Note: This piece is more about the film’s impact on me, and less about the film itself.
A year ago, Jersey hit me like a truck. I wasn’t prepared for something like that. A light-hearted, sports-backed family drama is what I had expected. It is that movie, but with an exponentially higher effect, and hard-hitting than a conventional movie that falls under the aforementioned umbrella. I longed to express my thoughts as soon as viewing it, but my heavy heart restrained the emotional catharsis.
Jersey is full of heart. Cricket, which plays a crucial role in driving the narrative forward, is merely a medium for the protagonist, Arjun, to overcome his fall – which his life has become synonymous with – after quitting it. This is not a movie about cricket. It’s about a man who dares everything, I repeat, everything, to wipe the failure that’s painted all over his face and life.
The father-son dynamic works like a charm because it’s not appended to the film, but is rather the foundation on which the character motivation, choices and the eventual consequences rest on. I firmly believe that the film’s attempt at portraying the innocence, warmth, and love between the father and son, is superior to every other film that has preceded and succeeded it.
Is it melodrama? Sure.
Is it a little too serious? Unarguably.
Is it forced, though? Not one bit.
Looking back at the film, a year later, does raise some questions that pose a check to the story’s alignment with general human choices.
Would a father still choose to prove himself, even though it means he would not be there for his son?
Wouldn’t it mean everything to the son to have his father alongside him throughout his life, instead of not having a ‘successful’ father?
We, mere spectators, are not the befitting ones to answer these questions, though.
Perhaps, when put in Arjun’s shoes we will make the appropriate choice. Like Arjun.
Jersey is one film I cherish, but don’t wish to revisit anytime soon. I have seen it only once. My fragile heart, which invokes tears at the slightest of the sorrows in life, refrains me from going back to it. Viewing it for the second time, completely aware that Arjun clearly knows the fate that awaits, yet doing what he does, would be harder than the first viewing, I suppose. Would prefer revisiting it only when I feel it’s slipping through my memory, which of course, with the impact it left, is not anytime sooner.
Despite knowing that Nani – the actor who portrayed the fictional Arjun – is alive and fine, I felt a sigh of relief after watching him on screen in his following film, Gang Leader.
“Sigh! The dude’s alive! Thank God!”
That’s the force Jersey jolted me with.
After it settles down in my mind, that’s when I would talk about the film, instead of raving how it affected me.
It’s a story I’ll remember. You will, too.
Watch Jersey on Zee 5.
The film’s trailer: