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Shruti's Review - Chak De! India is a truly Indian film (SPOILERS INCLUDED)

Discussion in 'Members reviews' started by srkSuperFan, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. srkSuperFan

    srkSuperFan SRK Super Fanatic

    Here are some of my thoughts about Chak De! India:

    Alright, just to briefly tell you about my day...I went with two of my best friends (one of them is a HUGE ShahRukh fan, and the other is a potential Khanvert ;) )
    I was almost late for it (as I always am for any SRK movie....it's like God wants me to struggle, go through thousands of obstacles and then finally let me get to him), since one of my friends got stuck on the bus before meeting us, and we had to take the subway and then we had to find the theatre and we made it just in time for it, as the last preview (Laaga Chunari Mein Daag) was almost finished. Anyway, after a lot of stuggling, we made it in time, for the First Day, First Show :)

    Then it began. To be honest, at first, I just went to watch it thinking it's a Shah Rukh film, but I did have thoughts about whether I'll really enjoy it as much as the other SRK films. However, the complete sports film that I thought might not interest me as much, actually turned out to be one of the best Indian movies I've ever seen. It's presented in such a way that not only Indians, but even people from other nationalities will certainly feel a connection to the message behind it. Even though it has a very strong patriotic message about India, Indian women and Indian Hockey, it will, without a doubt, bring out the same feelings even in non-Indians. That's because of it's universal message of fighting for your honour, your nation and moreover, forgetting about all the sub-boundaries within your country or community, and coming together as a team. To see the bigger picture in life, basically.

    The thing that touched me the most about the story was that Kabir Khan, a famous hockey player, and then 7 years later, the coach of Indian National Women's Hockey Team, actually lived in a small, middle-class locality with his mother. He didn't live in a palace or anything, even when he was world-famous, which, I think, is really interesting...because it's quite true. Sportspeople in India (other than cricketers and maybe, tennis players) are actually quite modest and aren't given the kind of publicity, money, endorsements, etc like cricketers do. This movie points that out clearly and also has many clever lines and parts that are directly showing how cricket is so over-hyped. It has some direct digs at cricketers (hehe :D some very clever lines). I like that about it - it's honest.

    Another thing that really moved me was the way in which Kabir Khan is portrayed. He's not a bitter man, but he feels an overwhelming sense of sadness whenever he sees the national flag. It just reminds him of how he gave his life and soul for it and how it, in a way, betrayed him. The song Maula Mere and its tune are played in bits and sections whenever Kabir sees the flag. He loves the flag and his country immensely, yet he feels sad that he was thought of as its betrayer. This sadness and this anger are what drive him to do something for it and prove to his country and to himself that he is not a traitor. This sadness and anger actually make him seem harsh, but in fact, he tries to show that he's extremely strict, harsh, and even cruel, just to make the girls unite as a team and diminish all the racial boundaries that are splitting them apart.

    The girls are so obsessed with their states, their language barriers, and their reputations that they forget that they are actually going to play together as Team India, and Kabir reminds them of that with his tricky and harsh methods. He's like a strict teacher, who means well, but is still really hated for being that way.
    It's not until the point where the girls realise that they actually have the capability to win, that they start to understand and appreciate the coach and his unusual, almost military-like, teaching methods.

    This movie shows various types of personalities, like the type of people who just want to be the bosses, who get jealous of other people's success, the types that want to fit in and succeed, but are too passive to be heard, or the ones who just don't get what other people want and only think about themselves. All the characters have good and bad sides, no one is just good or just bad.

    One more thing I loved was the part where the men's team raises its hockey sticks in honour of the girls' performance. It really proved to me that this wasn't a male-bashing, feminist type of movie...yes, it was showing how women are so under-represented, especially in sports. It did show that sometimes women have to express themselves loudly and aggressively enough to be heard and respected, but men aren't trying to dominate all the time. It's just sort of a thought that has been passed on through ages, which limits women from even trying to fight to be treated equally as men. It's in the society's mentality that has made them feel unequal themselves.

    It was quite ironic and sad to see how the whole of India had accused Kabir of being a traitor, insulted him, stripped him of his dignity and taunted him constanty when he had lost. Yet the same people start to praise him and call him the nation's pride when he won for the country. It really shows how people are with you and there for you in happiness, when you have won them a World Cup, but leave you completely stranded when your of no use to them. Perhaps that's why Kabir couldn't feel that happy when he won. He saw the two-faced nature of the world...

    Ok enough blah blah, I'll get straight to the performances:

    The girls were realistic in their acting. They looked like any average girls and had convicing performances. The most memorable characters for me were Bindiya Naik (the senior most player/bully), Preeti Saberwal (the arrogant cricketer's fiance/ace striker), Komal Chautala (the tom-boyish, village girl), and Balbir Kaur (the hot-headed, big one). These girls were the major conflict-creators in the team, who Kabir straightens out gradually. Other memorable characters were Vidya Sharma (the housewife who wanted to play/ captain and goalie), Molly Zimik, Mary Ralte and Soimoi. These characters brought a different type of freshness to the story.

    As for Kabir Khan, well, he could not have been better portrayed by anybody else. Shah Rukh was OUTSTANDING (and I'm not just saying that because I love him, but because he has never been so convincing as any character, ever). He brought out the pain in Kabir, when he loses AND when he wins the finals so beautifully. The climax scene when India wins the World Cup was so powerful. It just gives you goosebumps! I had tears in my eyes, This was supposed to be the happiest moment of his entire life, yet you can't help but feel emotional, as you see Shah Rukh almost collapse, due to the intensity of what had just happened. He has WON, at last...after seven years, he has finally achieved what he had wanted all his life, he had overcome all that humiliation and wiped off the stigma of being called a traitor, but still, he's not able to withstand that feeling of happiness. He almost goes into shock.
    His voice and his expressions have never been this strong. The way he shouts at the girls and makes them struggle almost scares you a bit, but you admire him for the same reasons.
    Again, SRK managed to blow me away with his performance. He's just too good to be true! :heart: :eek: :heart:

    The cinematography is great, perfect for a sports film - fast, gripping and clear. The structure of the film is good too, as it first gives you a clear idea of the girls' personalities, Kabir's life and his pain, and then it just gets right to it in the second half. They just fight for it. They lose a lot, but learn a lot too, and ultimately overcome all the negetivities that had held them back from performing to their best abilities.
    The music is nicely placed. Maula Mere had the biggest impact, at least for me. It was beautiful, not just because of the lyrics, the singing, or the music, but mainly because of SRK's expressions. Chak De India is also broken up into two parts, which really go with the spirit of the movie. Badal Pe Paon Hain goes nicely with the emotions of the girls when they finally get to spread their wings and go to a new, bigger place, to play for their country. The rest of the songs are used in tiny bits and pieces here and there throughout the movie.

    The only thing that might not appeal to everyone is the fact that a huge part of the movie is made up of hockey matches. It'd be great for a sports lover, but might become slightly monotonous for an average Hindi-movie buff, who might not necessarily like watching hardcore sports.
    Despite this, the match and playing portions are shown in a very gripping way, which keeps the viewer interested, especially the final match, and the match against the Men's team. I would only take off half a point for that, because really, you have to HATE sports with a passion to hate this movie. :p

    Overall, my rating: 9.5/10
    BEAUTIFUL movie. I call it a truly Indian movie, because it portrays the true spirit of India. At first, we fight a lil, try to out each other, try to prove that our state/our race is the best, but when it's time to show the world, we fight and work together as a team.

    Shimit Amin really surprised me. I didn't expect an intense, former cop-drama filmmaker to make such an intense, patriotic, motivational, powerful movie.
    :hail:

    Oh and btw, my friends loved it too ;)
     
  2. MarjorieGK

    MarjorieGK Ullu-Club-Member

    Thank you so much for your review. You expressed all that I felt when watching the movie.
     
  3. sanjani

    sanjani Ullu-Club Member

    Great, really great review! Thank you very much! :thumb: :thumb:
     
  4. Zuhal

    Zuhal Guest

    Thanks for sharing. You really discribed everything so perfectly that I can't wait to see CDI.. thank you ones again:D
     
  5. srkmyidol

    srkmyidol Confidence...

    perfect review...could have not said it any better....and i even took a friend to see it with me (he has never seen an indian movie before) so...he really liked it also. thanks again for the great review. =)
     
  6. Poonam

    Poonam New Member

    Shruti, it happens to me too all the time - so many 'obstacles' to overcome before I see an SRK film. sometimes, even getting a parking space is impossible. I go nuts each time.
     
  7. filmifan

    filmifan bhangraholic nattu

    amen. i swear, i was afraid that Kabir was going to have a heart attack.

    great review!!
     
  8. Pakiza

    Pakiza New Member


    lol i know how u feel...which is why i always go 30 or 1 hour b4 the movie starts...always thinking ...will be late..will i get the tickets etc
     
  9. srkSuperFan

    srkSuperFan SRK Super Fanatic

    Thanx for replying, guys! You all are really sweet! :)

    Hehe yeah Pakiza we did go quite early...but one of my friends got stuck on the bus..then we had trouble finding the place...elevators not working...all kinds of stupid things happening LOL

    It always happens! I'm still surprised we managed to run and make it just in time! lol
     
  10. K

    K I love you Shah Rukh. Staff Member

    Wow...great review Shruti!!:thumb: I am really really impressed!! I felt like I was watching the movie through your review...I got goosebumps imagining those scenes, and Shah Rukh's expressions that you so beautifully described.:heart:

    Thanks a lot!!:)
     
  11. Wafa

    Wafa I want my Mom!!!

    The thing that touched me the most about the story was that Kabir Khan, a famous hockey player, and then 7 years later, the coach of Indian National Women's Hockey Team, actually lived in a small, middle-class locality with his mother. He didn't live in a palace or anything, even when he was world-famous, which, I think, is really interesting...

    Good point shruti :thumb:
     
  12. Rajshri

    Rajshri Well-Known Member

    Oeeeeeeeewh sounds like it's great review, but I'll wait till after I've seen the movie before reading it. I hope I'll see it soooooooon!!! :doh:
     
  13. Wafa

    Wafa I want my Mom!!!

    thanks for a great review shruti :thumb:
    I agree with you on the world cup scenes and the finale, albeit we all new the outcome and who's going to win, I have not missed a beat and still felt all the enthusiams and exhilaration.
     
  14. avggomez

    avggomez New Member

    thanx fort he great reveiw shruti. luved it. super reveiw. BTW like yo sigi of OSO. ddint know that other actorsa re also a part of the song. i thaught itw as only the actresses who will be a aprt of the song.
     
  15. srkSuperFan

    srkSuperFan SRK Super Fanatic

    Thanx guys! :hug: You guys are so sweet!

    Don't worry Rajshri...CDI is worth the wait. :D

    I just wanted to share some of my thoughts about it. I really was blown away by this movie. It really touched on some serious social issues, in such a subtle and clever way.
    I loved it! I really wish it does very well at the BO and gets all the awards next year! :)
     

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