iljit Dosanjh as Sandeep Singh is spot on. And that is the film’s biggest triumph. Whenever Dosanjh is on screen, we are with him.
Soorma doesn’t rouse as much as it should. It doesn’t stop to feel its own heart beat. It tick-marks all the boxes and explores none. The goalposts are broadened – it drags home the same age-old clichés, and flicks our sensibilities by the wayside.
Considering the fact that Singh – an Arjuna awardee - created a world record for the drag flick, led the Indian national hockey team, and have 2012 Summer Olympics to his credit, the hockey matches shot for Soorma lack the power of international games. Since most of the viewers have watched Chak De! India and are aware of its impact, you are bound to miss the frenzy. Soorma has good intentions but not sufficient emotional heft.
Soorma doesn’t attempt to probe beyond the obvious, even if you don’t know the real story. With 131-minute duration, Soorma presents Sandeep as the ultimate boy scout. A tinge of reality wouldn’t have hurt.
If you are looking for an unusual story of an unsung hero, go and watch Soorma. Promise, it’s not a glorification of an Indian sportsman on silver screen.
Diljit Dosanjh's striking self-possession, like the champion he's portraying, doesn't let it come in the way of a performance that screams g-o-a-l.
Soorma is more drag than flick, a hockey film sans genuine impetus. It is nowhere near the league of Chak De India despite telling a story that is no less intense than a wrongly victimized coach's struggle for redemption. Come to think of it, the Shimit Amin film was made over a decade ago. Why hasn't the Mumbai movie industry delivered another sports drama quite that good? The reason is obvious: Bollywood just doesn't do sports well. Its rules militate against the genre. Soorma, a wasted opportunity, demonstrates why and how.
...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.
Soorma is more a drag than a flick. It is a shame because this was Bollywood's chance to regale the audience with an inspiring story of a sportsman, whose return to hockey after a life-threatening incident was nothing less than miraculous. The film falls supremely short of harnessing dramatic potential and is just another hackneyed run-of-the-mill biopic. A champion is turned into a colourless Bollywood hero.
All said and done, despite remarkable performances by everyone Soorma is a disappointment as a movie. The story of Sandeep Singh needed a detailed narration which gets narrowed down to a paper-thin plot in Soorma. Watch it just for Diljit Dosanjh, Taapsee Pannu & Vijay Raaz.
The flaws notwithstanding, I would recommend ‘Soorma’. This is an inspiring story that needed to be told and needs to be watched. The movie may lack the sheen of some recent biopics, but I’d still say you go and watch it. Indian hockey, which probably deserves much more, deserves nothing less.
With Soorma, Shaad Ali confidently gets to the centre, keeps his impulses under check, and plays it totally narrow, and fully straight. And, yes, he hits home, alright. This is possibly his best work yet
Diljit Dosanjh is lovable in a biopic that's not as inspiring as the true story it draws on...
Diljit Dosanjh’s Soorma has it’s moments and the actor-singer puts in an earnest performance. You will fall in love with his extremely supportive uncle and parents. However, given the fact that Sandeep is not as widely known as some other Indian sportsmen (read cricketers), a more fleshed out story would have been far more engrossing.
Soorma just makes you happy for the unsung heroes whom cinema has the power and reach to put on a pedestal.
Soorma applauds a deserving figure who has received national honours but sadly, hasn’t been celebrated with the same fervour. A worthy hat-tip!
Audience Reviews for Soorma
'Soorma' isn't a befittingly jingoistic or feeble biographical film: instead it goes from the rousing, via evocative, to the soaring aspects of the filmmaking. While Diljeet Dosanjh is refreshing, Taapsee Paannu brings surprises in her leading lady. The excellent cast also does well.
But the scriptwriting is the best thing about 'Soorma'. It never flickers, even when it doesn't show enough light to the circumstances. It is a film that mugs up all of it lazily towards the climax, but finally, you stay with the film, despite these contrivances.
It's been an exciting month for sports lovers with many high profile tournaments happening across the globe such as the World Cup, Wimbledon, Champions Trophy etc. Even the film industry have sought inspiration from such athletes over the years & have made biopics on them such as "Mary Kom", "M.S Dhoni", "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" etc. The latest to join this list is "Soorma" which is based on our ace drag flicker, Sandeep Singh who went through a career ending accident & rose from the ashes like a phoenix. With another biopic "Sanju" going great guns at the box office, it remains to be seen whether this will evoke similar reactions from the audience.
Over the years, we have had some incredible hockey players & a significant number of them hailed from Punjab. Sandeep Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) was also from the same state & thrust into the game pretty young to follow in the footsteps of his brother Bikram (Angad Bedi). However, he didnt pursue it for long as he detested his coach Kartar Singh (Danish Hussain), who was an extremely tough task master. But he decided to take up his hockey stick many years later, in order to impress Harpreet (Tapsee Pannu), a fellow player; rather than love for the game. It so turned out that he gets moulded into a brilliant player under the watchful eyes of Coach Harry (Vijay Raaz) & attracts the attention of the Hockey Federation who inducts him into the national team without fail. But even before he could make a significant mark, his career was cut short by an accidental gun shot into his spine which left him hemiplegic. The rest of the movie tracks his journey from the bed to the pinnacle of the game.
Biopics has been one of the most favoured genres in our industry in recent times & Shaad Ali, known for movies like "Saathiya", "Bunty Aur Babli", "Ok Jaanu" etc., decided to give it a try. The first half was fine as it basically tracked Sandeep's journey from childhood to the time he began to make a name for himself. It's the latter half which actually get us invested in the story & steadily builds to the climax. The highlight of the movie is the excellent star cast, each of whom was perfect for the role & gave a sincere performance. However, it does have its share of pitfalls as well & that's primarily coz of the lack of exciting moments on the hockey field, the rather ordinary manner in which the games were choreographed, team dynamics & Tapsee reduced to merely a muse rather than the talented player that she is portrayed as. The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy was praise worthy & in sync with the mood while Chirantan Das's visuals were fine.
As mentioned earlier, each & every artist has done an impressive job. Diljit was perfect as the protagonist who exudes charm & conveys all range of emotions with utter ease. It was hard to believe that he isnt a hockey player as his body language, aggression etc all seemed natural. Angad Bedi had me stumped with his excellent act & hopefully, more film makers will give him meaty roles. The same amount of praise applies to the rest as well such as Tapsee, Vijay Raaz, Sathish Kaushik, Seema Kaushal etc.
Verdict: Sandeep Singh was instrumental in India winning the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 & led the nation to the 2012 Olympics. However, his biopic is unlikely to make as much of an impact despite the excellent & sincere performances by the artists. It is nowhere near the league of "Chak De" even though the core story that it conveys is equally as intense. There is no doubt that "Sanju" made matters tough but if more thought had gone into the screenplay, it would have done much better business at the box-office. Anywaz, it's still worth a one time-watch!!!