Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan, who has been missing from the screen this year, finally makes his entry in an unconventional role in Chak De India. He plays a hockey coach for a girl's team in the sports-drama that releases Friday.
This is Shimit Amin's second directorial venture after Ab Tak Chhappan, which was produced by Ram Gopal Varma and had Nana Patekar playing a cop - an encounter specialist. The director goes experimental in this film too and shows how a good coach can transform a team full of rag-tag girls into champions.
Shah Rukh is the only star who shines on the credit list. The rest of the cast comprises newcomers. And the story goes like this...
Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh), former hockey captain of India, returns to the field as the coach of the Indian women's national hockey team that exists more on paper and less in reality.
The team he is leading is a rag-tag bunch of girls with their own agenda. In pursuing their personal goals, they have forgotten what it is like to play for the love of the game.
Despite his past, he believes that anything is possible if the girls play as one team. After teething problems, Khan manages to bring cohesiveness among them and teaches them to play for the country's glory ... and not to get a pensioned job or a government flat.
<b1>As a coach he is ready to take any challenge to win a coveted international trophy. He believes that it is not that we can't win. It's just that we have never believed we can.
And he instils the same belief in his team members and they hit the field with new zest and give their all to see their country's name on a trophy.
Chak De India is the story of a coach's efforts in building Team India by overcoming the diverse backgrounds they hail from. It's a story about honesty, sincerity and integrity. A story that will remind the nation of its national sport.
A lot is at stake as far as Chak De India is concerned because sport is not a very successful genre. And the last two productions of Yash Raj Films didn't do well at the box office.
As far as Shah Rukh goes, whenever he has tried something new, the audiences rejected it. For instance Swades, Paheli and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna failed at the box office.
In terms of big hits, the year has been pretty bad. One hopes Chak De India brings relief to the box office.