Friday, September 14, 2007

Chak De India

OK. I like Shah Rukh Khan. But I am not the kind who will blindly say that if he is in a movie, it is great. This movie is REALLY GREAT!

Story begins with how the star player of Indian hockey , Kabir Khan, loses the world cup match to Pakistan and is blamed of match fixing. His whole life changes and he absconds from the world of Indian hockey. 7 years later, he comes back determined to make India's Women's hockey team win the World Cup. OK, now dont be a pest and ask where he was for these 7 years and why he suddenly decided to comeback as a coach should let go somethings..and enjoy the movie..

Here is his team - girls from different states of India - different cultures, different languages, focussed on their ego and the state they represent - far away from the idea of team play. This is a totally new challenge - 'jo nahin hoga wohi to kar dikhana hai' - that is Kabir's point. The committee has no hopes with the Women' s team and even rejects permission to represent India in the World cup.

How Kabir struggles to bring them together as team is portrayed very well. Each girl has acted well - special mention goes to to the TomBoy girl and the girl who gives Kabir the hardest times by being egoistic and non cooperative. I am not going to elaborate the story here. Please do watch it for the well written script and wonderful screenplay. No junk songs, no slapstick comedy. Shah Rukh has played so well as Kabir by underplaying emotions, I should say. No overacting this time. Kudos to the director for crafting Kabir's character the way it is without trying to glorifying him. He had a done a good job with building each girl's character uniquely. Enjoyed it when the 'tomboy' girl asks 'saree pehnnna zaroori hai kya' when they are in the welcome reception.

I was reminded of 'Jo jeeta wohi Sikander' even though the theme in that movie was cycle race at school level. It is compared a lot to 'Lagaan' where the sport was cricket, but I do not remember a lot about Lagaan.

Above all, the feeling of patriotism that fills you and thrill and suspense you feel each minute of the hockey game are the success of the movie. If you get goosebumps on many scenes in the movie and would feel like shouting out 'Chak De India' with those girls, I would consider you a normal Indian!