Class of 83 is based on a book written by journalist Hussain Zaidi and is set in the 1980s Bombay, during which the underworld ruled the city. Several jobless men were lured into joining local gangs. The police couldn’t put an end to the problem as well because some leading politicians and underworld kings worked hand in hand. This is the backdrop of the film. It showcases a cop who trains five cadets to fight against this.
As he does his job better than others, officer Vijay Singh (Bobby Deol) is put on the ‘punishment posting’. He is appointed at the Police Training Centre in Nashik, as the dean Centre. Holding high integrity, he wishes to fix the flawed system from the inside and wants to train good officers who will deliver.
Director Atul Sabharwal provides such excellent details to the period and atmosphere that it feels like a real world. However, the script continually reminds us of the city’s political scenario. This is done instead of paying importance to the five officers and not many details are given about them.
Bobby Deol, sadly, was unable to deliver fully. Vijay Singh was an idealist who was trying to adjust to the new order. Although Bobby had greying temples and old-fashioned spectacles, something is missing.
Inspired by real-life accounts of encounter specialists, the movie more or less keeps things accurate. But it displays very predictable egos breaking friendship, corruption and redemption by the mentor.
‘Class of 83’ was something most of us looked forward to as it sounded great on paper. However, it failed to deliver on the screen. One may feel as though philosophy took an upper stand than action. Moreover, as mentioned above, no deep insight was given to any of the characters’ personalities, which left the audience disinterested. Only Bhupendra Jadawat, one of the five encounter specialists, was successful in fitting in perfectly to Shukla’s role. Sadly, the others are equally good actors but were not able to make a mark. However, Anup Soni, the villain-politician and Joy Sengupta, the senior officer, did a great job.
There is no doubt that the film had potential; however, it wasn’t dynamic. Yes, it gives some insight into Mumbai’s history. Yet, unfortunately so much more could have been done.