After a fairly engaging thriller in Paayum Puli, director Suseenthiran lost his groove delivering some really uninspiring films. But his latest offering in Champion is definitely a film that is a tad better than his outings in the near past. Though the film is a template sports drama, there are some interesting stretches and an emotional core that hold it together and make it a watchable fare.
Champion tells us the story of Jones (Vishwa), a talented footballer who finds it hard to get noticed due to the place he was born in, his background and other such things. His life takes the right turns when he meets the right coach in Santhakumar (Narain). However, Jones then uncovers some truths which leads to the deviation from the sport, resulting in Suseenthiran’s go-to tropes in the sports and the revenge subjects being pulled in together. While the first half sets up the story with some fillers such as Jones’ love angles, the second half is more of a familial drama which ends in a tense finale that takes it higher than the travelling pace.
Champion has a neat debut performance from Vishwa, who is an apt fit to the character. Apart from him, both Narain and Manoj Bharathiraja get decent roles to perform, and do the needful. Though Suseenthiran could have extracted more out of his actors, it is safe to say that he has done a fair job.
Arrol Corelli’s music is the backbone of the film, and helps it move forward. His orchestrations are very useful for the sports and the action setpieces of the film, while the song Manathin Saalaiyil stands out from the album. The cinematography and the technical wizardry that Champion possesses are all on the basic side.
On the whole, Champion is a functional sports drama that takes the predictable route. But at least, it is good that Suseenthiran’s new film has a good plot which makes it a better watch compared to his other recent films, and also a fine one compared to the other recent companions in the category of low budget sports dramas. Champion Movie Review by Siddarth Srinivas