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97%
4.42 

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The Finest Sports Movie!!!
Aug 16, 2007 12:10 AM 1323 Views

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I went to see ‘Chak De India’ last Sunday, along with a few acquaintances. I had been waiting to see this movie impatiently, ever since I saw its promos on the television. It was not too hard to convince my friends to come along to watch the movie with me. All they needed was my unrelenting motivation to go out and see.


Chak De India, I would say, belongs to the rarest and perhaps one of the finest sports based movies ever made India. People can make unintentional comparisons with Lagaan, Iqbal and Jo Jeeta Who Sikander.


But I would say, all these movies were great in their own respects. Making a comparison between these films would be unfair. Actually, post Chak De India, my faith in Bollywood is slowly on the way of restoration.


Earlier, I expected Bollywood to deliver a good movie once in a year or two. But in the past one year, I have feasted not one but three flicks, which can compete with Hollywood films on any given platform. First it was Kabul Express and then it was Black Friday and now we have Chak De India.


Chak De India, is a film about a man’s struggle to fight back for his lost reputation, his struggle to restore his personal pride and to get back his rightful place in the society, which was cruelly snatched from him, owing to a mistake he made during the most highly tensed moments of the game of hockey.


Chak De India is loosely based on the life experiences of former Indian hockey goal keeper Mir Ranjan Negi. During the 1982 Asiads, Indian hockey team received a sound drubbing at the hands of their arch rival Pakistan and after the match, people started looking for scapegoats and Negi was subsequently charged with taking money and handing over the match to Pakistan.


Though no charges could ever be proved against him, but his social reputation was thrown down the drain and he sank into oblivion. Several years later, he was made the coach of men’s hockey team which won the gold in 1998 Asiads and then later he was assigned the task of coaching women’s hockey team that won gold in Commonwealth games in 2002. To say, Chak De India, is totally a former players struggle to recoup his lost reputation would be unfair.


The movie equally belongs to a group of 16 young women, who are out to prove a point to the male chauvinists in the male dominated world that women can, if not excel, prove themselves to be equally competent as men in any given sphere of life. Director Shimit Amin and scriptwriter Jaideep have done a more than a commendable job to make such a brilliant fine piece of cinema.


This movie has irrefutably proved that, instead of investing crores of rupees to “media created” stars that bask in the limelight of Bollywood, a good director, a good scriptwriter and a bunch of good actors can really pull of something as marvelous as Chak De India. Apart from the coach Kabir Khan (SRK), there is no other heavy weight Bollywood biggie.


The members of the Indian women’s team look so believable that not even for a single moment, it looks that they are mere actors. They do play, dribble, dodge and hit balls (NO PUN INTENDED!) with an acumen of a fine sportswoman.


The actors, lacking pretty faces, apart from Preeti Sabharwal (screen name) and Bindiya Naik (screen name) were looked believable as hockey players. Now I just cannot imagine what if there had been a certain Rani Mukherji, Preity Zinta, Aishawarya Rai, Neha Dhupia, Mallika Sherawat and others in the gang….hahahahaha!


The film does justice to every character, though some characters are given more screen presence. I guess, the director did so, because had he given equal exposure to every character in the film, they would not have been able to contain the movie within two and a half hours length. Scriptwriter Jaideep has done a very painstaking job of coming up with such a fine script.


The script brilliantly brings out the characters of the story. Every character in the movie, no matter how big or small, has its own charm, its undisputable personality, its quirkiness and shades of grey. Sixteen girls from different parts of the country, speaking different languages, belonging to different ethnic groups are thrown in to form a ‘single’ team.


Their ego clashes, their temperament, their fights and finally their realization of their self in each other, is the finest part of the script. It also brings out how most of the people in India are woefully unaware of the people, language, culture and ethnicity of the people from other parts of India. It also brings out for the first time, how people from North East India are treated by their own countrymen, when they move to places like New Delhi, Mumbai etc. It proves how sports can help to bring people of a nation that is more of a sub-continent, together as one single entity.


Some of the scenes to watch out for:




  1. When girls arrive in the camp for registration.




  2. Men vs Girls hockey match.




  3. Fight scene at McDonald’s (Though, I think it would should have been cut short by a few minutes)




  4. World Cup matches, in the second half.






In all, Chak De India is a movie that every Indian should watch. Not because of its patriotism, but to see how one can make a fine movie that can satisfy the hunger for quality entertainment across all the sections of the audience. If you miss this out, you would be missing something dearly. Take my words and watch the movie.


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