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Soorma  : Hockey, Humour & More
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Friday, July 13, 2018
Shaad Ali
Diljit Dosanjh, Tapsee Pannu, Angad Bedi, Danish HusainDiljit Dosanjh, Tapsee Pannu, Angad Bedi, Danish Husain

After a series of indifferent films like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Kill Dill and OK Jaanu, director Shaad Ali finally focuses on a subject worth a film. The dramatised biopic of Sandeep Singh who was an inspiration for kids in Punjab to pick up the hockey stick and start playing the sportmakes for a good story to tell.  


Many players covet the India jersey butcoaches are important. The country would have never heard of drag flicker Sandeep Singh if it had been left to a ruthless local coach who substituted rigorous training with sadistic overkill. It put off many kids including the young Sandeep who swore off hockey forever. It was only nine years later that he returned to the field when as an adolescent he was wooed back into the game by pretty Harpreet Kaur, herself a focussed hockey player.  This time he got himself a better coach who got the best out of him.


He learnt hockey for Harpreet, he wore the India jersey for Harpreet, he even tolerated her coach’s beatings for her. It was a huge leap when he went from Punjab to Poland to play in the 6-nation series and came up trumps against Pakistan. An Indo-Pak battle on the sports field is always the mother of all matches for both countries. He returns triumphant as Flicker Singh for his unbeatable drag flicks.


But the story of Sandeep Singh is more about his battles off the field. In the prime of his career, an accidental gun shot paralyses him. Thereafter, his rehabilitation and return to captain India is what makes his story so inspirational. It wouldn’t have been possible without his fine coach and the Federation itself pitching to cover the cost of sending him to Holland for rehab. It wouldn’t have been possible without the robust support of his family. But it needed Sandeep’s own positivity and determination and that’s the take-away from Soorma, the fighter.


Shaad Ali uses a simple, straightforward narrative to unspool Sandeep’s story.Harpreet’s own contribution to his recovery is from a distance because she believes that as long as he has her by his side, he won’t even make the attempt to get out of his wheelchair. And she’s right. But Shaad’s narrative leaves Harpreet’s own hockey career and her role in Sandeep’s life later on incomplete. 


He ends instead with the actual footage of the real life Sandeep Singh, looking fit and robust, as he gets the Arjuna Award from President Pratibha Patil.


Watching that you know the casting has been perfect as Diljit Dosanjh, extremely fit and agile, makes a perfect Sandeep Singh. The slim-trim Taapsee Pannu as his muse Harpreet is cute and warm. Satish Kaushik is outstanding as Sandeep’s father. Angad Bedi is fine as the older brother. And Vijay Raaz as the coach is very impressive.


Verdict: There’s earthy humour, a touch of romance and feisty Punjabi music for a good sprinkling of entertainment. It’s not brilliant cinema but it’s a great life, chronicled in an uncomplicated manner.

For a simply told inspirational story, Soorma gets a 3* rating.


Direction: 3/5
Screenplay: 3/5

Dialogues: 3/5
Story: 4/5

Music: 3/5


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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