Since the release of Rajkumar Hirani’s latest blockbuster “Sanju”, there’s been a growing interest about biopics on unsung heroes and achievers among Indian audiences. Earlier this month, a film based on the life of Arjuna Award-winning hockey player Sandeep Singh “Soorma” released without any fanfare or melodrama. But, hardly anyone is talking about the film.
Perhaps this is because we are attuned to lapping up stories which are very dramatic and even ‘spicy’. However, the inspiring story of “Soorma” narrated in an understated manner, really deserves our appreciation. Director Shaad Ali has recreated an impressive story of hope, dedication and inspiration based on the life of the former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh.
Set in a small dreamy city of Shahabad in 1994, the film narrates the story of young Sandeep Singh played by an award-winning Indian actor Diljit Dosanjh. His love for hockey fades away because of his strict coach. But his love for Harpreet, a character played by Taapsee Pannu of ‘Pink’ fame, encourages him to make a comeback to the game. Basically, the movie has all the crucial elements needed for a commercial biopic and yet maintains the basic core of the story.
The first half of the movie revolves around Sandeep’s family, his love interest, and glimpses of the game. The first of the movie ends with a life-changing incident where he is accidentally shot. It’s the second half of the movie that showcases the real dedication of a true sportsman, who feels a sense of responsibility towards his family and his country. Diljit Dosanjh fits into the role effortlessly and showcases Singh’s hard work and determination. He understood the depth and conflict of the character and essayed it beautifully on-screen.
Executing the balanced screenplay by Shaad Ali, Suyash Trivedi and Siva Ananth, the supporting actors played their characters with a sense of restraint and nuance. Taapsee Pannu is at her usual best in this film, her character ensures that Sandeep Singh becomes a successful Hockey player. Angad Bedi, who plays Sandeep’s elder brother Bikram also shines in this film with his performance. I feel he’s an underrated actor who definitely needs to be seen in more films.
Apart from the smaller roles played remarkably by Satish Kaushik, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and Danish Hussain, Sandeep Singh’s coach Harry, played by Vijay Raaz really caught my attention. His Bihari one-liners perfectly added humour to an otherwise emotional movie. The songs in the film are situational and add to the realistic and simplistic essence of the film.
Go watch “Soorma” if you believe in heroism, failure, and a sportsman’s determination to fight back for himself and his country. The film tells the real-life story of Sandeep Singh and the reality of his journey with no melodrama.