Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bollywood Time: Chak De! India

Loosely translated, Chak De! India means, "Go for it, India!" This is an appropriate name for a sports-related film, yes? I don't personally watch a lot of sports movies. The first three that come to my mind are Hoosiers (my dad's favorite film), A League Of Their Own (lesbians are bound by law to own a copy of this on DVD), and Bend It Like Beckham (which most Americans probably don't count as a true "sports movie" seeing it's foreign and about soccer/football). But Chak De! India (2007) is about hockey. More specifically, field hockey. Even more specifically, women's field hockey and national pride. So kind of like A League Of Their Own meets Bend It Like Beckham. If you want to be racist and sexist about it.

In this movie we learn that bringing together the best female hockey players from all the corners of India means finding a rag-tag bunch of girls who are mean to each other and cannot work as a team because "how can you expect me to play with junglees?" But then their new coach Kabir Khan (played by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and totally the Tom Hanks character in this film - except not a drunk. And he actually wants to coach the team. But he does have a similar facial hair) is convinced if he can get them to play as a true team and for the sake of national pride, he can make them winners!

But after working them so hard in practice and not putting up with their drama, tensions come to a head and the team tries to get rid of him! But instead of being like, "Fine! You are all mean and selfish and have bad attitudes, I don't need this!" he says, "Hey, I'm going to take the rest of the staff out to lunch to say goodbye. Players, you can totally come too - no obligation." And then they all go to McDonalds. At McDonald's the girls team up to beat the ever living shit out of a throng of dudes who were making crude comments to some of the players and basically destroy the famous and popular fast food chain in the process. It is a good thing their success wasn't contingent on a McDonald's sponsorship. But now the women are totally unified and ready to play as a team! On to the world championships! Chak De! India!

Even though I have never seen The Mighty Ducks, I assume this story line is pretty close to the same? Here's the trailer:

Songs: C (The songs were acceptable, but nothing that really wowed me)
Dance Numbers: D (There really weren't any dance numbers to speak of. Unless you like, consider playing sports a "dance" because you are lame. There WAS a good, "We're traveling the world for the very first time!" montage set to music and the giant McDonald's fight scene was well choreographed.)
Wardrobe: C (Shahrukh Khan looks great, even in sweats being a coach. Most of the rest of the movie featured uniforms.)
Overall Plot: A (Jamie said this film perfectly followed the underdog-team-sports-movie plot line. And apparently in these types of movies, this is very important! And I totally teared up when they won everything! So I guess the formula works.)

Chak De! India: C

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