Chak De! India is a 2007 Indian sports drama film about field hockey in India. Directed by Shimit Amin and produced by Yash Raj Films, the film stars Shahrukh Khan as Kabir Khan, the former captain of the Indian hockey team. In the plot, after a disastrous loss to the Pakistan hockey team, Khan is ostracized from the sport. He and his mother are further forced from their ancestral home by angry neighbors. Seven years later in an attempt to redeem himself, Khan becomes the coach for the India women's national field hockey team with the goal of turning its sixteen contentious players into a champion team. After leading the women's team to the Gold, Khan restores his reputation and returns with his mother to their home, welcomed by those who had shunned them years before.
Chak De! India explores religious bigotry, the legacy of the partition of India, ethnic and regional prejudice, and sexism in contemporary India through field hockey. Production for the film began after Jaideep Sahni decided to write a fictional screenplay based on the winning of the Gold by the Indian women's field hockey team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games after reading about it in the newspaper. Thus the characters, while inspired by the real team and coaches, were invented by Sahni. Although some media outlets compared Kabir Khan to real-life hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi, Sahani has stated that he was unaware of Negi's tribulations while writing the script and that the resemblance with Negi's life was coincidental.
Made on a budget of 24 crore (US$4.37 million), Chak De! India earned a worldwide gross revenue of 105.65 crore (US$19.23 million). By the end of its theatrical run, Box Office India declared the film a "blockbuster." It also became the third highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2007. Chak De! India was critically acclaimed and went on to win numerous awards in the Best Film category including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
The suspension of the Indian Hockey Federation in April 2008 emphasized the film's influence. After a new hockey council was formed, former hockey player, Aslam Sher Khan, stated in an interview, "We have to make a Team India as you have seen in bollywood blockbuster Chak De! India. There are players from several parts of the country. We have to unite them to make a powerful force."
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“But nothing in India is identifiable, the mere asking of a question causes it to disappear or to merge in something else.”
—E.M. (Edward Morgan)