Go watch that hockey match

Chak De India

Director: Shimit Amin

Music: Salim Merchant and Sulaiman merchant

Genre: Drama/Thriller/ Sports

Starting: Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Malvade, Sagarika Ghatge, Chitrashi Rawat, Shilpa Shukla and Tanya Abrol

Showing at theatres near you


At last Bollywood has become successful in making a good sports movie. And the bigger surprise is that it involves an all women’s team, and that too a hockey team for that. If you enter the theatre expecting the usual feel-good movie with girls in designer outfits and Shah Rukh Khan with his misty eyes wooing his dame in distress, then sorry to burst the bubble.

Yash Raj banner has come up with a sensible and more realistic story theme and very real characters. It will be a big relief for all to watch Shah Rukh in a role that is not larger than life like in his other movies. Here he is more subtle in his expressions and acting as a hard hitting, tough, determined and practical coach of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team. It is like a breeze of fresh air to see King Khan breaking away from his stereotyped roles. After Swadesh, this is another film that has explored SRK’s versatility as an actor.

The story revolves around a simple plot — Kabir Khan (Khan) is the captain of the Indian Hockey Team, but in the World Cup final against Pakistan, his team loses due to the penalty goal that he misses. The media creates a big hype about the whole thing and manipulates the public to see Khan as a ‘traitor’. He leaves the team, game and the country, but after seven years he is back and this time he enters as the coach of much underestimated and ignored Wo-men’s Hockey team. He joins the team not only to clear his name, but also to bring the World Cup to India.

Then come the 16 girls on the scene who work hard on the game and as well as their attitude towards everything — life, each other, the cup and the glory that comes along with it. And in the finals, the underdogs find themselves pitched against the world champions — Australia.

The first half of the movie involves defining the characters, and director Amin has handled this brilliantly. Dialogues are good and very, very real. Satirical comedy and dollops of emotions make the movie interesting. None of the scene seem to stretch or are boring. The editor has done another fabulous job, and the cinematography is equally fantastic — whether it’s Delhi or Australia, every frame has been captured just so.

The best part of the movie is the girls, who despite being new comers are successful in infusing life in their characters. Vidya Sharma (Vidya Malvade) as the team captain has shown potential of being a successful mainstream actress; Preeti Sabrawal (Sagarika Ghatge), Komal Chautala (Chitrashi Rawat) and Balbir Kaur (Tanya Abrol) make their role seem tailor made for them. But it is Bindia Nayak (Shilpa Shukla), who steals the show, as a senior player who has problems with the new coach and is a rebel without a cause.

The first half of the movie is captivating, while the second half is also as good as expected. Matches are shown with intelligence and tight editing. Music is foot tappingly good especially the title track Chak de India and Chak de ek hockey doongi rakh ke. There is no lip syncing; all are background scores unlike other Yash Raj productions.

A must watch of the season.