Personal Growth - Just Do It
by Life Positive
This is the story not just of the coach, Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh) and 15 girls, it's the story of anyone who believes that through hard work and determination they can make their dreams come true.
The movie begins with a scene from the men's hockey team where Captain Kabir loses a goal to Pakistan and everyone believes he did it on purpose. Chak De India is based on the real life of hockey player Mir Negi who suffered ostracisation simply because he was a Muslim and he lost against Pakistan. Like Kabir, he too went on to coach the women's hockey team who won a gold medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games. However, this is the silver screen and everything must be bigger and better. Therefore Kabir's women's team is shown winning the World Cup. Although the victory, since this is a Bollywood film, is predictable, the superior camerawork keeps the audience hooked to each game that the Indian team plays against the international teams. I have already watched the movie thrice and yet each time the last match commences, I hold my breath and wonder what will happen.
Though rank newcomers the girls performed brilliantly. Their characters undergo visible transformation in the course of the film. Initially egoistical, regional in their thinking, lazy and full of attitude, they return to India after the victory, changed. While a shy player gains confidence, another loses her overconfident swagger edge. Each one becomes, through their training with Kabir, not just better hockey players, but better people and, in turn, better Indians.
The movie is filled with patriotic moments - the two most poignant ones being when Shah Rukh asks the girls to introduce themselves and as they say their name along with their state he reminds them they are playing for a country and not a state. Another scene which always receives a spontaneous applause from the audience in theatres is when Shah Rukh stands on the football field one day before the final match and proudly watches, for the very first time, an Englishman putting up the Indian flag.
This movie will make you laugh and cry, bite your nails and swear, exult and celebrate. No matter who you are or how old you are. It's a movie that has become a movement in our country. This is clear from the sudden media attention that the real, long forgotten women's hockey team is receiving, and the exciting win of men's hockey team in the Asia Cup after several years. May more such movies shake us out of our complacency by urging us, as Shah Rukh tells the girls, "Kuch kariye, kuch kariye…"
- Megha Bajaj
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