MoneyBall

Quantitative Optimism!

Let me be very straight-forward when I say I have never watched a baseball game. In this side of the globe, we play the ball game differently. But that does not stop one from just loving this movie for what its worth.

It proves to be an example of “Quantitative Optimism”! What happened to the Wall Street in the 1990’s happened to Base Ball in 2003 which is ‘choosing your pick based on numbers and statistics and not by popular belief’. MoneyBall is based on true incidents that changed the face of baseball ever after.

Moneyball could very well be called the ‘ChakDe’ movie of the US! However, here the emphasis is not about winning. The emphasis here is about taking the road less traveled. The emphasis is about believing in something measurable like statistics against all odds.

Ok, so you have a true story to depict, pretty interesting one, now the question is how do you convey this across to the audiences without boring them. Here’s where the director Bennett Miller chooses parallel screenplay. Brad Pitt plays the role of a General Manager, Billy Beane who ties up with Jonah Hill (Both nominated for Oscars 2011 as Best Actor and Best supporting Actor respectively). They come up with a strategy to take on the Goliaths of baseball. The director chooses to give some depth to Billy’s character by depicting the sensitive dimensions of his early baseball career in parallel with his current role. Billy looked very promising as a star during his early career and was supposed to be a rising star. But did he prove to be an achiever as a player himself and as a general manager? This  forms the reminder of the story.

Brad Pitt is a fresh breath of air to this movie. Maybe because its his own movie, that he has taken every precaution to make it look and feel as good. Jonah Hill is very talented and it clearly shows from this character. They can be funny too!

Another interesting dimension that the movie captures is the superstition factor linked to games. While watching our favourite match we do some regular stuff / sit in our lucky corner and hope that our team wins. Billy has one big superstition that he cannot watch the games whenever his team is playing, he listens to them only on the radio.

Its not all ‘dressing-room inspirational speeches’ and adrenaline pumping to that last ball victory. Its real, its sensitive, its path-breaking and its inspiring!

–Varun Mannava Gowtham

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