Movie reviews are curious things. Some films can be ceremoniously panned for no good reason. I run a movie group and last time we met and I was deciding what to see, I began to get that sinking realisation that the only flick available was a cricket movie- Save Your Legs. When I read the reviews, I was worried.
It's not that I was worried because I hate cricket, in fact, I quite love cricket and I had no doubts that I would have a curious interest in this film albeit to confirm what I already knew - that men playing cricket is a whole new world to the one I live in. I've heard too many tales. But my reservations were in the fact that Save Your Legs seemed like it could be a one joke film with some boys behaving badly in India on the tour of their sad lives. Consequently I wondered if those in my movie group might question seriously my choice and complain bitterly to the end.
In short, my fears were never realised. I read, in previously mentioned movie reviews that Save Your Legs was a bit of a stinker, - unfunny, toilet humour kind of stuff and not much more going for it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there was a slight element of toilet humour (which film about Aussie cricketers touring India could avoid it?). But it was never overwrought like it is in some contemporary films. In fact, this film has a beautiful depth to it that enlightens the viewer while we are cajoled along with the wonderful Aussie jokes that abound. Not once did I cringe about the Australian-ness of this film. On the contrary, I loved the uniquely Australian flavour set against the backdrop of stunning India in all its contradictions of poverty and wealth, dust and colour.
Save Your Legs quite bravely takes on that most sensitive of topics these days - the one of men resisting responsibility, wanting to remain boys, the types who live for cricket and still reside in their mate's garage. It quite genuinely and honestly broaches all the heartache of letting go of our glory days and moving on to uncertain times. It does this with such deft accuracy I almost got chills. Brendan Cowell (who plays Rick, the archetypal man-child facing marriage and parenthood) has written a superb script for this film. Cowell knows subtext which is an enormous delight for any film buff. Stephen Curry is reliably wonderful as Teddy Brown, the serious cricket head worried about team morale, who manages to get an invite from an Indian sponsor for the team to tour India and have one last bash at making history. Teddy, who's safety net (cricket) is quickly unravelling, truly evolves in this film.
The fact that one member of my group basically laughed from the opening credits to the finish is testimony that this film really is funny, in a delightful kind of way. Any boy flick about blokes on tour can easily go down hill fast but this movie kept a reasonable amount of dignity, which I found refreshing and maintained interest.
If you get a chance, make sure you see Save Your Legs.