Saturday, August 11, 2007

Review - Chak De! India

Chak De! India, 'inspired' from the real-life story of former Indian hockey goalkeeper Mir Ranjan Negi, is the celluloid tale of a disgraced player returning from oblivion to transform a bunch of no-hopers into a champion outfit.

Kabir Khan (Shahrukh Khan) misses a penalty stroke in the dying moments of World Championships final against Pakistan, thus earning himself the tag of desh-drohi.

Years later, a neglected Indian women's hockey team gathered from the farthest corners of India suffers from it all. From ego to self-doubt to expectations, and above all, regionalism. Punjabi hot-head, pint-sized Haryanvi dynamo, housewives and non-Hindi speakers, there is no lack of colourful characters. Kabir is back, not just with the intention of coaching a rag-tag bunch of unruly players, but also desperate to bury the ghosts of his past.

The movie suffers from certain flaws. Battle of the Sexes is completely out of place and the hockey stick raising routine that follows can only be classified as melodrama. Also, some of the dialogues are purely jingoistic. For example, 'Aaj pehli baar ek gore ko Bharat ka jhanda lehrate hue dekh raha hoon'.

In the age of designer movies, the subdued glam quotient is a refreshing change. Chitrashi Rawat (Komal), Tanya Abrol (Balbir) and Shubhi Mehta (Gunjan) play their roles to the hilt. Shahrukh as a frustrated yet inspirational coach, lords above them all. Though, at times, he does slip into the eyelid-dropping-voice-quivering 'Kal Ho Na Ho' mode.

Overall, the movie is definitely worth watching. One wished Kabir Khan would turn his back on the accolades that he rightfully earns and asks the world to go 'fly a kite'. But then, they dont make movies like Pyaasa anymore.


Blogger Surya Ragunaathan said...

Vaise u forgot to write that woh captain ko koi role nahi diya...i mean, she never had a say on strategies n stuff...overall, a well made film...mazaa favourite was Komal - cute ass! hehe!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Surya Ragunaathan said...

hey, one more quibble I noticed in the film...forgot to tell you...In the final match, India and Australia are both at 2 goals each. When they have penalty shootouts, and Australia scores a goal, they add it to the score of 2(previously scored) and the scoreboard reads 3 and then 4 and so on for India also...I am not a keen follower of Hockey, but once a match becomes a 'draw' do they add the penalty scores to the original?? I doubt...Isnt that counted seperately?

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Pradnya said...

Heyy! didnt know you were back on the circuit!!
Imagine! I searched for a review on Chuck de and came here!!

11:18 PM  

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