Fastest growing news site with - Latest News, Technology News, General News from different national as well as international sources.


Post Top Ad

Friday, July 13, 2018

Soorma Review: Diljit Dosanjh 'flicks' his career-best performance

A captaincy of the national hockey team, an Arjun Award recipient, someone who got into Hockey with a clear motive of impressing his lady-love, and a young sports personality who got accidentally shot right before the world cup - Hockey legend Sandeep Singh's journey surely warrants a Bollywood biopic. 

But, has Shaad Ali done justice to the story? Let's find out - 

WHAT'S IT ABOUT (Spoilers Ahead!): 

Shaad Ali's 'Soorma' brings to screen one of the greatest comeback stories of a sportsman. It chronicles the ups and downs in hockey player - Sandeep Singh's life.

A young Sandeep Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is one of the many children in Shahabad - the hockey capital of India, who have grown up with the sole dream of becoming a part of the Indian hockey team. They are all sent to Kartar Singh's (Danish Hussain) coaching centre to learn the sport. And, while Sandeep's elder brother Bikramjeet (Angad Bedi) excels through the excruciating training, Sandeep's determination soon wears off because of the unreasonably stern behaviour of his coach. 

He spends most of his childhood scaring the birds off his uncle's agricultural field with his hockey stick. But three things bring him back to the sport - one, Bikram's failure to qualify for the national hockey team, second, the family's dream of seeing one of the boys in Indian colours and third, his dreamy love for hockey player Harpreet (Taapsee Pannu). It's the third that makes him tolerate Kartar Singh's obnoxious bullying. The sport, thus, becomes the purpose of his life. 

But, his affair with Kartar Singh's neice, Harpreet, soon lands him into trouble as the heartless coach expels him from his centre. Her brother's ultimatum about getting a job through hockey, reignites Sandeep's passion for the sport. His drag-flick, first noticed by his brother, earns him a place in national hockey team coach Harry's (Vijay Raaz) academy. 

Shaad Ali invests the rest of the first half in the making of 'Flicker Singh'. But, the film ofcourse takes a serious turn right before the interval. A bullet accidentally fired by a police officer during a train journey paralyses Sandeep waist-down.

Harpreet ensures that he stands back on his foot by taking the tough-love approach. Her strong belief of her presence making him weak, makes her completely abondon him.  And, Sandeep does rise from the ashes like a phoenix after a year of therapy in Holland, but only to realise his true passion for the sport. He plays his final match, for India and not Harpreet. 


Shaad Ali won half the battle by casting the immensely likeable Punjabi actor and singer, Diljit Singh, in the lead role. He is just flawless as 'Soorma' Sandeep Singh. While we had got to see glimpses of his potential in Udta Punjab, it's Shaad Ali's film that truly explores the actor inside the Punjabi sensation. He might not be a trained actor, but he is defintely a natural. He excels in both comic and emotional scenes as he brings a rare honesty to the screen. Diljit 'flicks' his career-best performance in the film. 

Shaad Ali, Suyash Trivedi and Siva Ananth's gripping screen play ensures that you bow down to the narrative. Even if you know the real story of Sandeep Singh, you are bound to believe for that half-an-hour that he might not be able to play hockey ever again. They have tactfully amalgamated drama, emotion, comedy, thrill and romance in the film. 

At a time when audience seems to have reached a saturation point of sorts as far as sports biopics are concerned, Shaad Ali somehow manages to reinstate people's faith in the genre by staying away from genre's cliches. For example, the chairman of the hockey federation (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) isn't shown as a villain. Apart from some subtle digs at hockey rival Pakistan, the film doesn't rely on chest-thumping jingoism. 

The director seems very clear about telling the story of an ordinary man who goes on to achieve extraordinary feats. There is no attempt made to paint Diljit as a hero. He almost unabashedly plays the sport to fulfill the condition of his girlfriend's brother in more than half the film. He cries when he is in pain, he willingly moulds himself according to the people surrounding him without him having an ambition of his own, he is also gullible at times. He wears his heart on his sleeves. Basically, he is everything but a macho Hindi film hero. He is an ordinary Sikh guy who goes on to make the country proud with his exceptional game. And that's what makes the biopic all the more inspiring, relatable and heart-touching. 

While it's unfortunate that so many Indians, including me, were and perhaps still are oblivious to the life-story of such a legend, it somehow comes as a blessing in disguise for Shaad Ali. For here people don't get easy points of references to compare, like they perhaps would have in 'Sanju' or 'MS Dhoni.' 

Another strong point of the film is it's very setting. It has been shot at real locations. Singh's house, Kartar Singh's hockey stadium all become characters in themselves after a certain point of time. 

Taapsee Pannu is impressive in the role of Harpreet as she manages to hold her own in a film that barely gives her an opportunity to perform. Her restrained, nuanced and measured performance is surely going to win hearts. 

Angad Bedi is endearing as the protective and caring elder brother and so is Satish Kaushik in the role of Sandeep's father. Angad has earlier appeared in films like 'Tiger Zinda Hai' and 'Pink' but Soorma gives him his share of the spotlight. Diljit and Angad's on-screen camaraderie gives the most winsome moments. 

Among the smaller roles that stand out is Vijay Raaz as Sandeep's quirky coach. He evokes maximum whistles and laughs from the audience. His dialogues are so good that they are meme-worthy (if that's the highest standard of excellence). It's a sheer delight to see the 'Kauwa Biryani' (Run) fame take over every possible scene with his 'Bihari' swag. He is the best surprise Shaad Ali could have given to his audience. 

Gulzar and Shankar Mahadevan come together to weave magic with the music. What might have looked/sounded ordinary on YouTube turn out to become the life and soul of the film when viewed on the big screen.

The only thing that works against the film is it's timing. It's simply sad that it has come out after 'Chak De' and 'Sultan'. Though Soorma's match sequences are equally gripping, there are times when you get a 'have seen it before' feeling. That way, the film fails to provide newer experiences to its audience. 

Unlike 'Sultan' and 'Chak De' the lead character does not get what he had set out to achieve in the beginning. Sandeep and Harpreet do not end up together. But, that's the beauty of 'Soorma'. It's truly refreshing to see a director not bow down to the 'and, they lived happily ever after' narrative. The film doesn't end on a too-happy-to-be-true note and we are glad! 


Soorma might as well be called the most honest biopic to have ever come out of the Hindi film industry. It surely warrants a theatre-watch. Don't wait for it to premiere on television, go catch it in your nearest theates!


Article Type: 
Fri, 13 Jul 2018-10:46am
Date updated: 
Friday, 13 July 2018 - 11:52am
Article Images: 
Short URL:
Hide lead image: 
Page views: 
From Print Edition: 

from Daily News & Analysis

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad