Producer: Chitrangda Singh, Deepak Singh and Sony Pictures Networks Production
Director: Shaad Ali
Starring: Diljit Dosanjh, Tapsee Pannu, Angad Bedi and Satish Kaushik
I have never been a fan of any sport. Never seen a match (of any sport) in my life. But, I have a long list of sports based films I love in my head. In the recent past, there have been several notable sports films that have come out of the Hindi film industry, namely, ‘Lagaan’, ‘Chak De! India’, ‘Mary Kom’, ‘Sultan’ and ‘Dangal’.
There are also some lesser known films like ‘Aryan – The Unbreakable’ and ‘Budhia Singh – Born To Run’ that I personally enjoyed watching. Most sports based dramas have a definite structure to them. One mostly sees an underdog rising to the higher ranks in a sport, losing his sheen in the way and finally managing to regain lost glory. Director Shaad Ali has dabbled with different genres in his career and with ‘Soorma’, he tries his hand at making a sports based drama that chronicles the life and times of Sandeep Singh, a celebrated hockey player from India. Sandeep Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) trains for hockey under a very strict coach named Kartaar Singh (Danish Husain).
Unlike his elder brother Bikramjeet, Sandeep is not very serious about the sport. He is also upset with the strictness with which his coach trains everybody. Because of these two factors, he runs away from the training ground one day and leaves playing hockey altogether. Nine years later, Sandeep stumbles upon a young woman called Harpreet and instantly falls in love with her. As Harpreet is a hockey player, Sandeep decides to wield the stick again to impress her. Despite his family and team members being confident about his selection, Bikramjeet does not make it to the national team. Bikramjeet feels dejected but upon discovering that Sandeep has a special talent for doing extraordinary dragflicks, a technique used while playing hockey, he decides to guide him so that he can make it to the national team. After going through rigorous training, Harpreet gets selected in the national team and brings laurels for his country as a sportsperson. Everything is going well until one day, a bullet goes through his body and he gets paralysed.
As stated earlier, there is very little novelty one expects in a sports based film. The onus is on the writer and the director to conjure up some engaging moments and make sure that the narrative hits the high notes. The first half of the film is thoroughly engaging and puts together a good mix of several episodes like Sandeep discovering his talent and training to sharpen his skills, a sweet (but half-baked) romance between Sandeep and Harpreet and the bond that he shares with his wonderful family. The intermission point, as expected, arrives when the accident happens.
The film loses much of its steam in the second half as Shaad fails to bring to the fore Sandeep’s struggle and endurance to get back on his feet. His stint at the rehabilitation centre, grief about the fact that Harpreet has moved away from him does not come across very effectively.