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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different take on cricket footage, 29 Jun 2006
Kato Cruwys Harris (Lewisham, London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bombay Brownwash - India vs England 1993 [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this programme on BBC Television when rain stopped play during a test match.

The DVD is a 40-minute documentary of the Third Test in Mumbai, India v England in 1993. It is essentially a "montage" of behind-the-scenes footage of the match (not the whole series), interspersed with occasional footage of wickets and runs.

I really, really like it but then I knew what I was getting. The DVD is NOT a highlights package of the whole test series, and not even of the Third Test. True, you get a fair bit of Hick, Sidhu, Kambli doing their stuff but if you like your footage "straight" then do be careful.

It is a really good piece of social and recreational history: a sort of museum piece showing scoreboard operators, dancing Indian supporters, crowds outside the ground, lunch being prepared, Gooch and Fletcher looking sulky and Dermot Reeve's mother trying to score (in a book, that is). The soundtrack is all from Indian local radio (English speaking). Occasionally a Sky commentator pops up and says a few words (usually in the back of a cab).

Serious cricket fans, who want to see something different and are interested in the way cricket is prepared, played and reacted to in India will enjoy this.

Die-hard India supporters who want to see the full unfolding of England's thrashing in all three tests will be disappointed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seedy and "just not Cricket"!, 19 Nov 2010
Jay Jina "jjina" (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bombay Brownwash - India vs England 1993 [DVD] (DVD)
Having read the publisher's blurb and also the first reviewer on Amazon, I bought this knowing that its not a highlights package. And, try as I might, I cannot recommend this in the slightest.

What's wrong with it? Throughout the film, there is a seedy, creepy undercurrent that mocks India. The cricket is incidental, the footage is a montage that the makers of the clichéd genre of the "poor third world" documentaries would be proud of - scenes of little kids in rags, busy streets with slowly trudging ox-carts, and labouring men laden with goods about their person, briefly interspaced with a club game. The local commentators get only an occasional look in while most of the voice overs are clipped from the torturous BBC commentary team, who, 17 years on, sound exactly what the were in 1993 - a bunch of dinosaurs. Thank god, the sensible comments of Boycott balance the droll, archaic Victorian, Bloefied.

The fact that England were all hyped up by the media before the series and that in reality, India played exceptional Cricket to wipe England 3-0 is only a minor incident in the film; there is hardly a two-second glimpse of the face of Kambli who scored a debut double hundred, never mind that there are no shots of his reaching any of the milestones, 100, 150 or 200. In fact, there are more close ups of Derek Pringle and what looks like a cranky Mrs Reeve arguing with a local official than any of the cricket action.

If the makers had really wanted to, they could have made an exceptional film that covered the Cricket and showed the atmosphere of India - there was plenty of TV coverage to pick from; I know since I watched much of the series live on TV. Instead, they decided to do a film that, at best oozes a message - "India is chaotic, so don't bother" and is in reality a patronising swipe at all things Indian - done in the "best" possible Victorian taste, naturally!

This is not Cricket, this is not history, this is not social commentary, this is a plainly seedy and poorly sarcastic retort by what looks like an immature bunch of neo-colonialists who could not get their little heads around the idea of India's achievement in thrashing England 3-0.

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Bombay Brownwash - India vs England 1993 [DVD]
Bombay Brownwash - India vs England 1993 [DVD] by Bombay Brownwash (DVD - 2006)
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