Before the release of ‘Soorma’ the real Sandeep Singh was asked why this film was not given to a big star, he said, “I did not want the film to go to a big star, be it Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar or Aamir Khan because they would not have suited the part.” Also with finding the best person to play Sandeep Singh, the producers should’ve focused on finding the best man to direct this brave story.
‘Soorma’ literally translates to someone who is brave. In the film we’ve our ‘Soorma’ in Sandeep Singh (Diljit Dosanjh). Sandeep who is madly in love with Harpreet (Taapsee Pannu), gets criticised for being a good-for-nothing in life. In order to win her love, Sandeep gets challenged to cement his position in the sport of Hockey in order to gain a reputable job. This is how the world of Hockey gets introduced to the player who was later given the pseudonym, Flicker Singh.
While playing for the country, Sandeep Singh faces a certain accident in a train which makes him partially paralysed below the waist. A hockey champion who cannot use his legs anymore gets forgotten by the people around him. But with the help of the Hockey Federation, his brother Bikramjeet (Angad Bedi) and coach Harry (Vijay Raaz), India witnesses the greatest comeback of a champion who then turns into a legend.
The story of the film has each and every ingredient to make it a classic but what it lacks is execution. It starts with displaying a cute love story, leaps on to Sandeep Singh playing for the country and confuses with the fatal accident which occurred. It requires a stable narration like ‘M.S.Dhoni – The Untold Story’ or ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ had. Even in the above-mentioned biopics we saw how the professional and personal lives of those players were covered keeping the entertainment value in mind.
Shaad Ali manages to sail the movie through the first half – thanks to some amazing writing laced up with humour and romance. It’s the second half where the real problem starts. Forced emotions minus the connection fails to maintain the momentum from the first half. A sports biopic requires some genuine commentary and a very few of them have achieved this feat. ‘Dangal’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ were successful but ‘Brothers’ wasn’t. ‘Soorma’, too, faces the same dilemma of ignoring this important aspect of commentary.
Diljit Dosanjh is Sandeep Singh in the film or even maybe better than him, after all he’s an actor. Full marks to his dedication but all goes down the drain because of other flaws. He made his debut in ‘Udta Punjab’ as a policeman, continued with the fantasy-drama ‘Phillauri’ and now ‘Soorma’ – outstanding script sense but this time he gets a master of a sinking ship.
Taapsee Pannu is cute but her character is half baked. Emphasizing only on Sandeep, director Ali (writer/director) missed to concentrate on her character. ‘Dil Juunglee’ and now ‘Soorma’ – 2018 is turning out to be a dull year for Taapsee. Hope ‘Mulk’ turns all around for her. Vijay Raaz brings the house down with his performance, he’s the best thing about the film. With his god-gifted comic timing, he evokes many laughs throughout the film.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy with the help of the legend Gulzar’s lyrics and a bunch of talented singers pack in six songs in the film. None of them obstruct the watching experience but the timing of the songs is debatable. Shankar Mahadevan’s “Soorma Anthem” leaves the maximum impact. “Pardesiya” as a standalone song is a gem but the way it’s shown in the film is a disappointment. Chirantan Das’ cinematography fails to capture the essence of the film. He’s the same guy who attained magic with ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ and ‘Dhanak’ but it seems mixing with mediocrity affected him too. Farooq Hundekar’s editing goes haywire in the second half, taking the graph downwards.
On the whole, ‘Soorma’ is a one-time watch just to see Diljit Dosanjh pouring his soul in the character of Sandeep Singh. You can skip it and wait for ‘Gold’ if watching a sports-biopic is in your watch-soon wish-list.