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Chak De India

By Aakash Gandhi, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend

There are a couple reasons why CHAK DE INDIA is one of the more anticipated films to release in 2007. Firstly, it is yet another high-profile gathering of Shah Rukh Khan and Yash Raj Films. After hearing this, you’d think to yourself – “ah, another tear-jerking performance from another over-the-top romantic film.” Well, let’s not be too sure of ourselves; which brings me to the second reason why this film garners some thought – Director Shimit Amin.

It’s extremely rare to see a director, who took his first steps in the RGV Factory (with Ab Tak Chappan) waltz over to the Yash Raj banner. Needless to say the two high-profile production companies are like fire and ice, producing some of the most contrasting films you’ll find.

Starring Shah Rukh Khan and newcomer Vidya Malvade in lead roles, CHAK DE INDIA revolves around Kabir Khan (SRK), the coach of a girl’s hockey team, and a young sikh girl, Vidya (Vidya Malvade), who wants nothing more than the hard-to-earn consent of her parents to be able to join the team. SRK plays the role of a muslim man, disturbed by the sorrows of life, who wants nothing more than to see his nation’s flag held high with all others. The girls’ team makes it to Australia to play for the World Cup, and this is where the story portrays the plight and opportunities of the team as they fight for dignity, respect, and victory.

Model-turned-actress Vidya Malvade has truly received the break of a lifetime with this role. Or has she? Ladies and gentleman, over the past decade and a half or so, there has been an ignored theme that has run beneath the career of Shah Rukh Khan and the debutant actresses who work with him. If we look back, there have been several instances where debutant actresses gain the break of a lifetime working opposite this larger-than-life superstar, but then failing to ever achieve any sort of success in their careers (if you can even call it that). Is it the SRK curse? Or is just the luck of the draw? Let’s reminisce…

Circa 1993, Shilpa Shetty has a dream launch with SRK in BAAZIGAR. She’s been struggling ever since. Apart from MAIN KHILADI TU ANARI (1994) and DHADKAN (2000), Shilpa has really never been able to gain the acceptance of both the masses and the classes. It is obvious that she has the potential, but will she ever reach it?

Suchitra Krishnamurty – do I have to say anything else? You probably haven’t heard of her because she’s done absolutely nothing since her dream debut opposite SRK in Kundan Shah’s KABHI HAAN KABHI NAA (1994). It wasn’t until eleven years later she got a role in RGV’s MY WIFE’S MURDER (2005).


Mahima Chaudary was probably the most surprising victim of debuting with SRK. Her role as Ganga in Ghai’s mega-blockbuster, PARDES, is still remembered by millions today. She was even hailed as Madhuri’s successor… but wait, what happened Mahima? A slew of flops and a number of special appearances later, you still remain just that one-hit wonder.

Finally we have SRK’s co-star in ASOKA, Hrishita Bhatt. Although the film itself was a disaster, Bhatt was the one shining star in the entire film. But the curse had its way. Apart from full-fledged roles in films like DIL VIL PYAR VYAR and OUT OF CONTROL, she had a couple scenes in Shimin’s AB TAK CHAPPAN and a dance number in the super-flop, KISNA – The Warrior Poet.

Oh and I almost forgot, whatever happened to Gayatri Joshi from SWADES? ‘Nuff Said!

So it looks like history and fate is fighting hard against Vidya Malvade, who will be combating an uphill battle to prove that her career will be a success regardless of who she co-stars with. Vidya, here’s wishing you all the best – and we hope the curse doesn’t cast its shadow on you as well.

Coming back to the film itself, CHAK DE INDIA has music by composer duo Salim-Suleiman, while the editing is done by Shimit Amin himself (who was a full-time editor before his progression into the director’s seat). Cinematography will be handled by Vishal Sinha who did a stellar job working with Amin in AB TAK CHAPPAN. The film has been written by Jaideep Sahni.

Before I go, I’d like to leave you with an interesting fact. Vidya Malvade and Shah Rukh Khan were not YRF’s first choice for this film. In fact, Neetu Chandra was offered (and given) the part of Vidya, but then later resigned due to unknown reasons. The character of Kabir Khan was first offered to Salman Khan before it was given to SRK.

The film is slated for a tentative August 10, 2007 release.


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