A Game Of Two Halves

A Game of Two Halves
A Game of Two Halves
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Sanjay is a British-Indian student in A Game of Two Halves who reluctantly coaches underprivileged kids in Hyderabad. With slow pacing and mediocre acting, the film falls short of the mark in conveying its intended message of resilience.

About A Game of Two Halves

Everyone wants to change the world, yet no one seems to be interested in working towards it. Often, we see films that revolve around a character choosing a harder path for themselves so as to bring about that transformation which audience mostly would appreciate but we know none of us would have actually done that because our lives are hard enough today. Khayam Khan’s directorial debut A Game of Two Halves introduces us to a gritty young man with whom the viewers can empathize for he has been compelled against his will to work towards something he didn’t desire; only it appears he did not do anything there anyway.

A Game Of Two Halves Review: Plot and Pacing

A Game of Two Halves tries to tell Sanjay’s story, an Indian descended young British school boy who becomes an accidental coach for poor children in Hyderabad. It sounds promising but doesn’t deliver on its promise. Most scenes are too long and editing is poorly done hence there are time jumps throughout the movie which cause confusion within this work as well as other film mistakes commonly made during edition process. The long opening creates expectation that dies out fast. Nevertheless, between all this slowness lie hints here and there about some potentially interesting storylines especially when Sanjay starts taking his job reluctantly more seriously.

Cinematography and Direction

Khayam Khan makes his directing debut with A Game of Two Halves which reflects the struggles shared by most rookie filmmakers trying to find their feet behind the camera. Though it contains moments of visual curiosity mainly when capturing lively streets of Hyderabad; however, without depth and polish, direction generally feels flat here. In terms of exposition versus storytelling, the film is not balanced leading to a fragmented watching experience and an alienated audience. There was one particular scene that really pissed me off; when Sanjay first came to Hyderabad and Kadeem offered him a lift to his hostel. The destination is reached after which Kadeem reminds Sanjay that in India (or Hyderabad) he should have a shower because in India people tend to clean themselves more often than their counterparts in the UK. And this very scene also shows that common Indians don’t have water to wash.

Acting and Characters

There are definitely many weaknesses in the acting done by A Game of Two Halves cast members. Saaj Raja’s performance as Sanjay and Harish Khanna’s portrayal of Kadeem are average at best since they lack depth or complexity necessary for audiences to fully connect with them. Roles played by Lucy Jackson as Mia and Swaroopa Ghosh as Amma do not live up to expectations either making their characters seem unfulfilled and uninterested at times. Rigidity in acting also creates emotional disconnection between the film and its spectators.

Writing and Resolution

A Game of Two Halves writing doesn’t fully explore the complexities of its characters and themes. Though somewhat intriguing at first, the end just does not deliver, leaving audiences unsatisfied. The film’s superficiality undermines its intended theme of a community’s resilience. Even though it is expected that one may have low standards for a directorial debut, the film fails to live up to expectations.

The Verdict

Given A Game of Two Halves’ dragged out pace, average performances and lack depth, it becomes very hard to be remembered as one which made an impact. Though there are instances where it shows potential, these are dwarfed by the limitations of this work in general. For trying too hard and producing something that can be considered quite unique in comparison to what is happening nowadays in commercial cinema this movie deserves 1.5 stars modestly speaking.

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