22 August 2007

Chak De India !

I was planning to see Chak de India in the first weekend itself, because of Sitnadi rafting trip I postponed my plan to 15th August. Due to our complacency we didn’t get tickets on 15th August. Finally I managed to see the movie at PVR on Saturday morning with Ande, Vijaynath and Tassa. Thanks to Ande for booking tickets.

Recently SRK mentioned in an interview “In Chak De India a Muslim coaches a women’s team playing Hockey. Muslim, Women, Hockey breaks all kinds of stereotypes”. Well, for SRK’s standards breaking stereotypes would be an understatement.

image courtesy: indiafm

In beginning of the movie, star hockey player Kabir Khan turns into a villain (perspective of media) overnight by missing a crucial penalty stroke in world cup final. After being away from hockey for '7 years, 3 months, 14 days' he tries to come back to limelight by taking up assignment of coaching Indian women’s hockey team for the upcoming world cup. The assignment which other players were reluctant to take up as chances of team winning even a single match was bleak.

The coaching camp is set up at a stadium which is generally used for other purposes such as ‘Ram Leela’. While coaching Kabir faces many obstacles such as
- Regionalism.
- Individualism.
- Ill-discipline.
- Defiance and jealousy of senior players
- Rivalry between center forwards.
- Personal problems of some players.

Kabir overcomes all these problems by unconventional methods such as ‘benching ill-discplined players’ etc. Initially he turns unpopular among the girls, even nicknamed ‘Tuglaq’ by Bindiya Naik(senior player).

One day the tough practice session results in extreme situation where all players request for sacking of coach by a signature campaign. Then there is turning point, Kabir at farewell lunch at Mc Donald's makes the team realize that ‘what they achieve in unity’ after fight out with eve teasers. After the incidence girls change their mind and Kabir continues as coach.

The movie also projects inferiority of hockey to cricket inferior attitude of people towards hockey. Preeti Sabharwal(strike player) is often taunted by her fiancé (vice captain of Indian cricket team).

There are many emotional moments, one of them in which women’s team prove their competency by losing the battle(losing match 2-3) but actually winning the war(by getting complements) against Indian's men hockey team, by showcasing their quality of play. As a result they get nod from Hockey Federation to play in the world cup and the fairy tale continues.

The movie connected to me to such an extent that, while watching sport news at home after seeing the movie, I expected the headlines to be "Indian women won the hockey world cup" :)

This is how a sports movie to should be. It should be free from clichĂ©s and stereotypes. I didn’t even felt bored for a moment in entire ‘17 reels’ duration.

What others say:
1. CNN-IBN, Masand's Verdict: Chak De's... a winner all the way
2. Indiafm - Taran Adarsh: Chak De India- Movie Review
3. Manish CM: Chak De Weekend.


  1. I guess the movie is well-analysed in your blog.. just a correction on that though ... the film didnt project the inferiority of hockey to cricket.... instead it projected the attitude of ppl towards hockey making it a low popularity game...
    well, short n sweet, my take on the movie is "well made... well paced ... full worth the ticket"

  2. @naresh
    thanks for the comments, i have updated the blog based on ur comments

  3. Thanks for mentioning my name in "what others say".

    U R blog is more detailed one, pretty good one I must say,

    Mine is more Humor n personal experiences. Its so nice 2 Different perspectives to the thing.