Class of ’83 – Movie Review

Gender Metre
General Metre
Production Values

In a nut-shell:


Cast – Bobby Deol, Bhupendra Jadawat, Hitesh Bhojraj, Anup Soni

Director – Atul Sabharwal

Production – Gauri Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Gaurav Verma

You may think of all the connotations that the above four-letter word beginning with ‘J’ conjures up and all of it would be applicable.

Start with the jerkily-narrated police story that begins well with a build-up of intrigue around Dean Vijay Singh. He’s like Voldemort, more whispered about than seen on the campus of the Police Training Centre in Nashik.

There’s even a spot of wit in the classroom with a professor getting muddled between ‘spot’ and ‘stop’.

But once the Dean makes a dashing entry with his fists, the script starts jerking between his past and the present in an amateur’s attempt to maintain the suspense. And later jerks uninterestingly between Vijay Singh’s story and son Rohan’s life. Within minutes, the curve flattens like a monitor in the ICU of a patient whose ventilator has been switched off.

A man who’s best out in the field, Vijay Singh has been sent to Nashik as a punishment posting by, who else but a politician hand in glove with the big gangster of the day.Shucks, have you heard of such a nexus ever before?

Jerk your head back to attention as the Dean picks on the lowest-ranking five with names like Surve, Shukla, Jadhav, Varde, and a mandatory Aslam, for a special assignment. It’s a squad to eliminate gangster Kalsekar and get even with Chief Minister Manohar Patkar. Oh, what jerks the two must be. Except that neither screenplay writer Abhijeet Deshpande or Hussain Zaidi, on whose book the film is based, nor director Atul Sabharwal get around to even establishing the menace of either of the men. A film is a visual medium, a voiceover narration won’t suffice.  

In the losers-are-winners theme of Dean Vijay Singh and the jerks-ridden screenplay, the handpicked encounter specialists unaccountably switch over to becoming the paid lackeys of rival gangs. Only one remains uncorrupt – you guessed it, Aslam it is.

The problem is the suddenness or the jerkiness that prevails in the narration when, without a build-up,there’s an inexplicable scene where Shukla messes with a journalist because Varde gets the credit for some of the encounters. Without a smooth transition, it’s confounding when one-upmanship and rivalry between the friends set in. Except for afairly well-donemoment over jurisdiction, where gang member Ismail Pathan is eliminated, there’s no cops-and-robbers cleverness, brainy strategy nor even pulsating action to rivet the viewer.

Humour in uniform touches nadir when it’s chiefly about an officer ‘J’-ing off and soiling his khaki vardi. Now you know why this review has so much of the ‘J’ word.

With Anup Soni as the CM and Vishwajeet Pradhan and Joy Sengupta as fellow officers providing support from the sidelines, it is Bobby Deol who shows surprising screen presence as Vijay Singh.

In this all-male yawn-fare, women are only wives who hang around like loose sofa covers.

Sorry, Red Chillies Entertainment, this class doesn’t qualify for any honours.

WHAT A JERK!Class of ’83 - Movie Review