Disney has done it again with a brilliant comedic against-all-odds film, telling the tale of how a sports agent, in a last ditch effort to save his career, travels to India to find potential baseball pitchers who can make a splash into the big leagues. This is how the Million Dollar Arm contest came about, a truly out-of-the-park idea.
I wasn’t thrilled upon hearing JB trash India’s beloved sport i.e cricket saying, “It doesn’t require talent to hit a ball wherever you want. Anyone can play.” It’s the similarities between baseball and cricket that inspires JB to travel to India, which according to him is the last untapped market in Asia.
Having been born in North America and moved to India, I can relate to both sides of the story, how confusing it can be to adjust to the customs and ways of India and how Indians do things differently. This is just one of the many challenges faced by JBB sir, as he’s called in India.
It’s a pleasant change, seeing Jon Hamm play a less darker character than Mad Men’s Don Draper, in his first lead film role as sports agent, JB Bernstein. Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, the two Indian pitchers living the American dream, are played by Suraj Sharma from Life of Pi and Madhur Mittal of Slumdog Millionaire fame. They did an excellent job of portraying small town boys from rural India, in a way that does not make it seem degrading, something rare to see in an American movie. However, I enjoyed watching Pitobash Tripathy play the obedient and ever-enthusiastic Amit, JB’s assistant-cum-translator. A.R Rahman’s soundtrack is brilliant as well.
With a low budget of $25 million, Milion Dollar Arm just goes to show that if you’ve got a story and a great cast, anything is possible.
I’d recommend watching it to anyone who loves sports films!