Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chak De....

An Inox opened up in Raipur finally, the first multiplex of this 'state capital' and they don't put up Chak De...Weird. Well this post is not about that, but about the movie itself, which I finally managed to watch in one of the regular theatres or 'talkies' here.

Whatever else the movie may do, one thing is for sure, it will definitely help generate slightly more interest in the next hockey tournament where our team will play.

However, its not just about that. It is more than just a movie about the sport. It highlights various issues related to sports (not just hockey), like the corrupt administrators, the facilities, the gender bias, the short public memory, the role media plays in deciding public opinion, the fanticism a sport creates and its effect on the players etc.

More importantly though, from a movie goers point of view, it is a very well made movie. Sticks to the theme without adding any masala of a typical bollywood flick.

Shahrukh Khan comes back to the world of hockey as the coach of the National Indian Womens Hockey Team after his fall from grace some years back. Its a bunch of different state champions, each with their own prejudices and quirks. He follows the age old leadership style of getting them to hate him, so as to be united amongst themselves.

After a motivating game against the National Mens hockey team the administrators finally relent and send them to the World Cup. And even here, like cricket, our biggest nemesis - Australia. This bunch of girls, who don't even speak the same language, manage to do the impossible.

The focus that Shahrukh as a coach brings to this team is that its the Indian Team and not various state teams playing together. There are no personal goals here other than playing the game you love for your country. Personal records are of no consequence whatsoever. A message to TEAM INDIA maybe??
Although let me add here, that the movie is not at all preachy. Just highlights a few realities and leaves it at that.

The direction is quite good, and its good to see a big banner making a movie in this genre after a long time. The background score is also quite good. The only part I feel could have been slightly better was the climax. Although when you go in to see such a movie, you already know the ending, but I felt the movie reached the anti climax a little too soon during the final penalty shoot out.

All in all, I finally saw a good Bollywood (a term not liked by many) movie after a long time.

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