Chak De! India [English: "Go For It, India!"] is a 2007 Bollywood sports film about field hockey in India. It is directed by Shimit Amin, produced by Yash Raj Films, and stars Shahrukh Khan as Kabir Khan, the former captain of the Indian hockey team. After a disastrous loss to the Pakistani hockey team, Khan is ostracized from the sport. He and his mother are further forced from their ancestral home by angry neighbors. Seven years later in an attempt to redeem himself, Khan becomes the coach for the Indian womens hockey team with the goal of turning its sixteen contentious players into a champion team. After leading the womens team to the Gold, Khan restores his reputation and returns with his mother to their home, welcomed by those who had shunned them years before.
Chak De! India explores religious bigotry, the legacy of partition, ethnic/regional prejudice, and sexism in contemporary India through field hockey. Screenwriter Jaideep Sahni decided to write a fictional screenplay based on the winning of the Gold by the Indian womens field hockey team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games after reading about it in the newspaper. Thus the characters, while inspired by the real team and coaches, were invented by Sahni. Although some media outlets compared Kabir Khan to real-life hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi, Sahani has stated that he was unaware of Negis tribulations while writing the script and that the resemblance with Negis life was coincidental.
Earning over Rs 639 million, Chak De! India was the fourth highest grossing movie of 2007 in India and was critically acclaimed. Chak De! India has won numerous awards [including eight for Best Film] and received the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. The suspension of the Indian Hockey Federation in April 2008 emphasized the films influence. After a new hockey council was formed, former hockey player, Aslam Sher Khan, stated in an interview, "We have to make a Team India as you have seen in bollywood blockbuster Chak De! India. There are players from several parts of the country. We have to unite them to make a powerful force."
The film opens in Delhi, India during the final minutes of the Hockey World Cup. The game is between the Pakistan mens national field hockey team and the India mens national field hockey team, with Pakistan leading, 1-0. When Indian team captain and hockey superstar, Kabir Khan [Shahrukh Khan] is fouled, he elects to take the penalty stroke himself. However, his strike flies just above the goal, and India suffers a crushing defeat. Soon after, the media begins to circulate a photograph of him accepting a handshake from the head of the Pakistani team, speculating that Khan [who is a Muslim] might have "thrown" the game as an act of sympathy towards Pakistan. The religious prejudice exhibited towards Khan by the entire society at large forces him and his mother out of their ancestral home and into exile.
Seven years later, Indian sport officials are surprised to learn that Khan wants to coach the Indian womans field hockey team, a job no one else wants [as, an official indicates, the only long term role for women is to "cook and clean"]. Khan thus finds himself in charge of a group of 16 women from all sections of India, who are divided by their own competitive natures and individual prejudices. One of the youngest players, Komal Chautala [Chitrashi Rawat] [from a village in Haryana] conflicts with Preeti Sabarwal [Sagarika Ghatge] from Chandigarh whom she refers to somewhat derisively as "memsaab" while tough girl Balbir Kaur [Tanya Abrol] from the Punjab has an extremely short temper that impacts the team. Balbir also bullies Rani Dispotta [Seema Azmi] and Soimoi Kerketa [Nisha Nair], who are both from remote villages in Jharkhand. Mary Ralte [Kimi Laldawla] from Mizoram and Molly Zimik [Masochon "Chon Chon" Zimik] from Manipur [in North-East India] are both treated as "foreign" by virtually everyone they meet and face repeated sexual harassment. The teams captain, Vidya Sharma [Vidya Malvade], is forced to choose between hockey and the wishes of her husbands family, while Preetis boyfriend, the [fictional] vice captain of the India national cricket team Abimanyu Singh [Vivan Bhatena], is deeply threatened by her involvement with the team.
Khan realizes that he can only turn the girls into a winning team if he can help them to overcome these divisions and learn to cooperate with and help each other. Thus during the first few days, he benches a number of players who refuse to conform to his rules, including the most experienced player, Bindia Naik [Shilpa Shukla]. In response, she repeatedly attempts to encourage the players to revolt against Khan. Bindia finally succeeds and in anger, Khan resigns. As a sign of good will, however, he invites the staff and team to a going away lunch at McDonalds. The anger that the team felt towards Khan and each other evaporates, however, when some local boys make a pass at Mary and Molly. In response, Balbir attacks them, an act which leads to a brawl between the boys and the entire team. Khan, recognizing that this is their first instance of working together as a team, repeatedly prevents the staff from intervening. His only action is to stop a man from striking one of the women with a cricket bat from behind, telling him that there are no cowards in hockey. After the fight, the women [now bonded as a team] beg Khan to remain as their coach.
This newly found unity serves them through a series of additional challenges. When hockey officials suddenly decide not to send the womens team to Australia for The World Championship, the girls unite in a challenge match against the men''s team. Despite losing this match, their superb performance on the field forces the officials to change their mind and send the team to The World Championship. Once in Australia, the team faces a number of difficult matches with teams such as the Hockeyroos [Australia], the Black Sticks Women [New Zealand], the Las Leonas [Argentina], and the South Korean team [known for its use of the man-to-man marking technique]. While initially still working to overcome their differences throughout the matches, the girls learn to act as a single unit. This move eventually leads them to victory and the restoration of Khan''s good name. In doing so, they not only destroy the prejudices which once separated them, but prove to their families and country the merit of womens athletics. At the end, Khan returns with his mother to their ancestral home, welcomed by those who had shunned them years before.
* Bollywood Hungama
|Last album = Dor
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The soundtrack for Chak De! India was released on 1 August 2007 and is composed by Salim-Sulaiman with lyrics by Jaideep Sahni. The title song, Chak De! India, has become an unofficial sports anthem for India. Salim and Suleimaan Merchant composed the song with this intention.
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| title3 = Ek Hockey Doongi Rakh Ke
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Chak De! India was released worldwide on 10 August 2007. It became the third top grossing movie of 2007 in India, with revenues of Rs 67,69,00,000 domestically, and was declared a "Blockbuster." In the U.S, it opened at number 20, in the UK charts at number 11, and in Australia at number 12. It earned a total Rs 35 million in the United Kingdom, Rs 47.5 million in North America, and Rs 35 million for the rest of the overseas proceeds.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave Chak De! India a rating of 80%, based upon 5 reviews [4 fresh and 1 rotten].
Chak De! India was critically acclaimed in India and abroad. Subhash K. Jha [film critic and author of The Essential Guide to Bollywood] gave the film a rave review stating, "First things first. Chak De India is an outright winner. A triumph of the spirit. And of craftsmanship. While director Shimit Amin has crafted a film with immense staying power , and exception integrity and gusto, the thought-process behind the endearing endeavour harks back to a series of well-crafted Hollywood films about the team spirit, the low-spirited tream and the burnt-out disgraced and exiled coach who motivates the team and galvanizes his own dormant spirit into a wide-alert status." Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and argues that it has "great performances by a bunch of unknowns, a gritty pace and a marvellous restraint make Chakde India an unbridled ode to patriotism without any hysterical chest-beating. And yes, for all you SRK fans and bashers, this time the verdict gotta be unanimous: Chakde Shah Rukh! Can you better this?" India Today describes Chak De! India as, "the most feisty girl power movie to have come out of Bollywood ever. The girls, from the truculent Haryanvi Komal to the angry Bindiya, from the Punjabi Balbir to the very proper Punjabi, Chandigarh ki kudi Preeti, may be drawn from stereotypes but they shatter them with aggressive performances, staring Khan in the eye, almost defeating the Indian men''s hockey team, assaulting a gang of boys and showing the six-time Australian team a thing or two about how to win." Sudhish Kamath of The Hindu asks "when did we last make a solid ensemble film about sports - one that''s not about a few players saving the day but about the triumph of teamwork? ''Chak De'' is that rare film where the hero watches from the stands and lets a bunch of ''what''s-her-name-again'' girls do all the winning [...] At another level, ''Chak De'' is about women''s liberation. It is one of the best feminist films of our times. Next, the girls themselves are the closest we''ve seen to a representation of India in any sports movie we''ve seen. They are not 16 pretty young things. The casting is first-rate. The rawness in the performances actually makes you forget these are actors. Though we begin by warming up to the ethnic/race differences among the players, soon enough, Amin skirts their inter-racial conflicts behind the uniform, the great leveller."
Anil Sinanan of The Times adds that, "First time director Shimit Amin has fashioned a gripping film: we keep rooting for our girls even though it is fairly obvious what the final result will be. This is achieved via a script which eliminates most of the usual trappings of the formula, and focuses on the game. Romance is absent, parents are sidelined and no one breaks out into song and dance, Lagaan-style whilst training." Jaspreet Pandohar of The BBC gave Chak De! India 4 out of 5 stars stating that, "while the tale of the sporting underdog is hardly new, Jaideep Sahnis screenplay offers a rare look at a popular Indian sport often overshadowed by cricket. But its not the type of bat and ball, or the number of practice sessions that are at issue here. Instead, the gender and personal prejudices of the players underpin the story." Andy Webster of The New York Times argues that the film gave a fresh look to the conventional underdog sports film and compared the premise to the win at the FIFA Womens World Cup. Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter argues that the film is "definitely Bollywood, ashamed of neither sentimentality nor predictability. Yet its sharp-eyed view of Indian society makes for a world of difference from old-style, sugar-coated Bollywood films." Derek Elley of Variety describes the film as "a patriotic heartwarmer that scores some old-fashioned entertainment goals" and that it "is almost an anthem for Indias new-found economic clout and its recent 60th-anniversary celebrations of independence from U.K. rule -- and it gets a stirring title song from composing team Salim-Sulaiman and lyricist Jaideep Sahni [who also scripted]. Thus, its hardly a surprise when the team of 16 girls from all over India finally get it together to beat the bejeezus out of their international opponents." Apart from critics, Chak De! India tied with Taare Zameen Par for best film of 2007 according to various Bollywood movie directors such as Madhur Bhandarkar, David Dhawan, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Anurag Basu, and Sriram Raghavan.
On 30 August 2007, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences requested a copy of the Chak De! India script for a place in the Margaret Herrick library.
Chak De! India has won numerous awards including eight for Best Film from: The Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild, The Australian Indian Film Festival, The Billie Awards, The International Indian Film Academy Awards [IIFA], The Star Screen Awards, The UNFPA-Laadli Media Awards, The V. Shantaram Awards, and The Zee Cine Awards. It also received the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
After Sahini approached them both, Kaushik and Negi became involved with the development of the film. Sahini first met with Kaushik and later recalled that, "M K Kaushik and his girls taught us all we knew about hockey. Then he recommended Negi to us, because when we finished writing and finished casting, we needed someone to train the girls. Negi assembled a team of hockey players to train the girls." Kaushik also states in the same interview that, "I taught him everything about the game, starting from how the camp is conducted, how the girls come from different backgrounds and cultures, the psychological factors involved. Also how the coach faces pressure to select girls from different states and teams."
Sahini then contacted Negi and asked him to coach the actors portraying the hockey team. While not initially enthusiastic about being involved in the film, Negi changed his mind after reading the screenplay. Negi coached the cast stating, "I trained the girls for six months. Waking up at 4, traveling from Kandivili to Churchgate. We would retire around 11 in the night. It was tiring. But we were on a mission [...] They couldn''t run; couldn''t hold the hockey sticks. I ensured none of them [would have to] cut their nails or eye-brows [as the players do]. The girls have worked very hard. I salute them." Some of the actors however, such as Chitrashi, Sandia, and Raynia were cast because they were actual hockey players. ReelSports, under the direction of Sport Action Director Rob Miller, also worked with Negi to train the girls and Shahrukh Khan for the film. Of working with Khan, Negi recalled that everything was planned, "including the penalty stroke that SRK missed. That shot alone took us nearly 20 hours as I was keen that it should be very realistic. I took the help of a lot of my former teammates. But more importantly, it was so easy working with SRK. He is unbelievably modest and was willing to do as many re-takes as we wanted."
Chak De! India was filmed in India and Australia. The Australian portions were filmed in Sydney and Melbourne and used 90 hockey players cast by ReelSports Solutions and 9000 extras.
A short article about the winning of the Gold by the womens team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games inspired screenwriter Jaideep Sahni to create a film about the Indian Womens Hockey Team. Director Shamit Amin noted the lack of coverage of the womens team by the media and stated that "there are a lot of odds these players are up against".
The media often compared hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi [who faced accusations of throwing the match against Pakistan during the 1982 Asian Games] with the character of Kabir Khan in the media. In response Negi commented that, "this movie is not a documentary of Mir Ranjan Negis life". Sahani has also stated that he was unaware of Negis tribulations while writing the script and that the resemblance with Negis life was coincidental. Negi joined the production team after his name was suggested by the national coach of the womens team Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, who was with the team when it won the Commonwealth Games'' gold in 2002.
The screenplay drew from interviews with current members of the womens field hockey team as well as the coaches. Kaushik later noted that:
:Many of the incidents shown in the movie are true. How the coach actually throws a girl out when she is not listening, and then goes out himself and there are three to four other girls also standing there because they disobeyed his instructions. This happened with Pritam Siwach [...] The scene where they start fighting, happened to us when we were returning from a game in Bangalore, and some boys started passing comments [...] The actual game-situations we had to actually challenge another team after being disallowed from participating in an international tournaments qualifiers, and give it in writing, that we will qualify [...] And lastly the coachs portrayal, he goes to the match on a scooter. The team wins, but he still returns on a scooter. So the Coachs stature and status, you know, is always here.
In addition, Sahni noted that, "the story of Chak De was deeply inspired by the real life story of ex Chief National Coach Maharaj Krishan Kaushik and his Indian Womens hockey teams real feat of winning the Commonwealth and many other championships."
Chak de girls
Shortly after the films release, the media began referring to the 16 actresses who portrayed members of the team as the Chak De girls. The panel of judges at the Star Screen Awards also used this term when they awarded the 2008 Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress to the Chak De girls.
*Aliya Bose [Anaitha Nair], senior player, from West Bengal.
*Balbir Kaur [Tanya Abrol], from Punjab.
*Bindia Naik [Shilpa Shukla], senior player from Maharashtra. As the most experienced member of the team, Bindia is condescending towards everyone but her two best friends, Alia and Gunjun. She attempts to overthrow Khan after he refuses to give her power equal to her experience.
*Gul Iqbal [Arya Menon], from Uttar Pradesh
*Gunjun Lakhani [Shubhi Mehta], senior player from Andhra Pradesh.
*Komal Chautala [Chitrashi Rawat], from Haryana. Komals character is based on Mamta Kharab, the current captain of the Indian Womens Hockey Team.
* Mary Ralte [Kimi Laldawla] Substitute and Penalty Stroke specialist from Mizoram.
* Molly Zimik [Masochon "Chon Chon" Zimik], from Manipur. Mary and Molly are from North-East India and are initially treated as "foreign" by their teammates.
*Nethra Reddy [Sandia Furtado], from Andhra Pradesh.
* Nichola Sequeira [Nichola Sequeira], is from Maharashtra.
*Preeti Sabarwal [Sagarika Ghatge], the Chandigarh team captain. Her boyfriend Abimanyu Singh [Vivan Bhatena] is the [fictional] vice captain of the India national cricket team who doesnt take her commitment to field hockey very seriously.
*Rachna Prasad [Kimberly Miranda], from Bihar.
*Rani Dispotta [Seema Azmi], from Jharkhand. Rani moved from a jungle village to Ranchi and learned how to survive among her urban-born classmates.
*Raynia Fernandes [Raynia Mascerhanas].
*Soimoi Kerketa [Nisha Nair], Substitute from Jharkhand. Also from a jungle village, Soimoi struggles with language and fitting in.
*Vidya Sharma [Vidya Malvade], Goalie and Captain from Madhya Pradesh. Former goalkeeper for The Railways. Recently married, Vidyas husband attempts to force her to choose between hockey and family.
Chak De! India was screened on 30 May 2009 at the opening of the SPAR Cup in Durban, South Africa in order to welcome the Indian Womens National Field Hockey Team. The SPAR Cup is a lead up to the 2009 Hockey Champions Challenge in October. India competed against three other teams: Hockeyroos, Las Leonas, and the South African Womens National Field Hockey Team.
Suspension of ihf
The suspension of the Indian Hockey Federation in April 2008 emphasized the films influence. India Today used the film to label the event in two articles titled, "Operation Chak De impact: Jothikumaran resigns" and "Operation Chak de impact: Furore in Lok Sabha." The Indiatimes, in an article titled, "Five wise men set for a Chak De act" also argued, "It looks like Indian hockey has done a real Chak de this time around." In addition, former hockey player, Aslam Sher Khan, who was appointed by the Indian Olympic Association to head a committee which will replace the IHF, pointed to the film as a model to work towards. He stated in an interview, "We have to make a Team India as you have seen in bollywood blockbuster Chak De! India. There are players from several parts of the country. We have to unite them to make a powerful force." In another interview, he emphasized that he wants "to create a Chak De effect" on hockey in India.
The DVD was released by Yash Raj Films on 3 November 2007 as a 2 DVD pack. Subtitles in English, Arabic, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Tamil and Malayalam languages are available for the feature film. The companion DVD with special features includes 32 minutes of deleted scenes [without subtitles], music videos, a documentary on the making of the film, and guest appearances by the Chak De Girls and members of the India womens national field hockey team on CNN-IBN and NDTV.
Source : Chak De! India Wiki Page