'Slumdog McGuire' comes to mind

Last updated 05:00 21/06/2014
Million Dollar Arm

GAME-CHANGER: From left, Madhur Mittal, Suraj Sharma, Jon Hamm and Pitobash in Million Dollar Arm, based on the true story of an American sports agent who poaches Indian cricketers to play baseball in the United States.

Relevant offers

Film reviews

Movie Review: McLaren - engrossing, enlightening and surprisingly emotional Movie Review: Norman - one of Richard Gere's best performances in years Movie Review: The Passion of Augustine - nuanced, reflective and unashamedly intelligent Movie Review: Whitney: Can I Be Me - the heartbreaking watch of the making/breaking of a pop princess Movie Review: The Hippopotamus - a deeply disappointing Stephen Fry adaptation Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - offers only rudderless action Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 - it's kinetic, frenetic and, at times, just plain lunatic Movie Review: The Sense of an Ending - film adaptation of bestseller lacks punch Graeme Tuckett's movies: King Arthur is so silly it's good Movie Review: Pecking Order - a local hoot worth catching


Directed by Craig Gillespie

Reviewed by Graeme Tuckett.

I'm sure that someone else must have thought of calling Million Dollar Arm "Slumdog McGuire" by now. But I try to avoid seeing other film reviews before I've written mine, and I can't be bothered Googling to find out.

But, when I've seen a film about a American sports agent, who loses his client base through overweening cockiness, who then travels to India to unearth a couple of potential sports stars...Slumdog McGuire just sums it up all too neatly. Original or not, I'm having it.

Jon Hamm (Mad Men) is agent JB Bernstein. In 2008 Bernstein, inspired while switching channels between Britain's Got Talentand a cricket match, staged a reality TV contest across India to find new baseball pitchers for the American market. The filmtakes some outrageous liberties with the facts, but emerges as a likeable enough fish-out-of-water yarn, first as Hamm travels through India, and then as the two winners try to make their way in America.

Alan Arkin and Lake Bell both contribute lovely support work, Hamm does his best B-team Clooney, and young stars Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) and Madhur Mittal (Slumdog Millionaire) work up some good chemistry. It doesn't have the fizz and slyness we might expect of a script from Tom McCarthy(The Station Agent, Win Win) but there is much on screen to enjoy about Million Dollar Arm. Recommended.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content