Home Movies Reviews ‘Maidaan’ (2024) Movie Review - Ajay Devgn is Terrific in this Affecting Biopic

‘Maidaan’ (2024) Movie Review - Ajay Devgn is Terrific in this Affecting Biopic

The film is based on the life of Syed Abdul Rahim, the manager and coach of the Indian national football team, who is considered the founder of Indian football.

Vikas Yadav - Sun, 14 Apr 2024 14:17:52 +0100 847 Views
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There is a sweet nostalgia in almost every frame of Amit Ravindernath Sharma's Maidaan. A bridge is engulfed with warm yellow lights, the neon sign boards shine on the streets at night, shirts are tucked into long pants with a belt fastened around the waist, and the hairs are oily and combed. It feels as if Sharma is fondly remembering a time when people had great aspirations when they used to educate themselves through books and radios instead of doom-scrolling on Instagram. But Sharma doesn't blindly indulge in nostalgia. He cracks the wistful facade by putting the present into the past. You hear about democracy, see a dishonest news reporter, and observe the effects of a statement against a political figure that at first enrages a journalist and then the citizens. A colleague of Syed Abdul Rahim (Ajay Devgn) and a sports writer named Roy Chaudhary (Gajraj Rao) talk in terms of "us" vs "them." Meaning: They prefer the people of Kolkata over the people of Hyderabad. They want someone from their state to coach the players. They also want to see their talented sportsmen in football.

Rahim points out that he is forming a team consisting of Indians - there shouldn't be discrimination between the South and the North. Later, a player tells Roy he is from Team India when the latter asks him about his home. What all this means is that Maidaan is not simply a sports movie or a biopic. It's a reminder that this country is not owned by a single state, group, or religion, and this message is presented without overly obvious lectures. Also, notice how it's mostly the people in power who either discriminate or stir up trouble through their statements. The people who really care about this game want to see India on prestigious platforms, and the Indian football players want to make their country proud by winning medals. The players never attack each other on the basis of their caste or religion. They unite to achieve a single goal, and their friendship fills you with rapture.

The football matches are well-shot and well-choreographed. There were moments when I was biting my nails in anticipation. Could Maidaan have removed a shallow villain like Roy? Could the film have done without sneering opponents? I don't know what that version of Maidaan would have ultimately looked like, but I didn't mind the clichés here. They did their job well. I almost applauded when Rahim responded to that coach, who labeled India's win a fluke. And Rahim, or more accurately Devgn, is the main reason why Maidaan proves to be so wonderful.

I am loving this streak of awesome performances from Devgn. In films like Singham, Raid, Shivaay, Baadshaho, Tanhaji, Bhuj, and Runway 34, the actor looked as enthusiastic as a wet towel. Then, we saw Devgn in his best form in Gangubai Kathiawadi, RRR, Bholaa, and recently in Shaitaan. He is once again terrific in Maidaan. Devgn makes Rahim's feelings palpable. He pulls you into the film with the force of his emotions, which, when combined with the tunes of the Jaane Do song, melts every corner of your heart. This is why those final moments that aggressively underline Rahim's health disconnect you from the ongoing event. It's all unnecessary and too much. The film could have created more dramatic beats between Rahim and his wife, Saira (an excellent Priyamani). The scene where Rahim is reelected as the coach could have benefitted from more buildup. Nonetheless, Maidaan is affecting and pushes all the right buttons. Its strengths overshadow its weaknesses.

Final Score- [8/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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