Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Celebrating difference

The Hindu, August 26, 2007


Like thousands of others across the country, I too went to see the new hit film “Chak de India”. Not because Shahrukh Khan is acting in it. Not because I love Hindi films. Not even because everyone is talking and writing about it. I went because I was curious to see what a mainstream Bollywood filmmaker would make of a subject that deals with a game that is hardly written about, that is field hockey, and one that centres on women’s hockey.

Rare attempt

The film certainly does not disappoint although I found the constant harping on patriotism a little cloying. It attempts to tackle several issues rarely written about, leave alone shown in popular cinema. Such as the claustrophobic connection between “national honour” and sport, any sport and not just cricket. The double burden that Muslim sportsmen and women in this country must shoulder by virtue of belonging to a religion that has defined the nationhood of a country perceived perpetually as the chief rival in every venture, including sport, and that is Pakistan. The political and bureaucratic interference that is the rule in the way our world of sports is governed. And in addition to all this, factors common to all sports, the fact of being a woman who wants to excel in a given sport. Surprisingly, the film does manage to touch on all these aspects in a fairly honest and straightforward manner.

(To read the rest of the article, click on the link)

No comments: