Supposedly inspired by true events, this is all in all a fictional tale of how to make Lagaan with the feel of Chak De India and make the most out of the Independence Day weekend for the producers. And what better person than to take their in-house director to do so.
There is a Mr. Wadia shown as the President of IHF in the film, whilst in reality it was Naval Tata. Whilst the character is all for sport and its development, why does he keep tolerating an idiotic, non visionary office bearer Mr. Mehta as Team Manager, repeatedly, I mean even after flying down from New York personally on ground before the Olympics, and allows him to have equal rights in team decision making is rather funny.
The other 2 inspirations are the stories of Keshav Datt portrayed via Imtiaz Shah (Vineet Singh) and Balbeer Singh as Himmat Singh (Sunny Kaushal) which can be said to be similar. Rest all I guess the writer just took the team names and made characters around them.
The film is too, tooo, toooooo long. Forget that for a sports drama there should have been some form urgency of sorts on screen, but in order to just show drama for the sake of drama sake, unnecessary situations have been thrown in to create ‘twists’ to the story, which only add more of screen time showing a downtrodden Akshay, which after some time, gets to you, especially with his on/off Bengali accent and post interval lack of continuity in wig. I mean this much at least the director should have got right? You cant create, but can see right?
The film only has 2 things to watch out for.
ONE: Performances, stellar performances by Amit Sadh, Kunal Kapoor, Vineet Singh, decent performances by Sunny Kaushal, Nikita Dutta, passable by poor Mouni Roy playing the clichéd Bengali wife and a purely okay performance by Akshay.
TWO: The climax sequence, wherein Team India finally gets their act together against the Goras, with stirring music meant to hit your emotional chords and recreate the Chak De India moment.
Barring the above 2 points, the film is a waste of time wherein focus has been paid only trying to create the look of the era, but failing somewhat there in writing too. For example, why would the team need to go to a Kanheri Caves monastery to seek shelter for its players for 3 months at the cost of pawning Tapan’s wife’s jewellery, when they could have just requested Amit Sadh’s Kuwar Saab to allow them access to his stately grounds? On top of it, to specify that in the monastery there might be no non veg, but liquor is freely consumed? Why does Akshay’s Tapan keep losing access to Wadia, after having proved his worth before partition? Many more, if you try and pay attention, but the film and its director doesn’t allow you to, cos not once do you feel for any of the characters or the situations on screen.
The cheap trick of using the National Anthem and the jingoistic slogan in order to get the crowds in the cinema halls to respond, failed miserably. Cos by then, the people had seen through the movie.
It is sad that when fine actors like Akshay try to do something different, they are let down by outright poor creativity by the makers.
Does it have The Y Factor : NO
RATING : 2/5