Chak De! India
Chak De! India is one of the best movies to have come out of the Bollywood factories in recent years. The beauty of the movie lies in the fact that besides being a thoroughly enjoyable movie, it effortlessly raises so many relevant issues.
The issue of national pride. What a classic moment when Shahrukh tells the team that they are from India, not Haryana or Jharkhand or Railways. “Play for your country first, then for your team, and if anything’s left after that then maybe for yourself”.
How many of us actually care about India ? Everybody seems to want to take her for a ride. Make a fast buck…country be damned.
The issue of women’s stature in society. “Ye belan chalane wali ladkiyan kya hockey khelengi” is the attitude of so many men who see women just as someone whose only job is to cook food, raise the kids, and not have a life of their own. It is depressing to know how rampant the dowry system still is – more so in the affluent families. The richer the family, the bigger the car, or the plot of land. There are states where the guys are just commodities out to sell them. As a guy, it repulses me to think that educated people doing well in life use marriage as an instrument in getting richer.
The issue of sports, especially hockey. In India, all sports have always languished behind cricket..despite the fact that the indian team is mediocre, to be kind to them. To me, cricket seems to remind me of WWF (now WWE). You cant really guess that it is all fixed, but it is. Cricket seems similar…with all the money involved how do those 11 odd players care if they win or lose as long as they are making enough money to last them and their coming generations a long time.
One might say that ChakDe is a sports film…but it is bigger than that. It is a mirror being held to our faces to show us that it’s time to change and get up. Stop complaining and start doing your bit. Change won’t happen overnight, but someone somewhere has to start thinking that well, maybe we’ve had just about enough.