Title: Chak de India (means Go India!)
Starring: Shahrukh Khan and a bunch of new comers
Director: Shimit Amin
The film revolves around how a former Indian hockey captain takes on the role of coach for the Indian Women’s hockey team and transforms the team into a World Cup winning unit! The movie seems to have been inspired by the constant media coverage of Greg Chappell and Team India for a good two-year period. The move makers chose hockey and a women’s team instead. A clever twist that helped highlight a number of issues: women’s empowerment, neglect of hockey, cricket’s overwhelming dominance, the role of a sports coach, team work, unity, the constant pressure on Muslims who represent India.
For once, Yash Chopra and crew reached out for characters beyond Punjab and Bombay to other parts of India. Heading south was seemingly painful –the selectors refer to a player from Tamil Nadu, but it later turns out to be a player from Andhra Pradesh, who eventually had little to do in the movie but make up the numbers.
Shahrukh and the rest of the cast put in a fine job. He deserves special credit for experimenting with an off-beat theme like this one instead of sticking to formula. The movie is well made and definitely worth watching. Even if you have a dislike for Shahrukh Khan (for some reason!), this is one of his special films. This is a movie you can easily watch with the kids.