Selection Day: Web Series Review
Cast: Yash Dholye, Mohammad Samad, Rajesh Tailang, Akshay Oberoi, Karanvir Malhotra, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ratna Pathak Shah.
Director: Udayan Prasad.
Language: Hindi, English.
Genre: Sports, Drama.
Release Date: 28 December 2018.
Synopsis: Two teenage brothers, Radha and Manju, are trained by their strict father obsessed with making them famous cricket players. Manju does not like cricket and when the family moves to Mumbai, he finds his preference for science. He also befriends Radha’s cricket rival, Javed, who is free and confident, both concepts Manju could never experience, and these attributes move him away from cricket as well as his father’s control.
- The young actors – Mohammad Samad as Manju, Yash Dholye as Radha, and Karanvir Malhotra as Javed – carry the entire weight of the show on their shoulders.
- Rajesh Tailang perfectly portrays the arrogant, obsessive, domineering father to the two boys. Mahesh Manjrekar, too, delivers a convincing performance as a skeletons-in-the-closet coach who is back on the field after years.
- Ratna Pathak Shah, the only seemingly important female character of the show, shines through (as usual) in her role as an understanding, compassionate, and eccentric school principal that we all wish we had.
- Selection Day depicts the various divides that Radha and especially Manju, had to grapple with – rich and poor, urban and rural, freedom of choice and life versus dictatorial parent and helicopter parenting, English and Hindi, etc.
- Emphasizing more on Manju’s narrative, the show deals with various aspects of his life in depth – his relation with his brother and his father, his relation to cricket, his preferences and choices, his small actions that hint towards defiance, and also, his interactions with Javed.
- Selection Day does a good job with the central storyline of the show, efficiently portraying Manju and Radha’s different personalities and the development of their characters.
- Although Selection Day is a sports drama, the matches in the show barely manage to create the necessary intensity or emotion. There’s an irony of sorts – the sporting scenes in a sports drama are ones that lack the required depth and intensity.
- The subplots are mostly weak and lack depth, story-wise as well as character-wise. A number of characters are unidimensional and do not have any layers to their personality.
- The track of the deity making an appearance on field is yet another weak execution. Yes, Shiv Pandit does a good job in the role, but the character itself is a distraction from the story and is a feeble attempt at both comic relief and a repetitive divine cameo. Perhaps it will be put to good use in the next season.
- With just 6 episodes of 20 minutes each, the story is rushed while the narrative is slow. A lot seems to have happened between the scenes, which are not shown on the screen. For example, Javed’s character going from hating the two boys, to suddenly trying to get Manju’s attention, and curbing hostility towards him.
Selection Day is a job well done when you look at it as Manju’s coming-of-age story. Overall, a good watch but it could’ve been done better.
- Selection Day is based on author Aravind Adiga’s Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name.
- Mohammad Samad, who plays Manju, was recently seen in the film Tumbbad.
Watch The Trailer Below:
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