wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

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!!

Read more
Director: Shimit Amin
Running time: 150 minutes
Genres: Social, Sports
More Movie Info

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) 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.

- meeta, a part of the audience

31 reviewers(?) - 29 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Akshay Shah, Akshay Shah : ...He directs the movie on a one-track basis without allowing any interruptions in the crux of the story at all... full review

Thumbs up, by Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...As far as the girls are concerned, they aren’t just sacrificial lambs at the altar of nationalistic pride, but independent thinking women by themselves.... full review

Thumbs up, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...The movie has a number of intelligently conceived sequences... full review

Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Scene for scene, I could sense the director trying to break away from filmmaking cliché – and yet, his story, his very format is a giant cliché... full review

Thumbs up, by Aly Kassam, Bolly Spice : ...Jaideep Sahni’s dialogues are fiery and patriotic, exactly the way they need to be.... full review

Thumbs up, : ...Cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee is very good but one did wish that the editing be a tad better.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachel Fernandes, Bollywood Mantra : ...the film’s theme and subject may appeal more to a niche kind of audience and due to its realistic feel it may appear more as an intellectual choice... full review

Thumbs up, by Sanjay Ram, Business of Cinema : ...What is interesting is the manner in which filters are used. Tints of green and orange are seen through the film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Angel Rani, Deccan Herald : ...The hardcore entertainment-seeker may sulk at the masala-less fare. But Chak De India will appeal to the patriot in you... full review

Thumbs up, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...I don’t remember any scene in the movie which was unnecessarily added.... full review

Thumbs up, by Aprajita Anil, Express India : ...Amin has kept Ab Tak Chappan miles behind... full review

Thumbs up, Filmiholic : ...It’s remarkable to me to observe that while Shah Rukh is a driving force in this film, and omnipresent, he has been able to deliver a restrained performance... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, : ...If the film is on the life of former India goalkeeper Mir Ranjan Negi, it is as much a celebration of womanhood.... full review

Thumbs up, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...If a story is retold with varying riffs, a sliver of imagination and sufficient skill, just chill.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...But what it does have is a very 'clean' screenplay with all the typical elements of a good sports film in place.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vaibhav Wankhede, M TV : ...Sure there are some David-Goliath moments and female empowerment speeches but never does it slip into the 'utterly filmi' territory... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...what matters is that Shimit Amin gives us a reason to celebrate... full review

Thumbs up, by aish2kar, MovieWalah : ...Great amount of attention has been paid to the players, the diversity in culture, their language and team dynamics.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vijayendra Mohanty, : ...As if to prove the point, there is no India-Pakistan match in the coveted world cup. There are no scores to be settled.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ashok Nayak, Now : ...Shahrukh Khan holds the film together, carrying the role with a lot of dignity... full review

Thumbs up, by Jahan Bakshi, Now : ...The key here is the fine balance the writer and director manage to strike across the many themes, characters and other elements in the film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Phoenixnu, Passion for Cinema : ...I always want to see the impossible becoming possible. In life, it doesnt happen always but we still want the magic to work.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shruti Bhasin, Planet Bollywood : ...In a film with no big stars, he doesn’t overdo his role... full review

Thumbs up, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...The film is fused with the elements of slick storyline, energetic performances and great field emotions.... full review

Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...he film is compelling, constant, and leaves little room for filler... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...notch the inconceivable victory, but it does it with many a tumble and a fall, making the film a winner all the way.... full review

Thumbs up, by Saakshi Juneja, To Each Its Own : ...However for me the real hero of the film is its screenplay.... full review

Thumbs up, Upper Stall : ...Sudeep Chatterjee's camerawork which fortunately sticks to being more realistic rather than glossy... full review

Thumbs up, by Neha Viswanathan, Within / Without : ...Perhaps the even better bit is that the movie doesn’t go into jingoistic overtones.... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...The film has all the right elements mixed -- satirical comedy, seriousness and dollops of emotions.... full review

So-So, by Vijay, MovieWalah : ...The movie has all the ingredients yet it lacks mass entertainment value. Music is not that encouraging either.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

9 readers - 8 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by AlanWake

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Amara Sharma : It's a wonderful inspiring movie.

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Ewok : Very good performance.

Yay! Thumbs Up, by : It wasn't remotely as easy for me to write this as it is to read it.) The smirks were conspicuous by

Yay! Thumbs Up, by : It wasn't remotely as easy for me to write this as it is to read it.) The smirks were conspicuous by

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Hrishita Sahay

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Pcj4141

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Rocky j

So-So, by : When the entire audience is rooting for a women's hockey team for 150 minutes straight, you know the

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

The Indian women's hockey team is in need of a coach. Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is appointed as the coach. This underdog team is then trained to be able to play in the world championship.

Sincerely, at most times I was too engrossed in the movie to notice or take notes on the little things. Will have more here, hopefully after a second viewing.

What Worked

  • The fluency and ease with which the characters are established, even the most insignificant characters are defined by a line or two given to them.
  • The stereotype of Indians not knowing much about people from other states was played out really well - reminded me of a similar stereotype about Americans.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • All the public/mass media scenes depict hockey as this massively popular game. E.g., kids are shown playing hockey on the street. Now, come on, who are we kidding here?


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Why was Kabir Khan talking to himself outside the conference room of the Hockey Association?

CHAKDE! INDIA - Cast, crew, links

Action Choreography:
Costume Designer:
Art Direction:
Running time:
150 minutes

Comments (14)

Click here for new comment

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!! ...

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

---> 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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Good Review and Good is our take on the movie...

chakde india is the best bollywood movie I ever saw!

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

Best sport inspiration in my opinion

Leave a Comment