Love-All review: A true sports drama dedicated to badminton!

Love-All review: Kay Kay Menon's sports drama is a simple and realistic film that has all the ingredients to be a nail-biting badminton match.  

Sakshi Sharma
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Love-All review: Kay Kay Menon's sports drama is a simple and realistic film that has all the ingredients to be a nail-biting badminton match.  

Love-All review: In India where Sachin Tendulkar is a god, there is only one sport that is worshipped as a religion - cricket! Hence badminton or any other sport for that matter has only seen a massive rise in interest a few years earlier with the sport and the players finally getting the long-due and much-deserved respect and appreciation. Love-All is not a celebrity biopic but is an ode to the sport of badminton and its spirit. Sudhanshu Sharma, with a simplistic drama film, talks about the hardships of a sportsperson, the toll of failure and the value of sports in a child's life. 

Siddharth Sharma (Menon) is a bitter man who is angry at himself, his life, and everything around him because his one true love for badminton and his dream in his teenage years also left him completely broken and shattered. The dirty politics of the sport and a conspiracy curtailed the life of a talented flourishing badminton player who got so well-rimmed into the reality that he never let his son Aaditya (Ark Jain) even look at a sport much less become a player. When the family returns to Bhopal, aka Siddharth's hometown, his past starts unraveling in front of his son and wife. And just like how Aaditya didn't know about his father's life as a champion badminton player, similarly Siddharth, in the start has no clue about his son's pursuit of becoming a champion badminton player. Though when one dream shatters another begins and apart from badminton, this father-son story of motivating each other forms the focus of the story. Siddharth also teaches Aaditya that his opponent is also a player, not a villain!

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There is a point in the film in the last moments where Aaditya looks at his dad cum coach for assurance and he gestures something. This took me right back to Chak De India where Shah Rukh Khan guides Vidya in the last moments. Love-All has all the ingredients that form a spicy sports drama but underplays it so that only badminton shines. The entire nail-biting competition in the second half is the truest and most authentic form of sports onscreen. And it also helps that real badminton players were utilised for this. The way Bhopal is showcased in the film with the railway quarters, school, and sports shops, showed us that the director isn't trying to unnecessarily beautify things, instead, he keeps it real. 

But when it comes to looking at the story in silos, apart from the sport which forms the entire second half of the film, this one doesn't seem too hard-hitting or inspiring. It's a sweet father-son story that works on the cliche themes of a comeback and triumph of an underdog with a twist. If you're expecting an emotional and dramatic motivational sports ride, then this isn't it! Maybe that's the tone that Sudhanshu wanted to keep because even actors like Kay Kay Menon, Swastika Mukherjee, Atul Srivastava, and others keep it light and simple instead of hogging the spotlight. 

Now this might work for a lot of people but it can also be disappointing for others as sports dramas are always seen as movies with lots of energy and drama. The three songs of the film Geeli si Subah,’ Baaton Baaton Mein’ and Jhat Pat' bring the effectiveness that the film desperately needs at times. Whether it stands up to your expectations of a sports drama film or not, it's still effective in delivering its message, celebrating the sports spirit, and educating us about badminton.

Love-All is currently streaming in theatres! 

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