Moneyball

The journey of an underdog sports team, going on to break records and make history, especially by using obscure methodology, is an inevitable translation into becoming a screenplay of a mammoth blockbuster. Moneyball however isn’t about the grandeur of a sports movie. It takes you down to something a little bit more primitive. That being said, it’s less about the sport and more about the business behind it.

Moneyball isn’t an exposition of baseball or the administration that it is embodied with. Its a direct biographical retelling of Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) efforts in turning around a very substandard and patronised baseball squad. Pitt does a fairly commendable job. I’m sure baseball fans, specially Oakland A’s, would love the opportunity of reliving this laudable feat. But I can’t help notice how this movie tries too hard to be a The Social Network reconstruct within a sports context.

So, the blunt truth is, that I was eagerly looking out for the trademark Sorkinisms. But the most native Aaron Sorkin trait in this movie is the multiple timelines that are played parallel-ly to draw relevance to a character, (in this case that of Beane). Which works well. There isn’t elaborate dialogue, but there still is the wit. There’s acknowledgement of condescension that justifies the protagonist’s intent even more. But that’s as far as the Sorkinism goes.

Bennett Miller is able to pull together a banal story and give it something far more mature and endearing. Moneyball excels in that it’s a story well told and well made. But one thing I look out for is the after taste, and frankly as a viewer I lacked closure. There is an end to this story, don’t get me wrong. But you’re left rooting for a team or in this case, Beane, in a sport that you might not even entirely know well.

While Beane, in the movie,  is busy romanticizing the art of winning an unfair game (see what I did there? If you don’t, google that phrase) , Miller is busy de-romanticizing the the exact same thing in actuality. You’re bombarded with statistical analytics datasheets, and formulae that are supposed to have contributed to all the glory that this team deserves. Making you recognize that this game is so much more than big bucks and talent.

I figure that this review has its ambiguity in how good a movie this was. But the truth is there is ambiguity in how much I really did like it. It’s a phenomenal movie, and that’s a fact. I really really want to love it, but I don’t. I just like it a lot. And that’s a fact too.

 

-Anuj Raghuram

Anuj is a musician and writer who moonlights as an engineer. Being a massive movie/TV show enthusiast, if only he could get could paid for watching anything and everything. This Hogwarts alumnus is one with the Force, and the Force is one with him.

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