Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal poster

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

Does racism really need promotion? How does it make sense to unite people from the sub-continent and have them alienate themselves from the world that they are living in? Don't take movies so seriously, you say? Then movies should stop taking on serious issues!

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Director: Vivek Agnihotri
Running time: 155 minutes
Genres: Social, Sports
More Movie Info

The movie claims that all whites love to hate all browns. So, all browns hate all whites right back! First, the claim is not true. Don't tell me whites and browns don't befriend each other at all. Second, given that racism does exist, does it need any more fodder?

Way too many characters have been inserted just for the sake of representing a stereotype, including the Bangladeshi who takes a beating or is ignored all the time. Merely perfunctory. The motivation behind each character's metamorphosis is just a supposedly powerful, however clichéd, dialogue. Barring 2-3 funny lines, the rest are either lame, preachy, boring or all of the above.

The story is a run-of-the-mill underdog story. No surprises there, the promos said it all. Also, as it says in so many words, it serves an "us vs. them" agenda, rather than a story of the underdogs. I am open to being aware of injustice done to people elsewhere, but I couldn't sympathize with the characters here. The screenplay consciously follows a pattern. Comic scene followed by emotional scene followed by a lighter one and repeat. The pattern doesn’t have rhythm. They do not flow into each other, they chop into each other.

Was there any editing at all? I mean other than that necessary to join one scene to the other? I can recall at least 3 scenes that only served the purpose of giving John Abraham more screen time. And a few such scenes for Boman Irani, and almost all of Bipasha Basu's scenes.

John seems to have added to his range of expressions. I enjoyed his attitude in the first few scenes that had him. But later, it wore off. Boman was made to yell and overact on occasion. Anyways his character was not strong enough to make me care. Bipasha - well she had no character at all. Oops...that was not how I meant it to come out, but you know what I mean. A non-male is needed in a story for it to sell, so we spend on her make-up and clothes. Who has extra money or time to spend on her characterization, etc? Let's just make her giggle and smile it out.

A sports movie has tremendous scope for the cameraman. Especially a game with fast movements, like football. But the opportunity is not utilized to the fullest. We get nothing spectacular. Not to mention that the football action scenes are unsuccessful at deception - it is all too plain that there were stunt doubles. And the non-football field scenes are shabbily shot.

The music and lyrics are below average too. In fact, realizing that Javed Akhtar wrote, "Hey dude, don't mess with me" for a team that doesn't believe in itself is sad. However, Choreography of "billo" is nice.

But, these are only means to an end. The movie wouldn't have worked, even if the various departments of movie making were handled well. Sports movies in India are generally made around invoking some kind of patriotism. I am not saying they should stop doing that. But, why would I care about some county league in England for goodness sake!? My patriotism is not nudged by the woes of "browns" settled abroad for their personal progress. Don't get me wrong, I most certainly have nothing against people migrating. In fact, there is no learning better than exposure to a different way of living. But, the immigrants choose to live there for a purpose and the positives do outweigh the negatives.

A huge percentage of South Asians staying abroad will identify with the movie. And I don't have such a romantic view of the world that I would deny the existence of racism. But, the world portrayed here is the imagery that lives in closed minds. By the minds that enjoy nurturing the "oooh-look-at-me-I-am-marginalised" feeling. How many people from this population who are doing well in their lives complain about racism? How many of the people who are not doing well would do well if they were in their countries? Ironically, you see an ad featuring Shah Rukh Khan on a UK street - which means people who recognize him are a big enough and important mass.

Is the aim to reduce the racism or to fan it further? Sports many-a-time borders on war in real life. Do we need movies to do that too?

- meeta, a part of the audience

21 reviewers(?) - 3 yays 8 so-so 10 nays

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

Thumbs up, by Rachel Fernandes, Business of Cinema : ...Performances are good and every one fits into the roles carved out for them... full review

Thumbs up, Intermission, The Bookeazy Blog : ...Good performances by John, Arshad and Boman... full review

So-So, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Dear Mr. Agnihotri, admitted that racism exists in the UK. But you show it in extremes in your movie.... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...If the first hour is strictly okay, the pendulum swings in its favour in the second hour -- in the last 20 minutes, to be precise... full review

So-So, by Praveen Lance Fernandes, indiatimes : ...The chemistry between Bipasha and John just seems forced.... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...Whats that weird item number doing in the movie?... full review

So-So, by Sreeram Ramachandran, M TV : ...The story is cliched, but not entirely ineffective or boring.... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Curiously enough, a film that comments against racism has no qualms in indulging in reverse racism itself.... full review

So-So, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Arshad Warsi has the meatiest role and he is brilliant throughout.... full review

So-So, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...A laterally good job compared to his first film Chocolate... full review

Thumbs down, by Anand Vaishnav, Buzz18 : ...None of the 'strategies' shown in the film have any logic and have little to do with real life sport.... full review

Thumbs down, by Vedavyasa Bhat, DearCinema : ...The movie is just too long and with a flurry of kicks, tackles and goals, you soon lose count and track of which match is being won or lost.... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'souza, Glamsham.com : ...Bad move Vivek. If you are making a movie on soccer, first understand the game.... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Also on the letdown fronts, count the unbelievably hammy performance by Boman Irani as a washed-out coach... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...never once do you get the feeling that any one of them actually loves the game. They don't deserve to win!... full review

Thumbs down, by Natteri Adigal, merinews : ...The film is only notable for the great opportunities it had and it lost.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...this film is a complete and utter drag, and a case in point against thoughtless derivative sports films... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...A rousing song later, they suddenly become superlative players.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The script simply doesn’t rise above the clichés and lets down the actors who just can’t bend your emotions.... full review

Thumbs down, Upper Stall : ...Apart from the script, a major problem also lies in the casting... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

2 readers - 0 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by video-game environment : Boxmeer

So-So, by Lacy

So-So, by shop cart : 1

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

Plot Summary

South Hall County Club has an all South Asian Football team. They don’t have finances. They don't have good players. They don't have the confidence to win. See their road to overcome these obstacles.

What Worked

  • The jerky movement of the camera for the car scenes was good.
  • The flashback scenes were shot well.
  • The way it was not spelt out why John Abraham was not taken in the Aston team, but left the audience to decipher from other information given.

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

  • I know very little about football. But, that a football team with such a loser for a goalkeeper can go from rags to riches amazes me. True, they should be given credit for not making him change overnight, but given that he didn't improve over the season, can a team really win consistently?
  • The lighting in scene of a rainy night looked too put-on for an outdoor setting.
  • Death of the county club owner. The most unconvincing death scene ever.
  • How come so many people who lived abroad all their lives had no accent at all?
  • The "thi, hai, rahegi" dialogue. (was, is, will be). How....yuck!
  • Cheesy symbolic dialogues with the flower arrangement used as the symbols.
  • Tony Singh's (Boman Irani's) contrived speeches.
  • Why wasn't the team practicing before the interval?
  • Dialogue between Shaan and Sunny in the hotel room. - Lame, inane, it had it all.
  • Mother facing the father-son divide...oh p-lease!
  • How come Tony Singh and Sunny's dad don't age over 20 years?
  • The animated bird-view shot of the field and the animated fireworks!
  • The soap-opera-ish twists and turns towards the climax.
  • Shouldn't the loving, caring, doctor girlfriend run to he ailing boyfriend who might be dead as soon as the game is over, instead of cheering?


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.

  • The tell-tale signs used in the beginning of the movie to show the sorry state of affairs of the South Hall County Club were really sorry.
  • Why was the English lady, Anne in soft focus/out of focus all the time?
  • The matching of the prize money amount with that of the money required for the lease of the ground was all too convenient.
  • Why were Dalip Tahil's co-commentators wearing constipated looks?
  • Is "Hindustaniyat" a word?

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Background Score:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Costume Designer:
Art Direction:
Running time:
155 minutes

Comments (4)

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Wasnt THAT bad.. I would say somewhere between 2 - 2.5

Some people genuinely enjoyed it.. The Manchester united scene before the interval was really great!

[...] at Without Giving the Movie Away is supremely disappointed at this attempt at highlighting racism and feels Bollywood should stop tackling serious [...]

i love goal and john and arshad. they rok like hell. in our skool, we had sports day and the school soccer team did a few tricks on the song of goal, HEY DUDE! ISNT THAT COOL??!! i really wanna watch it.

all the people who dont like it are lame!
LOL! :))

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