Golondaaj is about the story of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, the actual known made father of the Indian football. The film highlights his life and how he built a team of Indian footballers to play against England. The team refuses to succumb to prevailing caste discrimination, and encounters with colonial rulers go far beyond sport – it symbolizes colonial India, which faced a great empire in all its breadth and power.
The film begins with the young Nagendra:
Who has a mind of his own and showed his love for the football from an early age. Football was a British sport at the time. And Indians were strictly forbidden to play the game and step on the ground.
How Nagendra grew up as a promising young man. With a heart for his country and turned a bunch of rags into a team. That could beat England is the basis of the story. There are considerable obstacles in his way and even death threats, but he refuses to bow. Legend has it that he was the first to introduce football in India and create several clubs in Bengal to promote football.
Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, a reformist family, dreams of beating England. In their football matches when Indians are hit to touch the ball or even watch the game. This story shows the grain of sand, his broken heart, and his resurrection. But most of the journey is fascinating. Since this film aptly reminds us of the adage that “history is made by winners, not losers”, we can imagine what to expect.
But what holds us in our seats is the excellent performance:
From almost all of the supporting actors – team members, antagonists and even Ishaa Saha, who is only on screen for a few minutes and has very little dialogue. It’s great to see her seamless chemistry with Dev. Anirban Bhattacharya (senior) is also a thief in the series as a cartoon villain. Agnigit Saint steals hearts with his fickle but unmistakable loyalty. Every team member leaves a decisive mark, no matter how small their presence on the screen.
Ujan Chatterjee deserves to be called very special. That’s natural, both on stage and screen. Indrani’s Roy as Captain Jitendra shows undeniable arrogance despite being late in entering. You can’t help but hate Alex O-Neil as a British officer looking to win the game by hook or crook.
Golondaaj is strong, long and relaxed.
The usage of certain songs, especially the Vande Mataram, in the middle of a crucial match is undoubtedly questionable. I feel entirely unnecessary. Shiva Shambhu, who presented Anirban Bhatacharia to the audience, was funny and out of place. However, the actor’s performance is quite good. He also narrates the first fragment of the film. At first, the story is a bit longer than the visual presentation.
The focus of this film is the actor Dev, who manages to bring the story together and deliver a delightful performance. The unique “developers moments” – the roar, the run – that characterize the actor should not be missed. An exciting addition to the story is the revolutionary Bhargav played by Anirban Bhattacharya. He has matured, and his Bengali pronunciation, which has received criticism in the past, is now much better.
Not only Dev and Anirban, the whole group of actors, especially the football team members, did a great job. The story is also straightforward but hampered by unnecessary songs. The story highlights are well worth a look. Particularly noteworthy is the music from the Bikram Ghosh film. The only downside seems to be the film’s length ascan round it in a lot less time.
Although the film is distinctly reminiscent of “Lagaan”, it behaves in its way due to its unique narrative. Choreography, art direction, and editing are also worth mentioning.