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Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal movie review

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The Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal Movie Review

An Average Film
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Rating: 2.5/5

As the team's captain puts it: “It is not about football”.

Yes, Vivek Agnihotri's film 'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal' is about everything else except football. It is about racism towards south Asians in Britain, and it is about the rise of the underdogs.

The director never makes an attempt to penetrate into the game. Rather, he is so obsessed with the idea of projecting racism that he pitches the entire plot of the movie on it. Not a single gora in the film is shown as a friend of the Asians of the Southall community. John Abraham's character Sunny, who plays for a team of whites (Aston), is repeatedly warned by his dad and a Southall coach that a bitter reality awaits him. That reality strikes home when John, despite being one of the best players, is dropped from the Aston team just because of his skin colour.

Dear Mr. Agnihotri, admitted that racism exists in the UK. But you show it in extremes in your movie.

Without beating about the bush let me come to the point. 'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal' is a pretty average film with just a few good sequences that come too late to save the sinking ship.

The movie does remind you of Chak De India in parts - a coach with a sordid past, a ragtag team of underdogs, ego clashes within the team, and the penultimate rise of the minnows. But 'Goal' fails to do even half of what 'CDI' did. 'Goal' doesn't evoke a sense of patriotism, it doesn't stir your blood, and it only manages to provide you with some wishy-washy entertainment.

Shaan ( Arshad Warsi ) is the captain of the Southall football club, comprising of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi players. The club is only for namesake, its field being used for parties and weddings to earn the extra buck. There is no coach. The players are pot-bellied and flat-footed. No wonder, the club hasn't won a tournament for decades.

Now, a bigger danger looms over the club. If they don't pay their pending lease of the last seven years, the players risk losing the club to the greedy sharks who want to make money out of turning the place into a commercial complex. Their only hope is to win the Combined Counties Football League in England and save the club through the prize money of 3 million.

Shaan finds a new coach, Tony Singh ( Boman Irani ), for the team. In turn, Tony finds a new striker Sunny ( John Abraham ) who has been dropped from an English team because of his color. But Sunny and Shaan don't like each other.

Aah...I almost forgot. There is also Shaan's sister Rumana ( Bipasha Basu ) who has a soft corner for Sunny and joins the team as the physiotherapist.

As the underdogs of Southall pull up their socks and take on the field with renewed vigour, the club's fortune begins to turn around. The end is predictable. The underdogs will eventually prevail, but not without crossing many a hurdle.

'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal' has flaws one too many. Firstly, the movie lacks genuine humour (except a few moments). Secondly, the racist angle is stretched beyond credibility. The angst of the South Asians towards the whites is understandable, but the director harps on it time and again, unwillingly making the coloured ones look no less racist. For instance, check out the tirade of John's sidekick after John is dropped from an English team.

Director Vivek Agnihotri needs a lesson in subtlety. His idea of subtlety is Tony's wife saying how beautiful different flowers look in a pot when Shaan complains about Sunny being too English to be a part of the Southall team. And how 'subtle' was Agnihotri's idea of showing the face of Sunny's dad on the stadium's big viewer-screen so that coach Tony can recognize the old man as the same person who saved him from a racist attack many years ago.

As far as performances go, John Abraham shows slight improvement in his acting abilities. The guy with a killer smile not just displays his natural flair at football, he also manages to emote well in good many scenes. Arshad Warsi is dependable as usual. His histrionics are in place. But his frame comes across a tad too stout to make him look like a footballer.

Bipasha's role doesn't put any great demands on her. Boman Irani is just about okay.

'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal' does have a few engrossing and emotional moments, mostly in the second half. The music is pretty forgettable. The team's anthem “Halla Bol” only arouses embarrassment for a viewer.

However, if you are a fan of either John Abraham or football, you will manage to sit through a viewing of 'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal'.


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