Tuesday, August 21, 2007

'Chak De India' - Movie and more

Last week, I watched 'Chak De India' at Spice PVR. It was an evening show, there were 9 of us, all from the same company, same team, and we carry a damn good rapport within ourselves, a swanky plush setting, large popcorn packets, nice and clean setup, terrific air-conditioners, pretty girls and lots of same-team humor-fun and more. Probably a brilliant starting band setting, we were already euphoric, before the real band came on stage, the one with so many girls and getting-old SRK, Shahrukh Khan, along with some good games of our national sport. Everything just fell in place, infact I missed to mention that it was on 16 August so all of us were just out of 15th August, the 60th anniversary of Independence Day and with the advent of still-counting TV channels, a sense of patriotism, a sense of being on the verge of doing big was already pushed-in these tiny minds of 9 people, everything was in place, just everything and it would have taken something really earth-shattering for us to not like the movie.

So did I not like the movie ?

No, I did. Its a wonderfully made movie, it caters to Mass Market Indian sensibilities, its quick, there are no songs (did we have songs in Ab Tak Chhapan ? ) , lots of sports, beautiful girls and most importantly SRK.

So did I not like the movie ?
Well, to be honest I was as engaged and as engrossed in those 2 and half hours that I didn't think of anything else and for any film-maker, that itself is a decent barometer of success so I must have liked it.

So did I not like the movie?
I did, c'mon, its a good movie. But its just another good movie and probably nothing beyond that.

Oh, so you didn't like the movie, haan, say it, c'mon, did ya or did y not ?
I did but would it have done equally well if it has not been SRK ? Probably not. SRK is god in these times and he did so well. He should more of these roles, more of Swadesh, more of Paheli and certainly more of 'WE-can-do-it' kinda roles.

To cut this (read to cut this crap), I liked the movie and I can watch it again. I would recommend it any day. Lets talk more about the movie now.

CDI is a movie about loss of face and resurgence of a young man. Kabir Khan misses a Penalty stroke against Pakistan in a world-cup match and loses the trophy. Being a muslim, he is blamed for being with them and loses his esteem. After few years, he gathers his lost esteem, gets courageous and offers to train the Indian Womens Hockey team and claims that he would actually make them win the world cup trophy. An offer which non one can refuse (remember Godfather) so the management buys into that and He actually does that in the end. Losely based on the life of Mir Negi, a goalie who conceded as many as 7 goals in a similar match and then goes to train India women hockey team which actually wins a gold at Commonwealth tournament.

The movie runs like a charm with SRK in full control and probably everyone is hinged on to see what magic this guy will do to pull this off. This is one big thing where Shimit (director for this movie, has done Ab Tak Chappan) has been wildly successful, even though there is no secret, it keeps you thinking on 'how will this bunch will do it'.

So far so good, no songs, some real beautiful tracks played in the background. I liked the one which is ".... maula meri le li meri jaan..." or something like that. No lady love, no skin, minimum to zilch action, lots of sweat and lots of hockey.

Ok. Why did i sound like someone who was not impressed ?

So here is the reason. When you go and watch a movie, that movie stays with you for a long time and as you think more about it, you tend to discover things which probably you have missed while watching it.

CKI has done so poorly on developing the 'Characters' , not a single 'character' has been established well enough. Lets start with Kabir. Who is kabir ? Just a captain who lost a penalty stroke and everyone started to dislike him, so much that he was not only thrown out of team but no one knew where is he and what is he doing. What did he like, where were his team mates, it was just ONE penalty stroke. Shakil was India's one of the greatest Penalty Stroke specialist ( I am talking about the era of 1985 - 1990 or so) when Pargat was captain and boy he missed too at times. He was a muslim as well. Mir left as many as 7 goals and thats really too many. But for one goal or one miss. Where did he go ? Was he someone who we all thought as a resilient quiet guy or a one who would joke around and is a team person. When Kabir comes back, he is shown as gritty, firm and a hard-brain person, remember how many times he said OUT in first workshop. If he is someone like that then why didn't he fight when he lost that goal. Was he tamed, or was he shooed away, or was it just that some Tom Dicky Harry-er called him a cheat. What was the reason which director would throw to the movie watcher to like the character. Probably none.

Lets go further. The team which played had so many girls. If we leave Preeti, Komal, Vrinda and Vidya, who were other girls. The only thing which was told was they come from various states. But what do they carry with them. If you have someone from Sundargarh (Orrissa) then how many of us know that you have someone who knows hockey by heart because everyone plays hockey there, with bamboo and those wooden-cloth-padded balls. When Preeti takes the ball, did you feel assured that now the ball is with the champion, we will get the goal. Or for that matter, why and how Vrinda break the man-to-man shadowing in the game against Korea. If Kabir was so certain of not dropping Vrinda from the squad then was it just her seniority or something else. What did each one of these players carry home, who was Aaliya aur Nethra reddy or Soi-moi or Prasad.

calm down, calm down.

I would possibly save my further thoughts for some other day but probably down the line people wont remember the details of the movie and the big reason for which you feel the excitement is because its a movie based on a game.

Yes, I did like the movie but then I wont buy a DVD of it. :)