Well 'Chak De' was one film I waited anxiously for. And trust me the film delivers in all the departments. The movie takes off from where 'Rang De Basanti' left. This time it's not about killing somebody to help your country, it's about reviving a dying sport (so called national game) to make you and your country proud. And what better team than a bunch of 16 ill mannered and raw women from all corners of India.
The best part of this movie is the director Shimit Amin's control on the narrative. Right from the opening shot to the credit titles, the focus is on the game of hockey. The characters are neatly fitted in the bigger picture. Probably this is something which makes this movie a first in Bollywood. The camera work is one of the best that I've seen in Indian films. There is a sense of reality when the focus shifts on the playing ground. You actually feel a part of the stadium rather than the theatre.
Having said it all, the actors needs to be applauded equally well. Almost every single character in the movie stands out. I was particularly impressed by the girls who played Bindiya Naik and Komal Chautala. As for the main protogonist of the movie, Kabir Khan, Shahrukh should be proud of him. This is easily Khan's finest performance. A no-nonsense film like this once again bring to fore the theatre artist in him.
For me it was a thoroughly enjoyable two and a half hours of pure entertainment. It brought fond memories of my own father's passion for the game as we sat together to watch a game of hockey, we still do whenever we get a chance.
As I left the theatre, I wondered, who was better Kabir Khan the coach or Shahrukh Khan the actor!
As for hockey, it's not dead yet.