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‘Maidaan’ Movie Review: Ajay Devgn Scores A Winning Goal As Football Coach SA Rahim | Movies News

Film: Maidaan
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Priyamani, Boman Irani, Keerhy Suresh 
Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma
Producer: Boney Kapoor
Rating: 3/5 Stars 

In a cricket-obsessed nation and as the IPL fervour sweeps the country, comes a heartwarming film celebrating Indian Football. 
Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan takes us back in time to the 1950’s and 60’s long before India’s sporting achievements were directly proportional to India winning the Prudential Cup in 1983. Amit Sharma’s directorial introduces us to an unsung hero of Indian sports in this case football coach, Syed Abdul Rahim, who gave his all in scoring a winning gold in the 1962 Asian Games.

Ajay Devgn plays Syed Abdul Rahim, popularly known as SA is a man driven by conviction and determination. He is well aware the disadvantages supersede the advantages, in coaching a team who are unsure of its abilities and strengths. SA is a maverick, his ideas seem revolutionary and he not only rebukes the conservatives but calls out the politics of the time, and the corruption inherent in the system, especially sports. He is a socialist and secular in his ideals. SA believes in his team and picks those who merit being in the sport, based on talent irrespective of background and connections.

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He tells his team before the final match between India and South Korea in the 1962 Asian Games that even though there are 11 different individuals, on the field they are one, they are India! It does remind one of Shahrukh Khan’s coach Kabir from Chak De. But you cannot help but wonder that decades down the line Indian sport continues to battle corruption in selection processes and politics which mar sportsmanship.

SA’s biggest adversary is a ruthless yet influential journalist Roy Choudhury played to the hit by Gajraj Rao. Choudhury leaves no stone unturned in calling SA, his ideals and him out.

Ajay Devgn who emotes through his eyes, his brooding intensity takes on the vindictive Choudhury. Priyamani is Runa Rahim, SA’s wife who shows quiet resilience through her husband’s most trying times. His family stand by and supports him.

But Maidaan with a run time of three hours, gets a bit tiresome, and its pace dips. The writing lags in bits and a lot of loose ends could have been tied up or edited.

But is Maidaan worth watching, yes!  There is something enthralling about sports dramas as it replicates life in many ways. Your spirits sag in defeat and the adrenaline rush of victory is well felt. Maidaan is a celebration of sports and one man’s dedication to it. 

Watch the trailer here: 

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