Before entering the theatre, I had a huge expectation on this movie. All the reviews about the movie and Shah Rukh were too good and most importantly my hopes on the combination of Yash Raj films and Shah Rukh.I was also excited when I came to know that Shah Rukh, for a change, would not be romancing. With Shimit Amin as the director, I was actually expecting a totally different movie experience too.Well, the movie did entertain but failed to live upto my expectation.
The movie is based on a real life story of a hockey player .The hockey player who happens to be the captain of the team is accused of match fixing when the team does not win against pakistan in the finals.The captain being a Muslim is stamped as a traitor and he then makes his comeback after 7 years to the field in the form of a coach to get the Indian womens team ready for the world cup (in 3 months!!!).Quite predictably, they win the world cup and makes everyone in the nation proud.The coach gets his reputation back and the girls makes their individual dreams come true.
The movie is completely based on hockey and so the script demands sequences like training, team building, motivation, leadership and of course since it is a Indian movie, the script also demands one black sheep in the team.There is a scene in the movie at the end where a kid rubs the word ''gaddar'' from a wall. That was on the same wall by another kid and it remains just like that for 7 long years. Why cant we avoid such stupidities from our movies ??
The part which we could really enjoy is when all the sixteen players get introduced and also when we see the misunderstandings between them. Atleast for the first time in Indian movies, the script writers didnt make any references to racism and regional divide and evoke sentiments out of that.There are a couple of scenes where you would feel touched, but thats it.You wouldnt remember any of them after coming out of the hall.
Shah Rukh is at his usual.He just cannot come out of his "King Khan" image and act normally. This time, he has a stubble to make him look serious(I wonder why the shape and color of the stubble changes from scene to scene!).Indeed, it is a pleasure to watch him without any heroines, especially when there arent any scenes showing him cry for all the heroines in the movie.Shah Rukh , probably , is the only hero in Bollywood to have been portrayed as a sports person in so many of his movies.He is a hockey player here, a basket ball player in KKHH, a football player in KANK and a race driver in Baazigar.(He should try wrestling the next time!)The entire 16 girls have done a good job, but one could easily find that some of them are facing the camera for the first time.The rest of the cast does what they usually do.
There is nothing great to mention about the music.It gels with the movie , thats all. But you cant expect a 'mitwa' or a 'chale chalo' here. I guess, for the first time, the audio sales for a Yash Raj Film hasnt done well pre-release and there isnt going to be any increase in the sales post-release as well.
Overall, the movie is not so great to talk about.Its a normal entertainer with usual Bollywood masalas and has to be seen only as a timepass over the weekend. The initial collections were only 40% which is very surprising for a Shah Rukh starrer and that too when the movie comes from the Yash Chopra banner.But it would gradually go up and I feel it would end up as an average grosser. After two debacles like 'Tara ram pum' and 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom' ; 'Chak de India' could be the next one, making it a hatrick for Yash Raj Films...did they lose their glory??