Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I am late - but I had to give my views on the movie of this month.
Chak Dey India.
Rating : 7 /10 - (Super Cool)
This genre has been milked DRY by Hollywood. From The Mighty Ducks to Miracle - which is also about a player-turned-coach leading a rag-tag group to a Winter Olympics. Sports is not only passion - its a big money maker in the western world and sports like hockey, football, baseball are revered there. The backing that these sports get is mind boggling. Not just in terms of money - but also public support. Alas, in India only sport backed by sponsors and public is cricket and that also, only the mainstream international team. Only Crows watch the domestic matches. Its time People wake up and look beyond cricket, because sports like Hockey, Soccer are fast paced and exciting. And Chak Dey is definitely the step towards that direction. It makes Hockey look cool. ( Its sad to see that national sport needs such a kiss of revival)
Here the plot is very much like those done and dusted Hollywood flicks. A failed player comes back as coach to prove a point. Novelty is that he comes back on his own and is not forced to lead the bunch of 16 girls (which I must say is a wild lot). Kabir Khan(Shahrukh) the player labelled as traitor comes back after 7 years of his disgrace to teach this wild lot a lesson in patriotrism and team spirit. And the way he goes about it is worth a watch. The girls fight, swear, tumble, grumble while he goes about wielding his stick. Nation before state, team before self, honour before money is what he wants them to learn. He teaches them to believe in themselves and then leads them to the world championship. Where they obviously win :)
Whats really good to see is that SPORT is kept at the forefront and nothing else. Not even Shahrukh. The girls - especially The chandigrah Bomb - with her beauty, The Haryana Small Dynamo - with her dialogue delivery and The Experienced Player Naik - with her wonderful performance steal the show. Shahrukh like his performace in Swades - proves that he's not just a romantic genre over-actor, but an actor with depth. Hope he continues doing such restrained roles. Though I still think the movie would have been complete - had the director delved a bit into Kabir Khan's psyche - his angst, his suffering, his will power. The character is so Incompletely potrayed that its alarming. You are never told what he is thinking. Its like Shahrukh almost bites his lips when the director tells him to shut up! Also, he could have added much more thrill into the matches.
The director gets a round of applause from my side for breathing life into this genre. His treatment of the sport is worth 4 thumbs up. Also, his revolt against the male dominated sport and social setup in India is worth a mention. And finally for not putting in worthless stuff like Love angles and loads of songs I salute him. The Title Song has such an amazing power- that its packs a brutal punch and sends ripples of patriotrism through your veins. The passion and patriotic sentiment that sport brings out is tremendous and I wish Indian directors start milking this cash cow more often. The examples are there to follow : Jo Jheeta Wohi Sikander and Lagaan to name a few, and now Chak DE. The plot is simple - Make an underdog, Make a transformational leader, Make an Unbeatable opponent, Make the win impossible and then Make the win possible! Thats a sport classic for you!