Sons Of The Soil Review: Star Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a Half Star)
How ironic is the fact that in two consecutive weeks, we saw the release of two unscripted docu-series. One which featured the first world chronicles of star wives and the second of people who rose from the soil to play on it. No points guessing which one made more impact. Pro Kabaddi League that found its own momentum in India, gave the niche Indian sport a powerful platform for the world to rejoice it. Abhishek Bachchan is one of the most prominent contributors who owns the team Jaipur Pink Panthers. Produced by BBC Studios India, Sons Of The Soil: Jaipur Pink Panthers follows the team through season 7 of the tournament and captures their highs and the lows.
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, and well, the complete team of Jaipur Pink Panther season 7.
Sons Of The Soil Review: What Works:
Appreciate the fact that India is adapting to new formats and likes of content, and OTT platforms are backing the same. Sons Of The Soil, as said by the makers, is an unscripted show that follows the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
The best part about this BBC Amazon collaboration is that the world is not glamorised to set it in an intriguing watch blueprint. Defeats remain defeats, and they aren’t supported by some melancholic tune or songs. Sons Of The Soil shows you things as they are, ‘unfiltered’, and you are the one in the position to take away what you want.
The show is directed by two-time BAFTA Scotland winner Alex Gale. This also makes the gaze of someone who is learning the sport or about it. You are thrown in the middle of it, but not clueless, Abhishek being the narrator explains the sports and its importance for the country and the ones playing it. I don’t know if Gale is associated with Kabaddi or not, but he keeps the POV strictly of a person who is watching this universe for the very first time.
As said above, there is no glamorising pain or defeat; the makers also refrain from making it all vanilla. Not all, but it also highlights the flaws in the team. The fact that how at times people discuss how Deepak Hooda was bought for the highest price and still doesn’t perform or Bunty Walia getting angry and not for the sake of camera (you can see that) is all shown without the fear of judgement. Abhishek in an episode even tells the camera guys to stay out of a room after they have lost the match.
The docu-series also does an amazing of showing how people associated with the team are building their whole lives through the sport. The show takes you deep into the life of its four leading players, Captain Deepak Hooda, Deepak Narwal, Nilesh Salunkhe and Nitin Rawal. All three have had their shares of struggles and journeys for reaching here. Salunkhe’s story touched me the most. The man has made a world out of the sport and takes immense pride in showing off that he has even won a mixer grinder from it.
Sons Of The Soil Review: What Doesn’t Work:
The show happens to be a beginners guide to the format. Of you are already a pro at it, it might not move you as much as the makers plan to.
While I appreciate the fact that the makers don’t force intrigue into the narrative, they keep it straight to the point; it also makes it repetitive at times. Also secretly, my heart craved for an end much bigger than what is shown. That doesn’t mean I expected changes in facts, but the way it was shot. Abhishek promises some great commentary as he begins the narration, the end does not meet that.
Sons Of The Soil Review: Last Words:
The docu-series is definitely a change from the content that we are already consuming. Watch to understand what goes behind every match you watch. If you have been following Pro Kabaddi, this is a treat made for you. This one also makes it to education with entertainment list, and it is an important aspect.