Chak De! India had a field day with hockey and though not a match-winner, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal brought football back on screen. Come 2008, and Chandan Arora is hoping to strike the right note with carrom. Yes, that familiar family board game that is much played but little talked about.
"I think it's a pretty cool game though I'm not much of a player," says director Arora. He stumbled upon a story of struggle and success while researching for a docu-drama in a Malvani ghetto in Malad.
"It's not really a true story, it's more of an account of real lives that we've fictionalised a little. We will be shooting in Malvani and other pockets in the city that are in the right time zone since Striker is set in the mid-'80s," says Arora.
Siddharth of Rang de Basanti fame plays the carrom player, Surya. Arora informs that Siddharth and he have been in talks for the last year-and-a-half.
"We were discussing another script and had even recorded a couple of songs when work ground to a halt. I hope to make the film some day. Meanwhile, Siddharth was excited about this script, so we started Striker last month," Arora explains.
Break ke baad
Arora's earlier films Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon and Main Meri Patni Aur Woh were with Rajpal Yadav in the lead. Quiz him about Yadav and he admits that MMDBCH happened with Ram Gopal Varma's backing.
"But MMPAW was tough going since the audience had yet to accept Rajpal as a hero. So we decided to take a break from each other. The next time we work together, people should be ready with the money," Arora laughs.