After a long time, the Indian Cricket team has done something wonderful. They brought home the ICC 20/20 World Cup. Kudos to Dhoni and his team. Many people (including former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif) have attributed this success to the recent film, “Chak De India“. I have not seen the film yet, but the media has made me aware of the story line. Shah-Rukh Khan plays the coach of the Indian womens hockey team and leads them to World Cup victory. It is a story of courage, perseverance and overall team spirit.
We see several sports films coming out of the Hollywood film factory, but this genre is quite rare in Bollywood. “Chak De” is a welcome change. And, if one film can motivate our cricket “Team India” to win the 20/20 World Cup, I hope films like this can influence and improve the overall sports scenario in our country.
“Chak De” reminds me of a long lost film that came out of Tollywood – “Koni”. Based on a wonderful novel by Mati Nandi (who also wrote some exceptional sports novels like Striker and Stopper) and directed by Saroj De, “Koni” is a heart warming film about the struggles of a swimming coach “Khidda” (played by Soumitra Chatterjee) and his trainee Koni (played by Sriparna Banerjee). Khidda (for Khitish -da) picked up Koni from the slums of Calcutta and groomed her to be a team member of the Bengal swim team at the national swimming championship. Extreme poverty, social stigma, petty sports politics – nothing could beat the indomitable spirit of “Khidda” and her protege, Koni. Kihidda’s encouraging words, “Fight, Koni Fight!” still ring in my ears. May be it is time for the big budget film makers of Bollywood to think about remaking “Koni” with the technical finesse that todays films are built with. With advanced sports photography techniques (like underwater shots), smart editing and a stellar cast, Koni is a sure winner. I am sure that under the right hands, “Koni” will become another great motivational movie that can snap out our sports authorities from their deep slumber and lead our athletes to some medals at the Olympics and other international events.
I was lucky to find the entire Koni film on Youtube (in 13 parts) and I have enclosed the playlist with this post. Watch this film and say out loud, “Chak de Koni”.