And the universal language is … field hockey

Chak De! India (lit. “Go for It, India!”; theatrical trailer here), a 2007 Bollywood film I happened to watch last night, hits just about every sports movie cliche: a team from disparate backgrounds who fight easily and play poorly until an inspiring coach with his own troubled past gets them to work together, whereupon they go on to win, as underdogs all the way, a world championship. But cliches are always much more enjoyable when you hear them in a different language. Plenty of chance for that, too, given the DVD’s pleasing and intriguing array of subtitle options. The bottom two are South Indian languages; the rest trace the global spread of: Indian people? Indian culture? or maybe just field hockey (I recall rooting for the Dutch women’s team in the 2004 Olympics). In any case, I went with the Spanish subtitles and thoroughly enjoyed the film—especially the moment where the team came together as one for the first time and … totally trashed a Delhi McDonald’s.

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Chak De! India (DVD Menu), Yash Raj Films, 2007 :: via Netflix

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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