There are very few sports films which are so inspiring and yet ground breaking the cliché while portraying the individual frustration and self realization stage with such a realistic way as ‘Sugar’. It’s subtle, observant and full of life showing the ups and downs of local baseball sport star. Sony Pictures Classics are really paving platform for independent filmmakers who believe in deglamorizing Hollywood and made some out of the box films without promoting and selling Hollywood Star glamour and huge production. ‘Sugar’ is a low budget quality cinema of such fine light moments of a local underdog baseball pitcher.
Miguel Santos a.k.a. ‘Sugar’ is a Dominican Republic local baseball pitcher struggling to make it to the big leagues and trying to pull his family out of poverty. After long over due he got a major break to play into US. As he lend up at Iowa, he found himself dwarf by some shining professional trained players, hostile language and culture and lured by white chick and losing self control over the game in adverse circumstances. He begins self scrutinizing and ultimately makes a space for himself in the world around.
Unlike other Sport films, it doesn’t end with glorious winning match in the climax but rather reverse end. The most noticeable part of the film is its detailing showing the isolation and disillusionment and nervous breakdown of a junior minor league player while facing big league tournament, language barriers and other personal confusions of foreign lower middle class boy who land up in US Restaurant. The only thing he knows to eat is French toast unaware about the American difference among scrambled, over easy or sun side up eggs, unfamiliar with internet or using an ATM.
The film is quite slow in pace and almost in Spanish but sidelining these two hiccups; it’s surely fine and intentional film.