Chak De India – The desi version of Coach Carter. King Khan’s answer to Lagaan. I have to admit this was one of the many sports movies that I have watched over the years. But it left a lasting impression. I still watch the final penalty save over and over again.
This was a non Shahrukh like film on all counts. There was no romance, no leading lady and it was not a cricket based sports film but it still it worked magic at the box office when it released because of sheer difference in treatment and King Khan’s star power.
Hockey – A sport which placed India on top of the world’s pedestal but now sadly overshadowed by cricket. The film starts with the sad saga of a betrayed Kabir Khan- labelled a traitor and hated by his own countrymen. The story slowly builds up pace to move towards the main sub-plot the ego clashes within the women’s hockey team even as Kabir Khan takes over as hockey coach.
The film rightly shows how developing a good team spirit can pave way for a victorious campaign. It also shows the huge gulf that exists in the treatment of men and women when it comes to sports. Even though we talk of equal rights the irony that exists in the sporting arena proves otherwise. The opportunities that women get are so damn limited. The film highlights all this without being too preachy.
Shah Rukh gives a defining and versatile performance as Coach Kabir Khan. The raw energy between the girls is infectious and keeps you glued throughout. Shamit Amin gives a feel good film with just the right dose of patriotism.
PS: Sagarika is so damn cute as Preeti Sabarwal!