Discussion in 'Members reviews' started by rollercoast, Aug 11, 2007.
Now, with a little more time to digest it, I'd like to add to the above.
Certainly a different film, unlike any other Shahrukh film I've seen so far. Not a hint of romance, no songs, dances, but oh so much heart.
I guess everyone knows the general storyline by now - a disgraced coach, a team of women hockey players battling against the odds. It works beautifully in its simplicity.
Without giving the plot away, the film concentrates on the play on personalities, Coach Khan pitted against the diverse characters of the girls, with 5 or 6 of them being given specific roles and personalities. The tensions this brings out, and how the girls' personal situations effect the working of the team as a whole, works brilliantly.
Although the story is a little far-fetched, it really doesn't matter. Suspending reality is so common in Hindi films, we only have to do it a little bit here. I loved some of the touches filming in India (note the bathrooms the girls use at the hockey camp).
There is an awful lot of hockey to watch, be warned. If watching sport bores you, well you may only want to watch this several dozen times, not hundreds. I admit didn't come out raving with patriotism for India (or for Australia for that matter, which is where I am), but then it was made up for by 1 wet scene, 1 crying scene, a few angry scenes and many with intense emotion. Which leads me to the absolute best thing about CDI:
Shahrukh is superb. Understated but not asleep, intense, beautiful, soulful, hard and angry when required, but with an obvious heart. His performance has been compared to that in Swades - yes, perhaps even more controlled. Maybe because of the lack of comedy, there are hardly any of the classic srk signature 'looks' so he fills the space with Coach Khan. It just confirms what a superb actor he is, he is maturing, expanding his repetoire.
Of course it doesn't hurt that he looks good enough to eat too!
Of course it doesn't hurt that he looks good enough to eat too!
lol not surprised
thank you so much chris. by the way this is based on a true story so the events were real and not really far fetched.
I do sense some disappointment in your review? was it too much of hockey for you? mabye as a sport lover I don't get the same feeling but there were more to the mvoie than just the game. the team of girls, their behaviour, relationships,etc.. I wonder why you didn't feel any patriotism, I'm not questioning you but wondering if it was not what you expected, maybe?
Thanx chris! enjoyed reading.
Thank you for your comments and thanks Ahmad, Brita, Marjorie, Pakiza, Wafa and Amali.
Wafa, I have spent several days thinking about your comments. In response:
1. My review was a little tongue-in-cheek I suppose. I wasn't making fun of it - perhaps just avoiding my instinctive gush-reaction of wanting to jump into the screen and tackle Him to the ground (fade out scene). As I'm sure we all do, I find it very difficult to be objective about His films, and especially after only one viewing, where it takes some time to get over that overwhelming feeling of awe. I try and imagine it with another (good) actor to see if it would still stand up as a good film. In this case it does, so I was not criticising, I do like it, it was very entertaining.
2. Re: Far-fetched. As far as I can tell the Indian Women's team has won the Commonwealth Games and the/an Asia Cup, but not a 'world' championship. (Please correct me if I'm wrong). The film portrayed the team as being in a very embryonic stage at the beginning. It wasn't an established team, which is what you would expect most world-class teams to be, so to go from one extreme to the other, was stretching it a little. It suggests that they only played one match as a team (against the men's team) before they hit the championship. Again, not a criticism, it made for a great story. The story of the coach, I know was based on fact, and also made for a great story. It would have worked even as a pure piece of fiction.
3. Re: Patriotism: This is just me I suppose. I come from a country where the message that national pride and identity are somehow gained from sporting acheivement is rammed down our throats constantly by the media and the government. I guess I am just over it. I can't get really excited by the concept. The film made a good point of the different states having to work together as one - I am assuming that is as valid in India as anywhere else and I think it tackled the issue very nicely.
4. What I really liked was the way the women were portrayed - the issues that they had to deal with in their lives, what it took to get there, to stay there, to work out between themselves. I felt this was the real thing to cheer about - not whether a championship was won or not. The actors were great - fresh and convincing. I thoroughly enjoyed them.
5. Although I say the film was what I expected, maybe I was expecting just a tiny bit more. A 'good' serious director, no standard song numbers or fantasy sequences for distraction - maybe I thought it would be a little more complex. I found it a little linear. However that might change on subsequent viewings. I would like to also read some other reviews now, which I have mainly avoided until I established my own 'first response'. They will surely add layers of interpretation which I have missed.
6. SRK - amazes me again and again with his diversity. He is convincing and moving in such a wide range of roles now - truly superb.
oh I see chris, I was only thinking of SRK (Kabir khan's) character and his reality of what he's gone through, and not the world cup game.
thank you for elaborating and explaining your comments. I was positive we'll agree at least on SRK's superb performance.
Always Wafa. Even objectively - he can do no wrong.
I have been to see CDI again. What a treat! There is even a vague possibility I may see it for a third time next weekend.
The patriotic element had more impact on me this time, though indirectly, channelled through the coach. Perhaps it was his emotional reaction to it all that affected me. I could really feel his passion, both for the sport and for his country. The parts in Australia where he is reflecting on things at night - watching the Indian flag being hoisted up, or sitting in the rain, are very moving, beautiful, and of course his reaction when they finally win - wonderful.
I went with 3 friends, non-Indian (and unfortunately there were only seven people in the cinema including us) 2 who have seen no Indian cinema before and one who I am in the process of Khan-verting. All of them thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a shame that it has had no publicity at all here in Canberra, maybe a little in Melbourne and Sydney, but certainly not the amount that Heyy Baby , shot entirely in Sydney, has had.
Wake Up Australia!!!!!!
Chris, do you mean Heyy Baby has more publicity there because it was shot in Australia? you don't think CDI had enough publicity in sydney and melbourne, or not as much in your town?
I'm glad you went for the second time chris. I think everytime one watches a movie he/she will learn something new or see something different they didn't feel or notice it the first time around.
for some reason here too I didnt see large crowds in the theatre too promotion of Indian cinema here is really lacking and at its worst. even the indian stores in the indian community down the street, some of the workers there didn't know about CDI, I was shocked
I vowed next time I visit each of them and tell them about the new releases of srk's movies and get them to go.
Reema, the second half of CDI was shot in Australia too. Admittedly it didn't show much of Melbourne, where the championship is set, but there are still recognisable settings. I saw media from Sydney and Canberra which is nearby, though admittedly not every paper. There were newspaper reports on the launch of Heyy Babyy - nothing about CDI. I will hunt down the Melbourne papers - I am sure there was a review of the film, perhaps more. In Canberra as far as I know - nothing!
One of the best Indian sports movie ever