Diljit Dosanjh, Taapsee Pannu, Angad Bedi, Vijay Raaz
Between Chak De and Sultan, you have already seen Soorma, so the only reason you would find yourself in the theatres for this one is because you are curious. Curious to know a little about the man who fought back from near death to give India a moment of glory for life. Most of us might feel a slight guilt about not knowing much about Flicker Singh and man whose life should be an inspiration to most Indians and sports-lovers across the globe. And yet, there are only a few who know of his glorious life.
This dramatized biopic starts with Singh’s childhood in Shahabad. Since everyone around him (including his elder brother, Bikramjeet) is playing hockey, Sandeep joins their league by default. He soon starts looking for excuses to not go for practice because his coach has a rather rude way of teaching his students. Kartar Singh (the coach, played by Danish Hussain) who is supposed to inspire young guns to help India shine in the national game, actually makes Sandeep repel from hockey. So Singh starts spending most of his time at his uncle’s farm, flicking stones instead of a hockey ball to keep birds away while his elder brother Bikramjeet (Angad Bedi) takes the coach’s ways in his stride and excels in hockey.
However everything changes all of a sudden. Bikram misses his chance at the selection. Sandeep gets infatuated with Harpreet (Taapsee Pannu) who is Kartar Singh’s niece and a hockey player. The family (specifically Bikram) notices Sandeep’s hockey flick that’s sure to get him through to the Indian hockey team, fulfilling his family’s dream to see one of their own sporting the Indian colours. Despite the many things in his favour, the only factor that tips Sandeep to take up the sport once again is his love for Harpreet. Of course, Harpreet isn’t easy to win over. However, Sandeep’s innate skill for hockey is observed by all. While he soars ahead in the team and into the final, a freak accident leaves him paralysed waist down on the eve of his big day – the world cup!
The pain and agony that follows the fateful day, numbs even the audience. It is Harpreet who jars him back to hockey with a rather aggressive pep-talk. What happens next is predictable, Sandeep gets back on his feet and plays for the country, yes, you got it… he plays for the country and not his love for Harpreet this time around.
The film as you might have guessed is a mix of what we have seen through films like Chak De and Sultan. However there are moments in the film that are extremely individualistic to only Sandeep Singh’s life. What works best for the film is the cast and the locations, the film is shot in actual locations, the real ones!
Diljit Dosanjh is a boon and a bane for Soorma. Boon because he is in his elements through out the film, he does an excellent job as Sandeep Singh. He alone could have given the film that earthy feel it needs, his comfort around the life that could be for someone in Shahabad makes the film that much more real. He is effortless, real and completely relatable in the film, then why is he a bane? Given director Shaad Ali was bent on making a Bollywood film, the fact that the subject despite being novel, held little interest in the minds of cine-goers, the film needed a little more star power to gain momentum as a Bollywood film.
Taapsee Pannu does her job efficiently, but she has little to do in the film as compared to Diljit or even Angad. Bedi and Diljit’s chemistry was more effective than that of Pannu and Dosanjh, which again works adversely for the film.
To sum up, Soorma could be an inspirational film but it hits the marquee a wee bit too late for it to leave any huge impact on the audience. Pity because here is a good director, some beautiful moments and a real story which won’t really measure up for those related to the product.