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CHAK DE: National sports reaffirmed
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
It took sixty years and a producer of the banner of Yash Raj films to give the National Sports Hockey its due by making a film on it. CHAK DE in the sixtieth year of Independence of the country is a fitting tribute to the glory that India had attained in the national interest. It also is interesting enough that CHAK DE has cleverly used the women team and not the male team to provide the affirmation. Metaphors like these which may appear innocuous at the time of laying them on the drawing board, when they hit the silver screen turn out to be its USP as it is happening in the case of CHAK DE where to give a realistic touch no known faces have been picked up and the trio of Sagarika Ghatge, Chitrashi Rawat and Shilpa Shukla in tandem with Shah Rukh Khan have given a performance which has sent the cash coffers setting cash rich tunes.
As a sport, cricket has been featured in films like ALLROUNDER, LAGAAN, etc., but the theme was not woven into the movie. It was more of a passing reference to the sport and hence the films could not make a mark. With Shimit Amin, having honed his teeth already in a realistic film, AB TAK CHAPPAN he has followed the same pattern in CHAK DE. This is for the first time that Shah Rukh Khan has appeared in a deglamourized role and the elderly touch that he has provided in the film can be counted as one of his memorable performances.
Were one to undertake a comparative analysis with the sports films that are made in Hollywood like JERRY McGUIRE, ESCAPE TO VICTORY, ROCKY, etc., all these films had hit the bulls eyes because the coach picked was a super star around which bunch of novices were built up who provide the success. There is the personal agenda of the coach whose failure looms in the background, and to deconstruct and exorcise himself of his past failure, the coach converts the team into an invincible combination, evolving from a bunch of green horns. The theme of weaklings blossoming into an invincible team is what appeals to the audience as it on the one hand underlines the emphasis of team work, on the hand it also provides the premise that hard work pays.
In sync with the times, the movie is a clarion call to CHAK DE the sloth and to persevere with doggedness to achieve the goal. This is what modern India symbolizes, and Shah Rukh Khan along with his bunch of players is the visual representation of the same. The choice of the title in itself is an interesting one, as it reaches out to throw away the established norms and reaffirms that underdogs can also win with the perseverance.