Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5
SCORES WITH REALISM
Soorma Story: Soorma, a comeback story of the hockey legend Sandeep Singh is a biopic that chronicles the life and times of the famed hockey player.
Soorma Review: Welcome to Shahabad of 1994 – the hockey capital of India. It’s a small town that dreams big. A dream to be a part of the Indian hockey team and almost every child (girl or boy) is in the race.
A young Sandeep Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is also one of them but his dedication soon wears off, thanks to his unreasonably stern coach. Hockey takes a backseat in his life until his teenage years, when he falls in love with another player Harpreet (Taapsee Pannu). She reignites his passion for the game, and thereon, it becomes his purpose to live.
Writer-director Shaad Ali spends the entire first half in the making of his hero, but he keeps it light with small town moments and harmless musings between the lead pair. Of course, the film only takes a serious turn right before the interval, post which the narrative evolves into an emotional roller coaster.
While we had seen glimpses of Diljit’s potential in Udta Punjab, Soorma is the film that truly belongs to him. He captures every frame and nuance of the character earnestly and effortlessly. While his hockey skills come across as believable, what’s truly impressive is his understanding of the depth of his character.
Taapsee Pannu is at her usual best, but her track slackens the pace of the film. In the supporting cast, Angad Bedi as Bikramjeet Singh (Sandeep’s elder brother) is exceptional. He shows the restrain and heft required for his character. Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Satish Kaushik are remarkably good as well. The film offers many situational songs, but none of them strike a chord.
A captaincy of the national hockey team, an Arjuna Award recipient and a man who was accidentally shot – Sandeep Singh’s journey sure merits a biopic.
However, Shaad Ali’s narrative goes easy on the theatrics focussing more on the real turn of events, which have enough potential to inspire. There are elaborate scenes of the game, but they too are more realistic and less dramatic. The film also presents a great arc for Sandeep’s character, where he learns the importance of family and patriotism. The fact that this Indian athlete learns the importance of wearing Indian colours and playing for the country, makes this story even more special.
So if you want to know when, why, how and what happened to Sandeep Singh, Soorma is the name of the game. It is a story told with its heart in the right place, and on that count it scores. Only that, it shows you the reality, minus the melodrama.
Our overall critic’s rating is not an average of the subscores below.