champion: a sports drama flavored with revenge
After presenting a sports film earlier this year with the sasikumar starrer kennedy club, director suseenthiran returns with his next film champion, once again touching on sports. With a new cast supported by Narain, the promotions promised an interesting sports and action drama. let’s see what awaits us in champion.
a jones boy (vishwa) from north madras is passionate about football and aspires to excel in the game, and joins coach santha (narain), who guides him. however, in pursuit of his passion, he too learns of his father’s murder and swears revenge on him. Caught between football and revenge, what Jones was able to accomplish is what Champion is all about.
Debutant Vishwa as Leader Jones has perfect body language as he showcases his soccer skills and his training for the role is visible in game sequences, while his expressions and dialogue delivery falter in emotional scenes. Narain provides good support with the subtle act of him as the trainer who knows Jones’s past, and Manoj K Bharathi in a key role is suitable and suitably cast with Vishwa and Manoj having similarities in looks. The villain character is clichéd and not terrifying, and the rest of the cast including Vinod Sagar, Mirnalini Ravi, Sowmika don’t have much room to get emotional or make his presence felt.
The first half of champion moves on a very predictable note, with no high points, and newcomer vishwa is good at soccer sequences but keeps the same expression for every situation, which is quite a worrying factor. with a routine narration, the interval arrives with a twist of death by blows.
the second half has the backstory of jones father and who planned his death which is highly predictable and when you expect the revenge sequences there are some unnecessary scenes involving mirnalini and sowmika. with some usual sequences, the champion ends on a formula note.
arrol corelli gives an impressive background score that elevates few sequences, while the same cannot be said for his songs. Sujith Sarang’s cinematography is top-notch, capturing the sports and the violence equally well. thyagu’s edit could have been better, removing the montage songs.
director suseenthiran had previously dabbled in the sports genre with vennila kabaddi kuzhu and jeeva, but his recent sports films like kennedy club and vennila kabaddi kuzhu 2 (scripted by suseenthiran) lacked finesse. has once again taken up the sports genre with the intention of presenting the plight of a north madras boy with football dreams, but the script suffers from the clichéd revenge angle, and a weak villain who it does not bother. the protagonist but the script disturbs. In addition to script concerns, the protagonist Vishwa finds it difficult to get emotional, even though he is good at soccer scenes, and good actors like Narain don’t get good screen time to present their histrionic skills. With a predictable plot and a weak screenplay that flops, Champion fails to present either the revenge or the passion of a North Madras boy in a satisfying and engaging way, with the only respite being the crisp running time. what works best in the film is the character of narain and the scenes of him with vishwa, and the climax of his character, although the character could have had more sequences. Arrol Corelli and Sujith Sarang provide extensive support in making Champion a technically sound film. Suseenthiran has given interesting sports movies like jeeva and revenge movies like pandiya nadu and naan mahaan alla, but by combining sports and revenge, he has given a very routine movie with champion, which lacks exciting moments or novel twists. It is time for suseenthiran to focus on a central theme in a plot and present it in an interesting way, instead of forcing subplots and ending up with weak and uninteresting conclusions.
Verdict: Predictable sports drama with a clichéd revenge angle.