Admittedly, I've not been a major fan of Diljit's recent films. It would not be erroneous to say that when it comes to Hindi cinema, he has gone from bad ("Phillauri") to worse ("Welcome To New York") in no time at all. He is over confident to the point of being cocky.
But this may change with "Soorma", where the singer-actor plays hockey legend Sandeep Singh, seems like Diljit's return to form in full cinema's scope. He is sincere, passionate, funny, dramatic and as real as it can get, playing the hockey denizen who lost it all after a gunshot injury and regained it through sheer resilience.
A motivational story that could easily suffer the wages of maudlinism, the trailer of "Soorma" avoids getting over-sentimental by giving the protagonist the room to fly from his wheelchair. So to speak.
The trailer is an exhilarating experience. It shows Diljit wooing hockey colleague Taapsee Pannu and even getting into the game seriously just to be near her. I suspect it won't only bring back Dilijit into the fray, it will also bring director Shaad Ali back into the fray.
After a series of duds, Shaad takes charge of his hero's life story with a firm grip.
"Soorma" looks like every sports biopic we have ever seen. And that's the beauty of telling a story that motivates us into believing in the power of self discipline. There is a shot of Diljit standing forlornly with his wheelchair on a hilltop.
The visual image of the moment threatens to overpower the story of a man who fought all odds to overcome a crippling accident. Quickly, Shaad winds down the visual imagery for the more immediate task of letting Sandeep Singh's story tell itself out.
"Why are we spending so much on a handicapped man?" a boorish sports authority is heard asking in the crippled hero's hearing distance.
Subtlety is not a virtue that either Indians or mainstream Indian cinema can be accused of. "Soorma" wallows in the larger-than-life tenor, sacrificing none of the original story's bravado just to win brownie points for subtlety.
Tact can wait. Now is the time to tell the world about a hockey legend whom crippling adversity couldn't hold down. "Soorma" has to be seen.
(With IANS Inputs)