Jitendra Kumar is Lovesick in Sports Comedy From Netflix

Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for its upcoming Hindi language sports comedy Jaadugarstarring Jitendra Kumar as a mediocre soccer player (footballer, to the rest of the world) who would rather be performing magic tricks. The word “jaadugar,” in Hindi, translates to “magician.”

The trailer introduces us to Kumar’s character, Meenu, who can barely pretend to care about the local soccer tournaments that he’s forced to participate in because his passion lies elsewhere. Meenu, we are told, would rather be on stage, as a magician. But one day, he bumps into a woman who casts a spell on him, and thus begins a romantic comedy featuring the kind of character that is very much in Kumar’s wheelhouse.

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To win her hand in marriage, Meenu must take his soccer team to the finals of the local tournament. But here’s the catch, he happens to belong to one of the worst teams around, and also, the woman he’s fallen for doesn’t love him back. Meenu eventually finds that his training as a showman on the stage could come in handy on the soccer field.

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Sports movies have been recently regaining popularity in India, after reaching a zenith with the Oscar-nominated epic Lagaan over two decades ago, and then the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chak De! India in 2007. Earlier this year, acting royalty Amitabh Bachchan starred in director Nagraj Manjule‘s Jhundwhich was based on an inspiring true story of slum kids who were trained by an idealistic coach to participate in an international soccer tournament.

Having become an internet sensation after appearing in a handful of viral videos produced by The Viral Fever YouTube channel, Kumar was promoted to starring roles in shows such as Kota Factorywhich was acquired by Netflix in its second season, and Prime Video’s Panchayat. Bollywood came calling next, and Kumar scored a high-profile supporting role opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in the Hindi language queer romance Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan. He also starred in the comedy Chaman Bahaarwhich was released on Netflix as an acquisition.

Kumar seems to be revisiting familiar territory with Meenu as hiss character in Jaadugar appears to share some similarities with the one he played in Chaman Bahaar. To put it politely, both characters display noticeable stalker behavior, which is inexcusable under any circumstances, but here is played as charming.

Directed by Sameer Saxena and also starring Arushi Sharma as Meenu’s love interest and Javed Jaaferi as his coach, Jaadugar is scheduled to be released on July 15. You can watch the trailer here:

Read the official synopsis down below:

Set in a football-loving town Neemuch, Jaadugar is a story of a small-time magician, Meenu, with no athletic skill who must prove his worth in a prestigious inter-colony football tournament, in order to marry the love of his life. There are just two things against him – the girl doesn’t love him back and his team hasn’t won a game in years!

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