By Arab News
By Gautaman Bhaskaran
Shaad Ali’s “Soorma” is the latest Bollywood sports biopic in a long line of films in the genre — “Chak De India,” “Mary Kom,” “MS Dhoni: The Untold Story” and “Dangal.” However, Soorma stands out because of its ability to steer clear of cinematic sensationalism and exaggerated dramatic curves. Based on the life of Indian hockey player Sandeep Singh, Ali’s work relies on sheer simplicity to narrate an amazing story.
A turning point in Singh’s (played by Diljit Dosanjh) life came when he suffered a grievous spine injury while on his way to the World Cup — a gunshot wound left him in a wheelchair and seemingly unable to play. However, good times came knocking when the well-meaning boss (Kulbhushan Karbhanda) of a hockey academy and Singh’s own sarcastic and witty coach (Vijay Raaz) ensure that the player gets top notch medical treatment. Six months later, Singh is back not only in India, but also in the team and goes on to smash records.
Behind all this is Harpreet (portrayed with subtle brilliance by Taapsee Pannu), another hockey player who pushes Singh perfect his game. Interestingly, the romance between Harpreet and Sandeep is told without distracting from the main narrative as is so often the case when a love story plays out on screen.
If she helps him learn the finer points of the game, his elder brother Bikramjeet Singh (Angad Bedi) discovers that Singh has a rare talent which he seems to have developed while driving away birds from fields and it is the discovery and molding of this talent that is such a pleasure to watch as it unfolds on the big screen.
The film belongs to Dosanjh, who weaves through his part as dexterously as the real-life sports star plays on the field.