Subtle and simple, ‘Soorma’ is unlike any other sports biopic

The film belongs to Dosanjh, who weaves through his part as dexterously as the real-life sports star plays on the field. (YouTube)
Updated 14 July 2018
0

Subtle and simple, ‘Soorma’ is unlike any other sports biopic

  • Shaad Ali’s “Soorma” is the latest Bollywood sports biopic in a long line of films in the genre
  • Soorma stands out because of its ability to steer clear of cinematic sensationalism

CHENNAI: Shaad Ali’s “Soorma” is the latest Bollywood sports biopic in a long line of films in the genre — “Chak De India,” “Mary Kom,” “MS Dhoni: The Untold Story” and “Dangal.” However, Soorma stands out because of its ability to steer clear of cinematic sensationalism and exaggerated dramatic curves. Based on the life of Indian hockey player Sandeep Singh, Ali’s work relies on sheer simplicity to narrate an amazing story.
A turning point in Singh’s (played by Diljit Dosanjh) life came when he suffered a grievous spine injury while on his way to the World Cup — a gunshot wound left him in a wheelchair and seemingly unable to play. However, good times came knocking when the well-meaning boss (Kulbhushan Karbhanda) of a hockey academy and Singh’s own sarcastic and witty coach (Vijay Raaz) ensure that the player gets top notch medical treatment. Six months later, Singh is back not only in India, but also in the team and goes on to smash records.
Behind all this is Harpreet (portrayed with subtle brilliance by Taapsee Pannu), another hockey player who pushes Singh perfect his game. Interestingly, the romance between Harpreet and Sandeep is told without distracting from the main narrative as is so often the case when a love story plays out on screen.
If she helps him learn the finer points of the game, his elder brother Bikramjeet Singh (Angad Bedi) discovers that Singh has a rare talent which he seems to have developed while driving away birds from fields and it is the discovery and molding of this talent that is such a pleasure to watch as it unfolds on the big screen.
The film belongs to Dosanjh, who weaves through his part as dexterously as the real-life sports star plays on the field.


Curious foreigners get rare chance to sample Emirati culture

Updated 19 May 2019
0

Curious foreigners get rare chance to sample Emirati culture

DUBAI: No question was off limits for curious tourists and foreign residents of Dubai wanting to learn more about Emirati culture and the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Emiratis make up less than 10% of those living in Dubai, the most populated emirate in the seven-emirate United Arab Emirates federation, making it hard for foreigners to meet them.
Dubai goes to great lengths to market itself as open to different cultures and faiths as the Middle East’s financial, trade and leisure center, and a government cultural center is inviting visitors to find out more about Emirati life.
“There are no offending questions,” said Emirati Rashid Al-Tamimi from the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding.
“How do you worship, what is the mosque, why do you wear white, why do women wear black ... is everybody rich in this country?“
Emirati volunteers gathered at a majlis — the traditional sitting room where the end-of-fast iftar meal is served at floor-level — were asked about dating and marriage, what they think of Dubai’s comparatively liberal dress codes for foreigners, and aspects of the Muslim faith.
“We learn from them, they learn from us. (Foreigners) have been here a long time and I feel they see themselves as Emiratis, and we are proud that they do so,” said Majida Al-Gharib a student volunteer.
Visitors broke the day’s fast with dates and water, before sampling Emirati cuisine, including biryani and machboos rice and meat dishes.
Seven-year-old Anthony from Poland, who goes to school in Dubai, said he came to find out more about the breaking of the fast meal because many of his friends at school do it.
2019 has been designated the Year of Tolerance in the United Arab Emirates and there is a minister of state for tolerance.