Sait was memorable as the villain. Tini Tom, Sona Nair, Maniyanpilla Raju, Dhruvan, Muthumani etc are the other prominent names here.
Finals is an extremely earnest film. It can’t be called as a flawless film as it is trying to tweak a tried and tested formula. But what makes it more appealing is the way it accepts a reality and yet shows a moving tale about perseverance. The movie is technically sound and the performances are equally good and anyone who loves analyzing the craft of movie making should watch it at least once.
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