‘Selection Day’ is another show in a series of investments made by Netflix in Indian stories. It is an original sports web television series that first premiered on 28 December 2018. The series is an adaptation of Arvind Adiga’s award-winning book of the same name. The show has been written for Netflix by Marston Bloom and directed by Udayan Prasad. Anil Kapoor Films & Communication Network and Seven Stories Ltd. are the companies backing the project, while veteran Indian actor Anil Kapoor is on board as an executive producer along with Anand Tucker.
The series is part of an effort by the streaming giants to reach to a wider audience. This comes in direct competition with Amazon Prime, who won the heart of the country with their own series, ‘Inside Edge’, that starred Vivek Oberoi in the main role. Netflix in its official introduction of the show wrote: “When a 14-year-old boy tries out for Mumbai’s under-19 cricket team and meets his older brother’s rival, everything in his world begins to change”. With cricket set to be the center of attraction, the show is obviously a success and a hit with the Indian audiences where the sport is almost like a religion.
Selection Day Cast: Who is in it?
The main cast of ‘Selection Day’ includes Mohammad Samad as Manju Kumar, Yash Dholye as Raja Kumar. They play the roles of the brothers around whom the story revolves. Karanvir Malhotra is Javed Ansari, the rival of the brothers. Rajesh Tailang plays the role of Mohan Kumar, the determined father to the brothers. Mahesh Manjrekar appears as Tommy Sir, while Ratna Pathak Shah plays the role of Nellie, their headmistress. Shiv Pandit plays the role of Lord Subramanyam, Akshay Oberoi plays Anand Mehta, Vipashyana Dubey appears as Zoya, Parul Gulati plays Monica Tandon, while Pakhi Gupta appears as Sophia.
Hopefully, these members will all return in the upcoming season, and their presence will be enriched by the addition of new characters, who are going to make this slow burner all the more interesting.
Selection Day Plot: What is it about?
The plot of ‘Selection Day’ is centered around Radha and Manju, the two brothers who show potential in cricket. Radha, however, shows greater talent on the field. Their father, who decides to hitch his dreams on his children’s lives, as many Indian parents do, decide to take his sons to Mumbai in hopes of getting selected to play in the local leagues. While this is one of the storylines, the other side explores their headmistress encouraging them to discover and express themselves. This is where the conflict arises for the boys as they are torn between pleasing their father and going out and doing something they want to. Make no mistake, the boys continue on their cricketing journey, and yet they fail to find a foothold in Mumbai.
What really stands out about the show is the depiction of India and the treatment of the character of the father. If you have seen Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ you will see India being seen through a certain gaze, the outsider’s gaze, which often focuses on and exoticizes, even fetishizes the poverty. What better place to do so, than in Mumbai, which has some of the worst slums in the world.