There is something so likeable about these American sports films. They just make it the way no one else can. It was only last week that I reviewed a film called Million Dollar Arm which was about Baseball selections and here I am with Draft Day which takes us through the happenings of one crucial day in the lives of the managers of major Football teams as they all gear up to pick their drafts. The film starts off with Sonny Weaver Jr (Kevin Costner) preparing for his pick at the Draft day he seems to have made up his mind for the pick but a resolute Franchise owner nearly threatens him to make a splash at the drafts which makes him rethink his decision.
He makes a horrendous trade with a competing team and throughout the course of the events he tries to find out the magnitude of his folly before actually rectifying his mistake. The chain of events also dramatically turn in his favor and he is left with a chance to not only get a team he desired but also secure the future of his team and the players for the next couple of years. The story of Draft day revolves around how Sonny sets about doing this and what challenges he faces on his way to achieving his goal.
While watching Draft Day, I was getting a feel of a film which I had watched a few years back called Margin Call. Make no mistake readers this is one edge of the set thriller with the story galloping ahead with every scene and sequence. Each of the characters in the film has their own agendas and they go all out to impose the same. That is exactly what results in the collision between the chain of events and the characters in the film. The drama that is born out of these collisions is very real. You have characters breaking, burning and throwing stuff. You have people swearing at each other for trivial reasons and the atmosphere gets overwhelming as the film progresses.
The buildup is not wasted as we rush towards the climax and the film begins to put out its cards. I just loved the way the film maintains a constant urge of energy. The twists and turns towards the end are also unexpected and will really catch you off guard at many junctures. The performance by the ensemble cast is terrific. Led from the front by Kevin Costner, who essays a role which is tailor-made for him, the supporting cast bloom to their full potential in his company. I loved Jenifer Garner’s performance as the football loving love interest of Sonny who is in a dilemma with whether to go for a baby that she has just conceived or to pursue he football career. Her dialogs with Sonny are one of the highs of the film. Patrick St. Esprit as a rival Manager Tom was immensely likeable in his cameo.
Technically speaking Draft Day is impeccable. The film has the exact right feel of the event and everything associated with it. The background score of the film is also in strong keeping with the mood and flavor. There are some interesting editing features used here where they show two characters speaking with each other overlapping the characters out of their backgrounds and then minimize zero in on one of the two characters who then fills up the screen. This little trick did a lot to elevate a few sequences which you will realize when you see the film.
What works well for Draft Day is the fact that it is such an interesting film. However it goes beyond saying that the basic knowledge of the sport and the event as a whole is mandatory if you are to enjoy the film to the fullest. There are many jargons used which might be a tad bit difficult for non American to fathom but other than that the film should arouse the interest of one and all. Go for this one. You won’t regret it.