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MAIDAAN is one of the best sports movies of Bollywood

by Joe Bourn

MAIDAAN is one of Bollywood’s best sports movies based on a National Award worthy performance by Ajay Devgn

Main characters: Ajay Devgn, Priyamani, Gajraj Rao

Director: Amit R Sharma

Maidaan Movie Synopsis:

MAIDAAN it is the story of an exemplary coach. The year is 1952. During the Olympics held in Helsinki, Finland, India horribly loses a match to Yugoslavia by 10-1. Roy Choudhry (Gajraj Rao), a prominent sports journalist and the editor of The Indian Reginald, criticizes the Indian football team. The Football Association of India, Kolkata, invites the team’s coach SA Rahim (Ajay Devgn) and asks for explanations. Raheem reasons that the players didn’t even have the right shoes. He also insisted that he needs the freedom to select players. The head of the federation Anjan (Baharul Islam) agrees with Rahim, but one of the core committee members, Shubhankar (Rudranil Ghosh), asks him to recruit more players from Bengal. Rahim rejects the request and insists that since it is the Indian team, he would take players from all over India on merit. He then tours the country to find the best footballers. Eventually he forms a new team, consisting of Trilok Singh (Manandeep Singh), Arko Das (Prashanto Sinha), Jarnail Singh (Davinder Singh), Peter Thangraj (Tejas Ravishankar), Fortunato Franco (Madhur Mittal), Pradyut Burman (Tanmay Bhattacharjee). , Arun Ghosh (Aaman Munshi), D Ethiraj (Raphael Jose), Tulsidas Balaram (Sushant Waydande), Chuni Goswami (Amartya Ray), Ram Bahadur (Amandeep Thakur), PK Banerjee (Chaitanya Sharma), Aryann Bhowmik (Neville Dsouza and others ). Rahim coaches them well and in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 1960 Rome Olympics, they put up an impressive showing. But as they face defeat, the Federation pulls Rahim back in. On the other hand, Roy Choudhry, who has a personal grudge against Rahim, is spreading his agenda against him and the Indian team. If that’s not enough, Raheem is facing a huge personal setback right now. What happens next is the rest of the movie.

Maidaan Movie Review:

The story of Saiwyn Quadras, Akash Chawla and Arunava Joy Sengupta is fascinating and what works is that not many people know this chapter of history. The screenplay by Saiwyn Quadras (additional screenplay by Aman Rai, Atul Shahi and Amit R Sharma) is highly effective and boasts of some thrilling scenes, not only on the field but also off the field. The first half, however, could have been better. Ritesh Shah’s dialogues (additional dialogues by Siddhant Mago) are strong.

Amit R Sharma’s direction is supreme. It is not easy to make a sports film especially when films like LAGAAN [2011]CHUCK DE INDIA [2017]’83 [2021] etc. they have set a benchmark and are etched in people’s minds. But Amit manages and how. It peppers the football scenes with plenty of nail-biting and thrilling moments. What also works is the politics Rahim faces and how he overcomes it. One could argue that the villain part seems a bit far-fetched, but it works beautifully, especially when Rahim answers them at several points. Rahim’s personal tragedy is another piece that contributes a lot to the film, emotionally. Apart from these factors, the innovative display of the text and the opening titles are also impressive.

On the other hand, the first half is a bit weak and the length of this hour could have been shorter. The initial football matches do not leave the desired impact and the same goes for the football practice sequence before the break. Also, some stages and tournaments are not fully displayed. For example, viewers can only watch the first South Korea vs India match until half time. Of course, in the long run, it makes sense, but at the time, it feels like the creators are trying to rush through the narrative.

MAIDAAN starts with a powerful and moving scene, depicting how the Indian team faces a humiliating defeat due to lack of shoes. Secunderabad’s Tulsidas Balaram’s entry sequence is sweet. Two scenes that stand out in the first half are Rahim blasting Roy Choudary in their first meeting and Rahim’s response to the Australian coach in the second leg. The scene where the crowd in Rome starts chanting ‘Well Played India’ is great. The midpoint is important. After the interval, the scene where Saira (Priyamani) tells Raheem to go back to football is great. Raheem’s re-election as sports coach is heartwarming and applauded. The same goes for the scene when Rahim returns after meeting Finance Minister Morarji Desai (Zaheer Mirza). However, the film takes off during the 1962 Jakarta Games sequence. The last 50-55 minutes are highly captivating and take the film to another level. The real life players show up at the end and it’s truly a riveting moment.

Trailer Maidaan | Ajay Devgn | Amit Sharma | Boney K | AR Rahman | Fresh Lime Films

Maidaan Movie Performances:

Ajay Devgn is awesome, to say the least. He has given several great performances but this one in MAIDAAN will go down as one of his greatest performances. His character goes through a lot and the way he has told it is believable. Priyamani offers capable support. Gajraj Rao and Rudranil Ghosh are great as antagonists while Baharul Islam is adorable. Istayak Khan (assistant coach Harry) is passable. Zaheer Mirza is fine. Paul Spurrier (Australian coach) is unforgettable. Among the players, the ones who leave era are Davinder Singh, Tejas Ravishankar, Madhur Mittal, Tanmay Bhattacharjee, Sushant Waydande, Amartya Ray, Chaitanya Sharma and Aryann Bhowmik. The others who give good performances are Rishabh Joshi (Rahim Hakim’s son), Vijay Maurya (Indian commentator Ramesh), Abhilash Thapliyal (Indian commentator Dev), Pacitra Sarkar (Bengal team coach Tapan Bose) and Arvinder Singh Bhati (Sondhi, who beats Indonesia).

Maidaan Music and other technical aspects:

AR Rahman’s music is soulful but not of the chartbuster variety. ‘Jaane Do’However, it turns out to be highly moving and cleverly integrated into a very important moment. AR Rahman’s song is commendable. The other song that works is “Team India Hum”. “Mirza”, “Ranga Ranga” and “Dil Nahi Todenge” do not register. AR Rahman’s background score adds to the tension and joy.

Tushar Kanti Ray’s cinematography is very good while Fyodor Lyass’s cinematography for sports scenes is excellent. The sports scenes are shot in such a way that the viewers will be drawn into the events. Makeup and hair design by Shalini Sharma Chakravarty and costumes by Kirti Kolwankar and Maria Tharakan are authentic. Khyatee Mohan Kanchan’s production planning is detailed. Redefine’s VFX is great. It will be hard for a layman to guess that the football match scenes are filmed not in Melbourne, Rome or Jakarta but on Madh Island! Dev Rao Jadhav’s treatment could have been more elegant in the first half. But he gives no cause for complaint in the second half. Shahnawaz Mosani’s editing of sports scenes is razor sharp.

Maidaan Movie Conclusion:

All in all, MAIDAAN is one of the best sports based Bollywood movies based on gripping drama, strong emotions, admirable moments and a National Award worthy performance by Ajay Devgn. At the box office, it might get off to a slow start but has the potential to show a strong jump during its long weekend due to positive word of mouth, especially in the urban centres, and thus emerge a winner at the box office. Recommended!

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