Saturday, November 24, 2007


Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal is so obviously a me-too film, that whatever few merits it has are buried under its total unoriginality. The spirit is from Chak De India, the plot from dozens of underdogs-winning films (Lagaan, Goal, Shaolin Soccer, Glory Road, etc, etc.),

To this director Vivek Agnihotri (whose last film Chocolate ripped off Usual Suspects) clumsily adds the issue of racism in the UK, conveniently glossing over the racism and ghetto mentality of Asians abroad, which would be worrisome in better film.

The Southall United Football team, is made up of a bunch of out of shape Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis), who wouldn’t be allowed to play in kindergarten, leave aside highly competitive and professional League games. A snotty white woman (was the Diana resemblance deliberate?) and her oily Indian sidekick want to take over the land of the football club, whose lease is about to expire. If they want to renew it, they have to rise three million pounds.

The captain Shaan (Arshad Warsi--earnest) hopes to do it with the help of disgraced old player Tony Singh (Boman Irani-- listless) as coach. But they still need strong player, and zero in on Sunny (John Abraham—not bad at all!), who is keener on playing with a white team, but they won’t have him because of the colour of skin.

Tony – after a Dhoom-like rain sequence, convinces Sunny to join the team of losers, and they start winning. But Sunny isn’t properly desi, he is still tempted by big offer from gora club— at which his stern, unsmiling father disowns him and the team calls him “gaddar”.

Now the politics of this film is very muddled. If the whites don’t allow an Asian into their team, they are racist, but if Asians look upon the Brits with contempt— and that too in their country, it’s fine. If the whites do include a brown man in their team, and he accepts, he is a traitor (Monty Panesar, please note!).

The film promotes the worst kind of Asian narrow-mindedness and ghetto mentality and tries to pass it off as patriotism. But being British citizens and waving the Indian flag is hardly the kind of attitude that endears Indians to the rest of the world—especially in countries where they are immigrants, working and earning in a relatively liberal culture. All the men in the team are otherwise comfortably off as restaurant or garage owners, with presumably a mixed clientele, though not many blacks are visible in Agnihotri’s gaga Asian (even football commentators speak Hindi!) locality.

Silly as it may be, the film still comes together in the end, where Agnihotri presses all the Bollywood-esque emotional buttons – parents, “Hindustaniyat”, the piling of odds, Asian unity and the greedy goras being defeated at their own game. There’s Bipasha Basu lurking in the background too, as a giggly Pakistani doctor, whose sole responsibility is Sunny’s nose!


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker