The Scot recently returned from six weeks in India, so a bunch of us headed to the local Hindi movie theatre to watch Chak De India.
First of all, I'm a sucker for sports movies where female athletes kick ass. (That's what three years of low fan attendance at and more losses than wins in JV softball and varsity soccer games does to your psyche...)
The sports-movie genre has many elements: the initial sporting humiliation or challenge; individuals with various ethnic, religious, and regional backgrounds who must overcome their differences and be a unified team; the showdown; and finally redemption. In Chak De India, the pre-story is the field hockey player who cost India the World Championship game against Pakistan. Years later, he goes on to coach the women's national field hockey team. No one believes they are "real" athletes, and they have to overcome their pursuits of individual glory and in order to win. But of course, he still has the ghost of his own lost championship to haunt him.
The story is a familiar one, obviously. But the refreshing aspects included the omission of any romance story of any kind, a kickin' soundtrack (which I have already downloaded), and the fact that it's field hockey.
And, of course, female athletes who kick ass.