Adinath Kothare and Siddharth Kher are bosom pals who play football for the state team. Adinath gets selected in the Indian team but Siddharth is left out. His proud and influential father does everything under his command to see his son play for India even if that means displacing Adinath. Find out more in the review of Standby.
Business rating: 1/5 star
Star cast: Adinath Kothare, Siddharth Kher, Sachin Khedekar, Dalip Tahhil.
What’s Good: A few scenes between Adinath and Sachin Khedekar; the story idea.
What’s Bad: The loose screenplay; absence of emotions; lack of soul-stirring music.
Verdict: Standby will go largely unnoticed.
Loo break: A couple.
Watch or Not?: Watch it if you like sports films.
BRC Production’s Standby is about the game of football and how politics has entered the fabric of our sports. Rahul Narvekar (Adinath Kothare) and Shekhar Verma (Siddharth Kher) are football players in the Maharashtra team. Rahul belongs to a middle-class family and it is his father’s (Sachin Khedekar) dream to see his son play for the Indian team. Rahul is also very serious about football. Shekhar is a bosom pal of Rahul and has a rich and influential father, J.P. Verma (Dalip Tahhil). Rahul and Shekhar’s dream of playing for India comes close to being realised when Maharashtra wins the prestigious Santosh trophy after more than a decade.
Things, however, take an ugly turn when Shekhar, the captain of the Maharashtra team, is not included in the Indian team whereas Rahul is. Shekhar is the standby player for the Indian team and he feels slighted. His father has ambitious plans for Shekhar in the world of football and he can’t bear the prospect of those plans going down the drain because of his non-inclusion in the Indian team. J.P. Verma now uses all the power and clout under his control to see that Shekhar plays for India even if that means getting Shekhar’s best friend, Rahul, removed from the team by foul means. Shekhar, too, is consumed by jealousy as he can’t bear the thought of Rahul over-taking him.
Aiding J.P. Verma are the selection committee chairman, Shrivastav (Avtar Gill) and the Federation president (Surendra Pal). However, Indian team coach John (Manish Chaudhary) is very principled and is out to expose the games being played by the interested parties. Is he able to do so? What happens to Rahul? Is he allowed to play for India or does J.P. Verma succeed in having him replaced by his son? What happens to the strong bond of friendship between Rahul and Shekhar – is it able to survive the cracks? And what about Rahul’s father?
Standby Review – Script Analysis
Pravin Tarde and Sanjay Surkar’s story had the germs to be converted into an emotional and heart-wrenching screenplay. But, unfortunately, their screenplay lacks depth and is not just repetitive but also rather unbelievable and too far-fetched. Besides, the emotions which ought to have come forth in a tale of relationships do not come across in this story of two friends. Why, even the emotions between Rahul and his father are only half as well-pronounced as they ought to have been. Ditto for the emotions between Rahul and the wonderful residents of his building – since the residents aren’t shown to be involved too much in the drama which unfolds on and off the football field. All in all, the screenplay seems to be a half-baked one and, therefore, fails to create the desired impact. Even the scenes of the football matches don’t have the thrill or excitement of a sports event which is a do-or-die event. Climax is not very exciting. Dialogues, penned by Varun Gautam, ought to have been better.
Standby Review – Star Performances
Adinath Kothare does a fine job. He has an endearing personality and he acts well. Siddharth Kher also performs ably. Reema Worah makes a dull debut as the leading lady. She is average in looks and acting. Sachin Khedekar acts with aplomb but he seems to be under-utilised. Dalip Tahhil is effective. Manish Chaudhary is sincere but variations in his body language and facial expressions would’ve worked better. In the given scenario, his performance looks monotonous at times. Nagesh Bhosle is okay. Avtar Gill is effective. Surendra Pal does a fair job. Others lend very ordinary support.
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