‘Chak de India’ epitomizes sportsmanship, will, courage, hardwork and guts to beat out the opponents. Not just an energetic yell to pep up fallen spirits, but also to prove that you are the best than others. The dream that Hockey player Dhyanchand had cherished for hockey is on brink of extinction. Despite having so many talented sportsmen in India, the sports association is blind eyed to the aspiring youngsters who desire to represent India in Olympics. The 2007 motion picture – Chak de India centers on hockey and the malicious politics happening in Indian hockey federation.
The movie is not just about hockey, it is about sportsmanship. Regardless of which sports you play, you play it with discipline, heart and conviction. A disgraced hockey coach Kabir Khan (played brilliantly by Shahrukh Khan) makes a comeback from a long hiatus to coach a woman hockey team for Olympics. As he handpicks a team of young girls from different states, he realizes that it is important to bind them together to represent India for Olympics. The more he tries to arouse sportsmanship spirit in girls, more they refuse to come together due to their egos. To add more odds to the story, the girls in team are not even skillful enough to compete with junior hockey players. The coach becomes harsh on his team to arouse a spirit in them to play but only to get sacked by the team he had selected. Movie comes on a turning point when Kabir Khan resigns from the post and takes his team for a farewell lunch. Here he witnesses the unity of girls when they confront a bunch of goons who are trying to harass them. The girls not only fight, but also show their united spirit. How he brings them together to win Olympic medal for hockey and retains his honor forms the crux of the story.
There were sports movies on football, cricket, boxing but not a single movie on hockey. Director Shimit Amin and writer Jaideep Sahni came together to create a new epic movie in genre of sports. It was first time that Yashraj films has touched a new topic – hockey. Hollywood has successful sports movies in its portfolio but there are very less movies on sports in Bollywood.
Chak de India is a refreshing foray in sports genre and exposes the dirty politics happening in sports federation and how a passionate hockey coach thwarts the criticism and brings hockey back in spotlight. Shahrukh as the sober coach brought more realism to his role and made the story believable. It is his best performance that took his acting career to great heights. Especially the sattar minute dialogue in the movie is highly inspiring. When we see a sports movie, a coach and an underdog team is always the regular premise, but in Chak de India, the story is about the aspiring girls who are always treated inferior and considered underrated by the society and family too. How the girls give a tough time to men’s hockey team and bag the Olympic medal by defeating various countries is best to seen on the silver screen. Chak de India is not just about hockey, it is about making your dreams true no matter what the cost. When I feel a need to get motivated, I definitely listen to the title track of this movie which simply infuses a new energy to start off my goal on a positive note. I relate a lot to the character Kabir Khan played by Shahrukh khan because whenever people tried to write me off I have made an attempt to make a comeback with a vengeance.
I have also fallen, stood up and stumbled again to make my mark. Life is all about falling, stumbling and rising again with a new determination. No matter how worse the criticism may be, just utter ‘Chak de’ and head on.
I hope someday that a biopic will be made on renowned hockey player – Dhyanchand who took hockey game to great heights with his sportsmanship. Even Hitler was impressed with his sportsmanship that he had offered him a job in his army. Such was the dynamism of Dhyanchand. I was little upset to know that a biopic on M.S.Dhoni has already hit the screens while not a single director has come up to make a biopic on Dhyanchand. The motivational cry ‘Chak de’ is all about hitting back even after you are fallen.
If you liked Chak De India, do watch Lagaan, Rocky, Remember the titans, Goal, Gridiron gang, Invisible.
Chak de !!