Love - All movie review: An accomplished, authentic and brilliantly performed sports drama
What: Love – All – anchored by Kay Kay Menon’s outstanding brilliance, writer director Sudhanshu Sharma delivers an accomplished, authentic and brilliantly performed sports drama based on badminton that strikes a chord in its emotional and motivational depth as well.
Love - All movie synopsis
Siddharth (Kay Kay Menon) a railway employee hates sports and discourages his son Aditya (Ark Jain) to play any sports. The dull, boring, Siddharth carries a constant gloom on his face, Siddharth is so strict that he does not even allow Aditya to watch or talk about sports. Siddharth has just been transferred to his native place Bhopal.
Life takes a turn when Aditya takes badminton as a sport to get admitted to a good school in Bhopal. As per school rules, sports is compulsory for every student.
Fearing a backlash from Siddharth, both Jaya and Aditya hide the badminton training thing from Siddharth.
Hell breaks loose when Siddharth comes to know about Aditya’s badminton training through his childhood friend Viju (Sumit Arora) who runs a shop selling sports goods.
The pain from the wounds from the past gets surfaced as Siddharth has a solid connection with badminton.
Siddharth is against sports and Aditya has just won a championship in school and is a prodigy in the making.
What happens next?!
Hindi mainstream cinema that has churned significant sports movies have either cricket or hockey, sometimes football –Chak De! India, Iqbal, Lagaan, Gold, Ghoomer the latest, but badminton, a popular sport in India is ignored by filmmakers. On a popular scale badminton on screen was seen as a sports flick in the biopic of Saina Nehwal – Saina (2021) by Amol Gupte starring Parineeti Chopra. Otherwise it has been reduced to a duet song like Dhal Gaya Din, Ho Gayi Raat filmed on Jeetendra and Leena Chandrawarker in Humjoli (1970).
Love – All by Sudhanshu Sharma (writer., director, producer) clears the darkness looming over Indian movies based on badminton with such authenticity, emotional depth that it turns out to be a rare sports movie that respects sports and human relationships in a most simple and most effective manner.
An example on how to make an authentic sports film with real players, Love – All scores high on characterisation, scene development and arc.
Coming from a person who loves and respects badminton, Love – All is not just a sports drama built on the known template of an underdog triumph, it's also an emotional saga between a father and son that coins the game of badminton with its theme. In recent years you will not find such an apt technical title in the sports genre.
Filled with emotional moments and breadmaking badminton rallies, Love – All encourages the audience to play badminton.
The movie also gives an important message on what sports can do to an individual and playing is not just about winning. It’s a process, a journey on becoming a better person.
Director Sudhanshu Sharma in his own story and screenplay with Sonal (screenplay) shows his calibre in handling sensitive scenes with subtlety and doesn’t go overboard and melodramatic as normally makers in mainstream cinema go.
The climax is excellent.
Kay Kay Menon as Siddharth is a show of outstanding brilliance. The versatility with nuance subtility Kay Kay Menon is pitch perfect right from the first frame and slowly as his character arc changes, the chameleon of an actor Kay Kay excels as a failed sportsman, to a loving father and a better person. Watch his reaction during the climax - Stealer.
Shriswara as Jaya - Siddharth’s wife is a picture of devotion and compatibility. Simple and effective.
Swastika Mukherjee as Soma - Siddharth’s friend is very natural, she makes her mark.
Sumit Arora as Viju - Siddharth’s friend is adorable and spontaneous.
Ark Jain as Aditya - Siddharth’s son, a real life badminton player is terrific both as a son and as a badminton player.
Deep Rambhiya as Young Siddharth – a badminton player in real life sets the momentum right from the beginning with his realistic badminton skills.
Mazel Vyas as Young Soma – is nice and decent, she makes her presence felt.
Raja Bundela as the politician is competent.
Production values are good, shot in Bhopal, the cinematography by Raut Jaywant Murlidhar captures the lake city, the badminton court and the house of Siddharth beautifully making it another character in the film.
Editors - Aalaap Majgavkar and Raunak Phadnis work is sharp. Costumes by Khushbu Banerjee are simple and effective. Background Score by Debarpito Saha gels with the theme and music by Saurabh-Vaibhav floats with the narration without any hindrance, though a sweeping hit number is missing.
Though authentic in depicting the badminton game on screen, Sudhanshu Sharma falls prey to cheap gimmicks and liberties just to maintain the continuity. How can a school championship trophy not have the name of the winner? For Aditya badminton comes into his life as a compulsion, I would have appreciated an organic, passionate entrance of the game into Aditya’s life.
Love – All is an achievement. A rare sports film-based badminton that features real players along with a seasoned actor like Kay Kay Menon, the game is authentically shown, respected and the emotions are earned. It’s a cinema that entertains and enlightens. Movies like Love – All should be made, watched and savoured.
Going with a deserving 4 stars.
Love All Oriya trailer