The Shah Rukh Khan-starrer, Chak De! India, was released 13 years ago on this day, and the writer of the film Jaideep Sahni has revealed his motive behind penning the script.
“I wanted to tell this story for a few years. So, when Adi (Aditya Chopra) asked me after ‘Bunty Aur Babli’ what I wanted to do next, I told him that I wanted to do this film, which could somehow form a bridge between the world of women athletes and the rest of the country,” Sahni said.
Jaideep Sahni further openend up about the making of Chak De! India saying: “As I told him more about what I’d seen and felt, he agreed that it was a shame that not enough people knew about this world, and also that it could make a really great film if we got things right.”
In “Chak De! India”, Shah Rukh Khan plays Kabir Khan, a character broadly based on former Indian player Mir Ranjan Negi, who later coached the Indian women’s hockey team. SRK’s character coaches the unfancied Indian women’s team to World Cup victory against all odds in the film.
Jaideep Sahni is happy that the film became a milestone moment in Indian cinema. “Sometimes, people call ‘Chak De!’ ahead of its times but I don’t know how to judge that. It’s just that as (an) audience we get too busy in our daily lives and forget how happy something new can make us if we give it a chance. As storytellers, we are always under pressure to be entertaining, which can impose an artificial ceiling on our choice of subjects,” said Sahni.
Jaideep Sahni added that “subjects are always bigger than storytellers, and if we respect them they gently show us the way”. “Chak De! India” was feted with several awards ceremonies including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
In 2007, the film became a part of the Oscar library.