The manager (Brad Pitt) of a cash-strapped baseball team seeks the help of a young economist (Jonah Hill) to turn his team’s fortunes around. Is he able to achieve the impossible? Read the review of Moneyball for more.
Business rating: 3/5 stars (Three stars)
Star cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
What’s Good: The entertaining script; the performances.
What’s Bad: Hardly anything!
Verdict: Moneyball is a good fare; it will do well at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Definitely watch it because it is an inspiring and entertaining fare.
Columbia Pictures, Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca and Sony Pictures’ Moneyball is based on the true story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), once a would-be baseball superstar, who is now the manager of a losing baseball team in America.
Heading into the 2002 season of baseball games, Billy finds that his Oakland A’s baseball team has little going for it – it neither has good players nor enough money to buy better players. On the other hand, the other teams have big budgets with which they can poach the best talent.
To break out of this situation, Billy enlists the support of Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a young, maverick, Yale-educated economist. Together, they devise the path-breaking strategy of hiring players on the basis of Brand’s mathematical models. They hire players who have one or two defects, but when put together, add up to a team that makes for a winning combination. Billy’s colleagues, other team managers and the media view his strategy with skepticism. Even Oakland A’s field manager (Philip Seymour Hoffman) refuses to cooperate. But Billy marches on. Soon, with the new season beginning, Billy and Brand put their strategy to test. Does Billy’s strategy succeed? And to what extent?
Moneyball Review: Script Analysis
Stan Chervin’s story, based on Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game, is very well-written and entertaining. In a way, it is also unique, because, unlike most sports films, it talks about the behind-the-scenes action. Billy and Peter Brand’s characterisations are very interesting. While Billy’s never-say-die attitude is inspirational, Brand’s ease with numbers and discomfort with everything else is humorous. Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay is fast-paced and sifts through the various stages of development of Billy’s risky strategy in an engaging manner. The dialogues, especially in the conversations between Billy and Brand, are very enjoyable. The climax is the high point of the drama.
The only thing that might spoil the fun for a section of the Indian viewers is the fact that many Indians may not have much knowledge about the sport of baseball. However, since the film talks about team management, instead of the actual game itself, this will not be a big impediment in enjoying the drama.
Moneyball Review: Performances & Direction
Brad Pitt delivers a memorable performance as the hard-nosed manager of the cash-strapped team. Jonah Hill springs a pleasant surprise in the significant role of Peter Brand. Several scenes between him and Pitt are extremely entertaining. Philip Seymour Hoffman (as the team’s field manager, Art Howe) is very good. Robin Wright, Chris Pratt, Stephen Bishop, Brent Jennings and others lend able support.
Bennett Miller’s direction is very good. His narrative style is what does the trick and makes a good script appear even better. Mychael Danna’s background score adds a lot to the appeal of the drama. Production design, by Jess Gonchor, is very good. Wally Pfister’s cinematography is eye-filling. Christopher Tellefsen’s editing is sharp.
Moneyball Review: The Last Word
On the whole, Moneyball is an extremely enjoyable fare. Its Oscar nominations and Brad Pitt’s star value will add to its business prospects in India.
Moneyball releases in India on 24 February 2012.