A poor clone of ‘Bend it like Beckham’

2011-10-11 00:00

MANY Indian film-makers have made movies on cricket, hockey and boxing, and now ice hockey. The film is a cross-cultural drama centred around ice hockey, with Canada as a backdrop.

Although this is a story applicable to numerous second and third-generation non-resident Indians (NRIs) in Britain, the United States and Canada, the story is plagued with clichés and stereotyped characters — a loud, boisterous Punjabi joint. Similar to Bend It Like Beckham and Patiala House, Speedy Singhs looks at the gap between the older generation (Anupam Kher) and the younger generation (debutant Vinay Virmani) who have settled in Canada.

Rajveer (Vinay Virmani) hopes to become a professional ice-hockey player. He has the potential to be a suave player, but faces many stumbling blocks. His goal is to succeed in a traditional white man’s sport, but is in constant conflict with his father’s (Anupam Kher) wish that he devote his life to his religion and the family business.

Unable to find a footing in the game, Rajveer takes matters into his own hands by forming an all-Sikh ice-hockey team, the Speedy Singhs, and tries to find a coach (Rob Lowe). This is all done without his father’s knowledge as he is faced with questions which he tries to evade.

Speedy Singhs is a pile-up of classic dog-eared clichés that rob the film of any possibility of striking flashes of revelation.

American-born Canadian director Robert Lieberman tried to bring out a Bollywood connection with an international sport, which is not even popular in India. The story line is poor, the characters weak and the film comes across as a poor clone of Bend It Like Beckham.

Debutant Vinay Virmani is charming and has lots of potential. Anupam Kher, Rob Lowe, Camille Belle and Russell Peters give of their best, of course, with a limited screenplay.

If you are keen on a sporty, family rom-com drama, then Speedy Singhs is your pick.



FILM REVIEW: Breakaway (Speedy Singhs)


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