Review: ‘Ghoomer,’ starring Shabana Azmi, Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher and Angad Bedi

August 26, 2023

by Carla Hay

Saiyami Kher in “Ghoomer” (Photo courtesy of Pen Marudhar Entertainment)


Directed by R. Balki 

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in India, the dramatic film “Ghoomer” has a predominantly Indian cast of characters (with some white people) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A promising young cricket player strives to make a comeback after an accident leaves her right arm amputated.

Culture Audience: “Ghoomer” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching inspirational sports dramas.

Abhishek Bachchan in “Ghoomer” (Photo courtesy of Pen Marudhar Entertainment)

“Ghoomer” drags on for a little too long and has some familiar clichés that are often found in movies about sports underdogs. However, the performances of Saiyami Kher and Abhishek Bachchan are impactful. The cricket matches are also thrilling to watch.

Directed by R. Balki, “Ghoomer” was co-written by Balki, Rahul Sengupta and Rishi Virmani. The movie takes place in India and centers on the relationship between a young cricket player named Anina “Ani” Dixit (played by Kher) for the national women’s cricket team in India and her coach Padam “Paddy” Singh Sodhi (played by Bachchan), who trains her after she experiences a devastating car accident that leaves her right arm amputated.

The movie’s title comes from the “ghoomer” sports move that Ani must learn that becomes on her road to recovery. A great deal of the movie involves the trial and tribulations of Ani’s difficult rehabilitation. She has moments of complete despair but also moments of triumph. Complicating matters is Paddy is battling an alcohol addiction while he is training Ani.

Yes, it’s a big sports movie stereotype when the coach involved in a comeback training has a drinking problem or other similar personal problems. However, “Ghoomer” handles this stereotype capably in showing that Anu and Paddy must help each other during this difficult time in their lives. “Ghoomer” has some heart-wrenching moments, but the movie ultimately fulfills its purpose of being a feel-good story.

Pen Marudhar Entertainment released “Ghoomer” in select U.S. cinemas and in India on August 18, 2023.

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