Review - CHAKDE! INDIA: Exhilarating!

CHAKDE! INDIA

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

I am not a hockey fan and usually can just about tolerate Shah Rukh Khan. And yet, I enjoyed the movie thoroughly. Brilliant writing by Jaideep Sahni!!

[Poster for CHAKDE! INDIA]

I am the target audience for this movie. Like many Indians, (as appropriately depicted in the movie) I am a run-a-minute person. So, any game that claims to be "exciting" when the final score is 1-0, interests me only so much. Top it off with a "Shah Rukh Khan is over-rated" attitude. You know the makers have played their cards right, if a person with such tastes was hooked to the movie through its entire length. Though the credit mainly goes to the sharp and focused writing, the casting needs special mention too. But that will have to wait...

This is Jaideep Sahni's movie all the way. The little unexpected things in the script make all the difference in an otherwise ordinary plot. In a movie about underdogs trying to achieve the impossible, you pretty much know where the story is going. It's the "how" you get there that counts and CHAKDE! INDIA scores (all pun intended!) at many levels. The obstacles that the characters encounter on the ride, and how they are overcome, keep you glued with enthusiasm till they reach their destination. And I am really glad they stuck to the hockey team and did not whine too much about the coach and his life.

The rhythmic ups and downs in the story are supported equally well by the crisp, witty dialogues and the you-are-smart-viewers silences. The sub-episodes flow from one into another without being episodic. That the editors did their job well is also demonstrated by this remark I overheard on my way out of the movie, "The good thing about Hindi movies these days is that they are only two hours. 9.30 to 11.30 - nice movie". The movie had actually started at 9. If a movie felt 20% shorter than it was, the editing department has done their job really well.

Oh yeah, casting...the first thing you do to sell an ideology is to get a popular actor on board. But, they went one step further. The whole team is perfectly cast. From the hockey team to the hockey association members - not one of them can be singled out for not fitting into the shoes of the character. It is difficult to say whether the dialogues were written first or the actors were chosen first.

Okay - I loved Shah Rukh Khan's acting! There - I said it. Done. (Believe me - It wasn't remotely as easy for me to write this as it is to read it.) The smirks were conspicuous by their absence; there was only an occasional, unnecessarily long-paused sentence; no romantic lines delivered in half-whispers (thank goodness!); and - get this - no trade-marked raising of hands on the side as if he is waiting for me to hug him. Best of all, he shared the space with the girls without overshadowing them. No-no, it's not only things that he did not do. There are things that he did right too. He was very controlled in emoting frustration, happiness, anger, disbelief. Actually all this made me excuse the occasional "I am the King" attitude (Ray Ban, et al)...ahem...okay...now before I get a divorce notice in the comment space here, let's wrap this up here.

When the entire audience is rooting for a women's hockey team for 150 minutes straight, you know the movie has worked. The movie certainly achieved its aim of drawing attention to our national sport and especially to the plight of the women in this sport. It invoked the national spirit, made us whistle and cheer, clap hard, and laugh out loud. It was almost like we were in a stadium watching an actual game. The question, now, is - are we sensitized enough to do something about the situation? Meanwhile, like Shah Rukh's acting keep your expectations in control and enjoy the show.

- meetu, a part of the audience

CHAKDE! INDIA - Movie Details

CHAKDE! INDIA - Trailer

Comments (13)

PutVote.com:

Review - CHAKDE! INDIA...

I am not a hockey fan and usually can just about tolerate Shah Rukh Khan. And yet, I enjoyed the movie thoroughly. Brilliant writing by Jaideep Sahni!! ...

DesiPundit » Archives » Chakde India r:

[...] is all praise for Chakde! India. I loved Shah Rukh Khan’s acting! There - I said it. Done.  (Believe me - It wasn’t [...]

Prashanth:

---> get this - no trade-marked raising of hands on the side as if he is waiting for me to hug him

That comes in every movie of his!! Very good review, will most probably watch this movie. Big Hockey fan btw so will be looking to see if they have made any errors :D

meetu:

Thanks Prashanth! That "raising his hands", really gets to me, but I loved the way took a dig on himself in "Main Hoon Na".

Oh, do watch the movie and let us know how accurately the technical details of the actual game were handled. I have a couple questions in that respect too.

KAMYA:

chakde india! is a beautiful film!!!!shah rukh khan has acted really

well…specially when india won …how he controlled his tears ..n he showed his hapiness thru his eyes!!

i m really happiiee …and all the girls have worked awesome too …its reallllyy inspiring

and touching story …
A must watch!!! Will be a hit...actually has to be a hit!!!
Songs are good too...give you inspirations...reminds you, that yes - "Hockey is the national game of India and should not be forgotten"
A must watch for every Indian

pratima:

What I don't understand about the so called critics of
Shah Rukh Khan is either they don't understand what action
is, or they don't have the guts to accept that
he is a brilliant, versatile actor.
It occurs to me time and again that either they are so
jealous that they cannot accept his evergrowing popularity
globally or they don't have the knowledge and understanding
of what is the meaning of a brilliant performance.

I really don't agree with this reviewer about what he wrote
about shah rukh khan.
((eg: "trade-marked raising of hands on the side
as if he is waiting for me to hug him etc.)).

Even though he maintains that he liked shah rukh in Chak De,
his comments about him are not appropriate.

Amodini:

Good review ! I haven't seen this yet, but look forward to. Everyone gives this one a thumbs-up and SRK acts ? Makes it a must-watch.

krishna cattamanchi:

I loved this film ..It was one of the best films for SRK ..Hats of to the director for giving a good film

meetu:

KAMYA, praveen and krishna, thanks for your feedback.


Pratima, has there been an actor/director/artist whose work you have never really liked, but suddenly one movie and that person surprises you. Well, for me Shar Rukh Khan (SRK) is one such person and he has surprised me in Chakde!. Die-hard SRK fans should be ecstatic that even people who have not liked him, have liked him here.


Thanks Deepa. Yeah, it is awesome that we have one more person in the industry who can perform despite having the "star" tag attached to his name.


Rocky, what can I say...wrong timing? :)

Thanks Amodini! Looking forward to your review.

Sundari:

Shahrukh we are proud of you for giving a very good movie after a long time after kkhh.I wish you all the best for your future.

Anuja & Hetal:

Good Review and Good movie...here is our take on the movie...
http://www.showmethecurry.com/2007/08/27/chak-de-india-bollywood-movie-review/
Enjoy!

kulbir:

chakde india is the best bollywood movie I ever saw!

joydeep:

This movie is one of the best movies I have ever seen.Shahrukh Khan really rocks!!

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