Debutant director Abrid Shine’s 1983, with Nivin Pauly at the crease, tells the story of a cricket enthusiast.
The sun makes a sudden – and rare – appearance in the middle of the monsoon season. Seizing the opportunity, a group of youngsters jump on their bicycles and speed on a muddy track that runs right through a water-logged paddy field. Leading them is a fresh faced Nivin Pauly. It’s the location of debutant director Abrid Shine’s 1983, which is progressing in a sleepy village near Mulamthuruthy in Kochi.
“1983 can be called a family drama that revolves around cricket. It narrates the story of Rameshan (Nivin), a cricketer. His interest in the sport begins with India’s historic win at the 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup. He’s passionate about the sport and this passion influences his life and career choices. However, reality throws a curve ball. As is often the case with amateur cricketers, dreams to earn a cap on the National squad or even turn professional remain just that,” says Shine.
Anoop Menon plays Vijay Menon, who was once a noted Ranji Trophy player and is now a brilliant coach. Joy Mathew, Rajeev Pillai, Jacob Gregory, Saiju Kurup, Srinda Ashab, Dinesh and Sanju, make up the rest of 1983’s team.
“There has been a significant change in the way cricket has been played over the years. In the past when legends such as Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Viv Richards, Allan Border and Malcolm Marshall ruled the field, test cricket used to be the favourite format. Nowadays, the sport has got more attractive new formats and has become entertainment rather than anything else. Then of course, there are the controversies. But all that is just the backdrop. We’re focussing on the real fans of the game, the ones who follow the game religiously and in the right spirit; the ones who live in the villages of India,” adds the photographer-turned-filmmaker, who has written the story and co-written the script with Bipin Chandran.
The next shot has Nivin walking into the frame with heroine Nikki. The duo only has eyes for each other.
“The film traces Rameshan’s life – almost 30 years of ups and downs, good decisions and bad. It was challenging to portray different stages in a person’s life,” says Nivin.
Nikki is currently doing the Kannada remake of the Tamil hit Paiyaa. She says: “My character is Manjula. She has been in love with Rameshan since their childhood. I found it interesting to play a typical village belle. To wear a pattu pavada and at times a sari, is a refreshing change for someone who grew up in a metro like Bengaluru.”
1983 is being produced under the banner of Shams Films. Pradeesh Varma cranks the camera and music director is Gopi Sundar. Stills are by Anup Chacko.