'Soorma': Movie Review

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews
Diljit Dosanj as Sandeep Kumar in Soorma
Diljit Dosanjh as Sandeep Kumar in Soorma
Soorma, directed by Shaad Ali, is the latest sports biopic from Bollywood. The subject of Soorma is the former captain of the Indian Hockey team, Sandeep Singh, who is known for his deadly drag flicks and his famous comeback after being seriously injured by an accidental gunshot that threatened to end his career. The film stars Diljit Dosanjh in the lead role. While Taapsee Pannu plays his love interest, Angad Bedi essays the character of his elder brother. The film costars Vijay Raaz, Satish Kaushik, and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.

Most sports biopics to come out of Bollywood are based on a ludicrous premise that every sportsman who goes on to become great is driven by an urge to marry the girl he loves. And, Soorma is no different. It is really the same story over and over again. Romance if done well looks good on the big screen even if it is repetitive. But the problem with Shaad Ali is that romance is not the strongest point of his direction. Yes, he was brilliant in Saathiya and decent in Bunty Aur Babli but his weaknesses were exposed in Ok Jannu which was the remake of the Tamil movie O Kadhal Kanmani, directed by his mentor Mani Ratnam. Watching the two films one can easily tell that Shaad still has a lot to learn about the art of cinematic depiction of romance from his mentor who is known for delivering films like Roja, Bombay, and Dil Se.
Diljit Dosanj as Sandeep Kumar in Soorma, with Taapsee Pannu, lovers
Diljit Dosanjh and Taapsee Pannu in Soorma
Apart from its rather placid romantic angle Soorma also suffers from some other weaknesses. Its pacing is rather slow to begin with and the story picks up pace only around the forty minute mark. Also, Dosanjh looks too old for the part of Sandeep. Moreover, the movie plays around with facts, making us question its authenticity at key junctures. Having said that the film is at its best during the Hockey sequences; there is just the right kind of tension and exhilaration needed to make them work.  
Angad Bedi in Shaadi Ali's Soorma, with Diljit Dosanj
Angad Bedi (right) in Shaadi Ali's Soorma
Overall, Soorma is an entertaining film but one that’s far from satisfying. The single best thing about Soorma is Angad Bedi. He delivers an earnest performance that may prove to be a career defining one as well just like Udta Punjab had proven for Dosanjh. Another performance to watch out for comes from Vijay Raaz who plays Indian Hockey Team’s Bihari coach. His one-liners are so brilliant that one just can’t help but applaud his delivery and timing. Then of course there is the legendary Kulbhushan Kharbanda who is always a treat to watch. Soorma proves to be a decent watch but it could easily have been much much better.

Rating: 5.5/10

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

Soorma - Official Trailer (YouTube)

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