DVDwatch - Chak De India

Author: Dr. Mandar V. Bichu

In 2007, Chak De India became one of the year’s most celebrated films and its rousing title-song practically became an unofficial Indian anthem. Now its DVD is out in the market and as is usual with Yashraj films, the DVD offers a lot more than just the film. It is a two disc presentation- first disc featuring the movie and the second disc presenting some really interesting special features.

For those few who haven’t yet watched the film, Chak De India is the story of Kabir Khan (played on screen by Shahrukh Khan), India’s ex- Hockey captain who had to prematurely retire from the game and leave his home-town in disgrace following a crucial loss in the finals to arch-rivals Pakistan. After biding his time away from the game he loved, Kabir Khan walks back into the national arena and to everybody’s surprise he takes over the mantle of being the coach of India’s women’s hockey team! How this once-disgraced hero turns around a bunch of no-good, no-hopers into champion material is the stirring and moving story of redemption and resurrection through iron will.

Jaideep Sahni’s well-written script, Shimit Amin’s assured direction, Shahrukh’s restrained performance, Salim-Sulaiman’s excellent musical score and some brilliantly captured hockey-action make Chak De India a must-watch film standing apart from the usual run-of-the-mill Bollywood fares.

In Making Of The Film, writer Jaideep Sahni tells us how a small news item about Indian women’s hockey team winning the commonwealth gold medal inspired him to write this story. He also shares with us how Aditya Chopra immediately backed his project and how Shahrukh purposely fumbled at the initial reading to put the non-actor girls at ease. Indian Hockey players Mir Ranjan Negi and Dhanraj Pillay show how that bunch of girls having no clue about hockey were trained step by step to play the game. Shahrukh Khan tells us how he tried to portray Kabir Khan’s character with its innate intensity and a sense of hollowness because of inner pain.

Most of the deleted scenes are about the interesting initial tussle between the senior players and the coach, where both sides want to prove who is the boss. The picture gallery with portrait sketches of various players offers a deeper insight into how girls coming from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds from all corners of India come together as a national team.

The special features disc also contains short documentaries on<


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