Monday, September 03, 2007

Chak De! India : The Review

The greatest challenge in reviewing a movie is that when you are writing the review a few weeks after its release, all the choicest adjectives (and expletives) are already taken and you have a dual challenge of not only being honestly critical about the movie, but also ensure that it doesn’t sound cliched! In the case of ’Chak De’, this task is even more difficult, since not only adjectives have been taken, but also all the aspects of the movie have been thoroughly discussed.

And what the heck this movie deserves every ounce of that adulation. So, since I didn’t have anything new to say,I decided to go ahead and find my own stars in this crew. And believe me, it was a very very difficult decision to assign this ranking!

1) Jaideep Sahni: Story,Screenplay and Dialogues.
Writer of last year’s critically appreciated ’Khosla Ka Ghosla’ is in stupendous form this year as well! Sahni dribbles his narrative through so many issues, each bigger than the other, and yet keeps his pace.

He comments on media, which in order of its 24x7 frenzy makes mountain out of thin air, making demons out of errant humans (I really wonder why AajTak agreed to get roped in, for a sequence that clearly shows media on a wrong foot!), on gender inequality and stigma faced by North Eastern citizens (specially the utterly vicious and polluted mindset against NE girls), on the lack of sportsman spirit in this country, which lauds the victors and crucifies the losers (I remembered Chetan Sharma and tried to think what happened to him after that last ball, which was hit for a six by Javed Miandad, in Sharjah), on linguistic divisions and definitely most ruthlessly on the association culture of Indian sports bodies.

And I can write a whole review dedicated only to his dialogues!

2) Amitabh Shukla: Editor
He could very well have been the rank 1 in this list. With longest ever footage canned by a Hindi film, his must have been a mammoth task to cut out the most engrossing 2.5 hours out of it, and he does it so well that he almost gives this film pace of a thriller.

3) Rob Miller: Sports Coordinator, Action Director
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the man behind those wonderful, edge-of-the-seat action hockey matches. He ensures that the movie has a great energy and the soul of film, hockey is as lively as it deserves to be.

4) Shimit Amin : Director
Ohh well, please forgive me that captain of the ship is not in the top three of this list, but this is just because his technicians are absolutely great. Doing only his second film, let’s hope Amin gives some sane ideas in the head of his mentor, RGV, whose ’Aag’ has been reduced to cinders in one weekend only!
He must have brought smiles to the faces of Yashraj Films’ honchos who were under heavy fire after a miserable year with "Ta Ra Rum Pum’ and ’Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’.
(A stray thought: Having the man whose life you are making the movie on, in your team definitely helps. I am talking about Mir Ranjan Negi, who is the hockey coach of this movie!)

5) Salim Suleiman: Music
Fabulous background score! There is passion and energy in the music which adds thump to the flavor of the film. If ’Chak De’ wants you to pump your fist in the air with joy of victory, ’Maula’ really tugs your heart strings.

Also Rans:
Cinematographer Sudeep Chaterjee who has captured hockey matches, skyline of Melbourne and Delhi’s India Gate with great flourish!
Art Director Sukant Panigrahy : Attention to details, really caught my attention. All the teams play in their real country colours and ball is a real FIH approved one!!
Casting Director Abhimanyu Ray : He is the guy who collected that team of 16!

That brings us to Shahukh ’Kabir’ Khan and his gang of 16! You all have seen them and adored them, so I won’t say much except that my favorites are Vidya Malavde (playing Vidya Sharma) and then Anaitha Nayar (playing Aliya Bose)

And now again I am missing those adjectives to praise this movie!


Vaibhav said...

ah thats a great review. even i watched it this sunday night, 10 PM show. But the pace of the movie kept me alive.

Amal said...

Good review Sir.. Atleast somebody gave credits to the technicians.. Surprisingly, Khan Sahab looked fresh :)

Ashu said...

Great Review...
I also felt that the Chak De... reached to its height only because of its technicians...
I am especially amazed how much thought given to show hockey games...
All genuine stuff...