TIFF 2022: KACCHEY LIMBU Is A Heartwarming Sibling Rivalry Story, With Cricket!
Family dramas are hard. The creators have to start by showcasing all the family conflict; people being shitty to one another, years of pent-up tension and stress, and eventually, it all boils over. To the point where it feels like there’s no coming back. But it’s a movie, so there will be a happy ending. The eventual third act resolution that follows then almost feels rushed, forced and not entirely resolved. The newest family drama movie from India is Kacchey Limbu, premiering at TIFF 2022, but is nothing like the rest. At all. It’s refreshing in its stark contrast to the conventional family drama with a story where the family is supportive, loving and understanding. But the story still has drama and stakes that the audience can become invested in. To find out how read on for my non-spoiler Kacchey Limbu movie review.
Non-Spoiler Kacchey Limbu Movie Review
Kacchey Limbu (roughly translated to: “Unripened Lemons”) is all about the seemingly typical Indian nuclear family. The eldest child Akash (Rajat Barmecha), is a neighbourhood cricket legend, currently enjoying his 15 minutes of fame due to a viral video of his skills. Akash wants to pursue Cricket as his passion, but his parents have other plans. Obviously.
His sister Aditi (Radhika Madan) worships the ground he walks on, and is the obedient one of the family. But amidst her family’s strong opinions, she struggles to form her own. You can already see the building blocks for the more conventional family drama. But burn all those expectations and throw the ashes in the river! Because Kacchey Limbu is nothing like that!
Despite the pressure of getting a conventional job, Akash has an opportunity to become the face of a new Cricket league… in 1 year. While discussing this with his parents, things come to a head and the two siblings end up getting into a fight.
With a neighbourhood cricket tournament coming up, the two make a deal. If Akash wins, he gets to do whatever he wants and choose cricket as his career. If Aditi is somehow able to build her own team and defeat him, (unlikely) then he gets a normal office job like his parents want.
Not Your Typical Family Drama
While the set-up feels silly or even immature, Kacchey Limbu‘s writer/director Shubham Yogi doesn’t overly dramatize the events. The stakes here aren’t about avoiding a village tax or winning the world cup. It’s about two siblings, trying to prove to others (and mostly themselves) that they have what it takes to choose their own journey in life.
And despite siblings competing with one another, things don’t go into family therapy territory. The drama doesn’t originate from melodramatic speeches or hurtful hysteria that ends relationships for 10 years until a younger family member intervenes and reunites them. That’s not really the vibe here.
For Akash, it’s about him finally having the choice to choose his own path. And for Aditi, it’s about even having the courage to know what path she wants to be on. It’s a wonderful little film that hits all the right notes of not just a family entertainer, but also, surprisingly, a cool sports movie.
There’s Also A Lot Of Sports And Music
With their neighbourhood cricket tournament, Kachhey Limbu also works as an awesome sports movie. And this is where the movie becomes a little formulaic but in the best way. An underdog team full of misfits, a training montage, and a climactic tournament. It’s all wonderful.
Supplementing this amazing story is the movie’s soundtrack that truly keeps the energy level up and keeps everything moving breezily. It’s a joyous tone with some melodic music that adds a lot of fun and warmth to an already fun movie.
Kacchey Limbu Has Amazing Performances
The performances of Kacchey Limbu are a standout. Radhika Madan as Aditi is so sweet and endearing. The story is about her own self-discovery, living in her brother’s shadow, and finding the confidence to live her own life. The movie also introduces Ayush Mehra as a boy with a crush who joins Aditi’s team to kick start the challenge.
Rajat Barmecha plays Akash, her older brother, who is a great supporting character to Aditi’s story. Keen-eyed cinephiles may recognize the now bearded Barmecha from another intense family drama from 12 years ago, Udaan. While that movie saw a much younger Barmecha put in a performance of a lifetime, Kachhey Limbu is less intense. Akash is a loving brother who supports his younger sister, even when they’re head to head while trying to find balance in his relationship with his parents. Not to mention, trying to follow his own path.
Even the parents in Kacchey Limbu, namely the dad played by Mahesh Thakur (Hum Saath Saath Hai), are not the cliched, foot-stamping, angry parents rooting for their kids to fail, so they can prove themselves right. Yogi really crafted an amazing movie that feels real and not cliched.
Conclusion of Kacchey Limbu Movie Review
Shubham Yogi’s Kacchey Limbu is a fun little movie that is a beautiful sibling drama that is truly for the whole family. It’s a light-hearted affair with amazing music and a great young cast turning in some wonderful performances. It never takes itself too seriously, even though it plays the dramatic beats very sincerely.
It’s one of the rare times when an Indian movie truly reflects the realities of family issues without over-dramatizing the events.
Kacchey Limbu premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.
Did you get a chance to check out Kacchey Limbu at TIFF ’22? Are you excited to check out a different family drama when the movie releases? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter @theshahshahid.