Saw Goal, or Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (2007) recently. Thought it was okay. Well named, I must say, since Dhan Dhana Dhan Dhan Karenge Goal was the Southall football club's fight song in the film!
John Abraham and Arshad Warsi deliver the performances one expects of them. While they are not extraordinary, they are not bad at all either. Boman Irani is good, while Bipasha Basu is just about average. I am sadly continuing to lose my admiration for Bips of late. Her performance in this film does not have much oomph at all.
The film strongly relies on the portrayal of emotions. In that, it succeeds. The team spirit and faith portrayed by the football club is perhaps the most effective of all reflected in the film. Some of the dialogs are well delivered. The build-up to the last game of the season is decent.
Notes on some of the effective bits in the film:
1. Right after opening credits we see a bunch of soccer players cleaning up a stadium that looks like it served as a wedding site the night before. A very accurate depiction of the desi community and several of their [or should I say 'our'] weddings. Sad, but true.
2. The donation box is collected by the players from outside the stadium, and in it lie a bunch of notes with trash talk.
3. The first instance of the Arshad Warsi-John Abraham altercation.
4. The scene in the grocery store with John Abraham and his father. Well executed!
The film is hardly flawless, though. Some of the on-field scenes will remind the viewer of a certain hostile relationship between two players who did not believe in passing the ball to their rival within the team. Some of the game sequences could have been much shorter. Finally, I thought a lot of the scenes were rather loud. Maybe the theme warranted that, and maybe desi soccer players in Southall would behave like that. But maybe they would not? It would have been nice to have some balance.
Overall, a decent attempt which makes for a decent viewing experience. Two stars for an about average film.
My rating: ** (Average)
Movie classification: PG-13 (for language, portrayals of racial abuse)