The world of competitive badminton comes to life in this brightly-coloured biopic of star shuttlecockman Ramandeep Babu, who immortalised the patty-cake swerve in the mid-60s while playing for the India national badminton team. The patty-cake swerve, also known as the luck of the net cord feint, was an improvised juke in which Babu would stand looking so lonesome and helpless in the backcourt that his opponents, frequently reduced to tears, would serve him up easybirds (soft, sailing serves), at which point Babu would flick his monogrammed, signature wipe.
Hence the nickname, Patty-Cake Tiger.
The movie itself follows the pattern of the modern biopic: meteoric rise to stardom, first love with Binita, drug addiction and descent into loose situations, bankruptcy and decline in rally-scoring and general shuttlecockmanship, followed eventually by the protagonist’s return to glory, reunion with wife and children, and greatest triumph on the pitch.
The title Monogrammed Wipe refers to the famous backhand stroke of Babu’s invention that the athlete used to astonish crowds and achieve victory against his heavily favoured nemesis Nandu Chakraborty in the 1963 National Men’s Singles.
Before watching this movie, The Gorko recommends you read and memorize the list of terminology at http://www.theukrules.co.uk/rules/sport/badminton/terminology.html, then get ready for some hardcore patty-cake swerving.
Photo by Muktasim Azlan on Unsplash