Friday, August 17, 2007

Chak De India review

Director: Shimit Amin
Writer: Jaideep Sahni
Producers: Yash Raj

After a hard-hitting Ab Tak Chappan, Shimit Amin comes up with another winner in the form of Chak De India!, an endearing film that is quite a welcome departure from other Yash Raj ventures.
The film’s initial reels, showing Kabir Khan’s (Shah Rukh Khan) exit from hockey and the disgrace he suffers and his return, have been wonderfully shot by director Shimit Amin. The sombre beginning is followed by a delightful sequence, introducing all the key players of the hockey team. Not only does writer Jaideep Sahni make some piquant observations about our attitude towards women taking up sports, it is also a sharp comment on how insular–thinking we can be. As understood, this is a team, with no hopes riding on it and is backed(?) by a Hockey Association, with smug, chai-biscuit munching, chauvinistic officials (one of superbly played by Anjan Srivastav), who don’t see how our desi girls, can playa game of ‘nikkar-baniyan’. Since there’s nothing to be lost really, the association agrees to let Kabir Khan take over as coach. Deeply scarred, Khan is a dashing, sensitive, no-nonsense guy, who comes with a single-minded agenda – to help this struggling shekchillis, as Srivastav calls them) team to win the ensuing World cup and thereby redeem his reputation.

But the new coach and the girls don’t quite hit it off. Khan is a bit too severe on them and takes it upon himself to straighten anyone who won’t fall in line. There’s a particularly good line here where SRK issues a warning to the rebellious types with much panache, ‘Iss team mein sirf ek goonda hai, aur woh goonda mein hoon!’ Just when this crisis is solved, others crop up. From playing with a Men’s hockey team for winning World cup sponsorship to dealing with a difficult senior player (this angle was too stretched I felt) to competing with world champions, there’s a lot to be overcome here.

The film’s final result, though obviously not a surprise, manages to keep up the suspence all along. It’s highly engaging. Jaideep, as we know, is proficient with his understanding of small-town characters and situations and here, his brand of rustic humour and dialogues is succinct.

There is no love story here but I felt the makers could have made the film more interesting by adding a certain romantic element. How come none of the females have a crush on such a suave coach?

The songs fit in beautifully. I especially loved Maula Mere and the title track.
The film is a great personal triumph for SRK. No one has denied his clout at the box-office but for a while now, he hasn’t had a solid, critically acclaimed film. But all that is about to change. The actor delivers a superlative performance looks like a million bucks too. Also there are some real gem-like performances from the girls, some highly enjoyable ones.
In the end, Chak De India is a film that will be loved and remembered for a long time to come.

Rating: ****
-Sandhya Iyer


Anonymous Arun said...

Thanks for the review!!

September 14, 2007 at 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read some of your posts on naachgaana and wanted to comment on it for a long time. Naachgaana doesn't allow except for a select few. I tried looking for a member

ship, that option just doesn't exist. Anyway, that hardly matters here.

But, after making my blood boil for quite a few times, I atleast let you know my thoughts, so which is why i decided to comment here.

There are 2 ruses.
1. Aamir khan
I have been hearing you say something to this effect, with CDI SRK covers what aamir has been in the limelight for all along? So now, rejoice every1 he is the king of

all 3 worlds( this is the impression i get when I read your articles!).

Every actor brings his strength. SRK is a star. period. I bow to thee. SRK, Rajinikanth, Amitabh - nobody can choreograph these successes they are just born.

But does that mean one CDI makes him an aamir khan as well. Aamir khan did a lagaan when we were making mostly romance movies and those were the ones that were

successful at B.O.He had the guts to star in a DCH as one among the 3, to do a sarfurosh, an RDB(Rakesh Mehra has gone on record saying aamir made the doors too easy with his entry into RDB).

Shahrukh hasn't shown any such qualities. Even for CDI, he acted in his almost second home production house. Infact, he couldnot pull a swades. I personally feel

aamir would have pulled off swades.

Again,SRK doesn't need that quality anyway. He just has to display his charming smile and that is more than good enough.

Why do you ahve this universal need to make him a aamir/salman/hrithik/srk rolled into one?


I understand for some people who saw his work after hearing the zillion praises might be let down.
But when you quote maniratnam out of nowhere in oscar and vvc arguement, I mean where is the logic? Was Mani a judge of it, did he say anything on this matter or was somebody else saying GURU has to be the entry?

You are completely allowed not to like him. He can be good and still not appeal to you, perfectly fine. Or you can feel he is bad.

But you seem to totally rate people based on YOUR interview. I have never read the interview of yours with Maniratnam. He might have behaved coldly with you. But I have read few of your interviews and they aren't exactly this
i.e I have never seen you really talk about their motifs about their work or the work themselves. You end up asking superficial questions. Did you have problems with the star or the producer?

Amazingly, still nobody at naach gaana is harsh with you as they for others.

What surprised even more was when I searched for your name on the web, I end up in this beautiful blog consisting of book reviews. Not because your views matched mine, but they were lot more rational than I expected. Probably because you never interviewed their authors?


September 28, 2007 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between, Incase I was not clear before, I found you irrational not because you don't like maniratnam and like Shahrukh khan.

But rather because you want everybody to be that way.
You are journalist, how can you not see that when Baradwaj Rangan writes "the other khan", he was actually referring to his popularity and there by can never be the other khan!
You dislike the review coz it was not gushing about Shahrukh.

You want all of us to hate Maniratnam because of his neutrality.

I don't find his neautrality disturbig rather find it is better than making half baked judgemets. Clearly, quite a few of us are this way, what is wrong with that?

I don't ask you or anybody to hate Shahrukh coz I hate his overacting in every film of his and his lack of conviction in portraying roles like swades or CDI. So, why should you?

September 28, 2007 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

i think this is the sandhya i think it is...i hope ur doing well...

September 29, 2007 at 12:07 PM  
Anonymous sandy said...

Sachita: Sorry for dissapointing you but I don't think I hold any of the biases you are accusing me of. At least not for the 'reasons' you are citing.

Yes, i don'[t think very highly of Mani Ratnam but that has got nothing to do with me 'knowing him or not knowing him'

I'd like you show me any of my interviews where I have let these prejudices show. I have only judged these people on the basis of their work and if I'm ill-impressed, I'm going to say as it is.

As for placing SRK on the same league as Aamir, well, I still think the latter is a better actor and chooses better films. But certainly, that gap is a slim one now, esp after Chak De India.

Anyway, thanks for visiting and all the best to you.

October 22, 2007 at 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>As for placing SRK on the same league as Aamir, well, I still think the latter is a better actor and chooses better films.

chooses better films - probably true but debatable
aamir a better actor..- most definitely not.

Its funny that the previous writer calls you an SRK fan while your writings and reviews are obviously biased towards aamir - but I dare say a Swades, CDI and MNIK outdoes any acting that Aamir has done in any movie of his. So far - i would have ranked them as equal actors but after 3I and MNIK - i actually rank them as equal stars but SRK as the vastly superior actor. Pity that he doesnt do it the justice that he should.

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