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Movie Reviews

Maidaan Review: Brilliant!

Maidaan is directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma and stars Ajay Devgn as former Indian football coach Syed Abdul Rahim.

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Ajay Devgn in Maidaan

MAIDAAN

Producer- Boney Kapoor, Akash Chawla, Arunav Sen Dasgupta

Director- Amit Ravindernath Sharma

Cast- Ajay Devgn, Priya Mani, Gajraj Rao, Chaitanya Sharma and Rudranil Sharma

Platform of Release- Theatres

Rating:

By Jyothi Venkatesh

It’s essentially a biopic on coach Syed Abdul Rahim and his determination to build a brilliant Indian Football team and win a gold medal. The film sets out to depict the inspiring story of Syed Abdul Rahim’s profound commitment to football, a journey that ignited immense pride across India.

The story starts way back in 1952 when the Indian team loses the game, and the players are injured as they play barefoot. Syed not only makes sure he brings together exceptional players handpicked from all over India but also makes them play with good shoes and succeeds in bringing gold home. He does all this while fighting the system as well as the internal local political battles.

Like the fortunes of Indian football, Maidaan’s journey has also been jinxed because of several reasons. It is sad that during the making of the film we lost the fearsome trio of P.K. Banerjee, Chunni Goswami and Tulsidas Balaram who won the 1962 Asian Games gold medal at Jakarta.

Saiyan Quadras, Aman Rai, Atul Shahi, Ritesh Shah, Siddhant Mago and director Amit Sharma have jointly written the screenplay for Maidaan. Though the movie has an extremely excruciatingly slow start, and also the film has a long duration of three hours the game pieces and the discussions between Syed and the Football committee keep you greatly interested. Though we also get a glimpse of his family life, it is very clearly established that he’s a loving husband and a father, and football is where his heart lies the most.

Also read: Bade Miyan Chote Miyan review: Action packed and gritty!

What makes the second half such a brilliant watch is the overall winsome spirit it packs most of the time. The best part is the football match sequences. The emotions, thrills and jitters you get while watching these Goosebumps raising match scenes in the movie are similar to watching a live one on TV. Such an unsung yet underdog story presented in a highly engaging way. The colour palette, atmospheric set creations, stunning cinematography and camera movements during the football matches have been superbly executed.

The highlight of the film is the pulsating sports action backed by an equally thumping as well as scintillating background score by A.R. Rahman. Russian cinematographer Andrey Valantsov’s camera breathlessly follows the men running for their dignity and the pride of the nation.

As far as the performances are concerned, I’d say that Ajay Devgn shines as Rahim, ending up as a larger-than-life figure despite a quiet, understated, dignified demeanour. Priyamani, as his wife Saira, is impressive in every scene, though footage-wise she has very little presence.

Gajraj Rao, as the devious sports journalist, hits it out of the park. The team of titans, including Chaitanya Sharma as PK Banerjee, Amartya Ray as Chuni Goswami, Davinder Singh (Jarnail Singh), Tejas Ravishankar (Peter Thangraj), Aryann Bhowmik (Neville D’souza), and other actors resemble the real-life legends to the hilt.

To sum up, Maidaan is a must-watch on the big screen for the thrilling experience and outstanding storytelling.

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