I was approached a few months ago to screen Million Dollar Arm and my only problem was that I have not been able to talk about how much I enjoyed it up until now. With the release this Friday, let me echo the the sentiments of the good buzz you are probably starting to hear, Million Dollar Arm is the feel good hit of the summer. While the box office is crowded with mega blockbusters and hyper budgets, MDA comes at a time where people need a feel good story that is both original and entertaining, which is exactly what the films is.
Based on the true story of A sports agent who stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented pitchers into the major leagues, the movie has an international feel about it embedded in the traditional Hollywood model. Jon Hamm is a pleasant surprise who carries the film with class and ease. The ‘Indian Pitching’ stars of the film played by Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma add to the heart warming story that develops in this ‘fish out of water scenario’.
However, the real catch of the film comes through with the performance of newbie Pitobosh who plays ‘Amit’ in the film. Though he is new to Hollywood, his character Amit (who acts as a liaison for the aspiring pitchers when coming to America) is one of the most charming characters I’ve seen in any sports film to date. Adding to the film is the AR Rahman musical touch bringing another strong element to the film and enhancing the potential for a film that will naturally be compared to Jerry Maguire and Slumdog Millionare, but I assure you that the film is not simply ‘like’ either of those. Instead, MDA is a movie that is touching, refreshing and positive in a way that the summer season needs at the box office.
Disney’s Million Dollar arm has to be my one of my favourite films of the year so far. I’ll admit that on paper I thought this film was going to be a hot mess of stereo types and clichches, but you will be pleasantly surprised.