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!


SUBRA said...

Once again a well-written piece. Except one or two typos, this made good reading.

Sunita said...

Chak De India began with Kabir Khan's burning patriotism, but sadly it seemed as if the movie went off the track in the climax scene. Please excuse the poor viewer, if at all, at the end of the film , he sits and wonders, whether the sweat and energy of Indian hockey team was blown out merely for the purpose of Kabir Khans great return to his long-left Khandani house, chin up with his mother!!

The reality with which the frets and fumes and ego clashes between the team members, slow development of team spirit and also the dreadful discriminations many team members suffer on a regional basis was shown is commentable.

I even felt that the real hero of the film is Australia because they allowed another country to go there and shoot and highlight their own team members' failure. The ease and support they rendered for this shows their real sportsman spirit.
I wonder, with such an ill healthy radical culture growing in our country, if shooting of such a movie ( where a foreign country comes and plays here and defeats us) is possible in India. ( Please do not take Lagaan here for a comparison for, it happended in a pre-independant, British-dominated India)

Movies like CHAK DE should be welcomed with both hands and big claps beacuse it depict some changing signs in Indian movies, esp Bollywood movies.The once-in-a-blue moon experimental dishes like this that our film chefs dare to explore beyond the cliches of triangles and extramaritals and wife swappings ( Naqqab) are really apppreciable.