• Sunday, June 23, 2024


‘Maidaan’ Review: An entertaining sports-drama featuring a match-winning performance from Ajay Devgn

Maidaan Poster

By: Mohnish Singh

Maidaan marks Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn’s quick return to the silver screen weeks after the release of his recent film, Shaitaan. His new film depicts the inspiring journey of coach Syed Abdul Rahim and the golden era of Indian football during the 1950s and 60s. Directed by Amit Sharma, the film delivers a heartfelt homage to a forgotten hero of Indian sports, albeit with a few pacing hiccups.

In the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, the Indian football team loses by a big margin to Yugoslavia. Indian team football coach Syed Abdul Rahim (Ajay Devgn) explains the reasons for the loss to the Football Federation of India. He suggests that if the federation wants the team to score victories in future tournaments, he be allowed to form a new team with a new set of players. S.A. Rahim travels across India to find out the best players. The rest of the film focuses on Rahim’s eventful journey and how his team goes on to win in the Asian Games, fighting against all odds.

Set against the backdrop of post-independence India, Maidaan immerses viewers in the tumultuous yet exhilarating world of football. While the narrative occasionally feels sluggish, particularly in the first half, Sharma ensures that the characters remain the beating heart of the story. The film intricately weaves personal struggles, societal challenges, and the fervent passion for the sport, crafting a rollercoaster of emotions that resonates deeply.

The real standout of Maidaan lies in its remarkable portrayal of sports action sequences. From nail-biting matches to intense training montages, the film captures the essence and adrenaline of football with breathtaking authenticity. Every kick, every goal, and every victory feels exhilaratingly real, thanks to the meticulous attention to detail and stellar cinematography.

At the center of it all is Ajay Devgn, delivering a career-defining performance as coach Syed Abdul Rahim. Devgn embodies the essence of Rahim with gravitas and conviction, seamlessly transitioning from moments of fiery determination to poignant vulnerability. His portrayal infuses the character with depth and humanity, making Rahim’s journey from obscurity to legend all the more compelling.

Supporting performances also shine, with a talented ensemble cast bringing the era to life with authenticity. Whether it’s the camaraderie among the players or the emotional turmoil faced by Rahim, each character feels fleshed out and relatable, adding layers of richness to the narrative tapestry. Actress Priyamani also does justice to her character.

Despite its occasional pacing issues, Maidaan ultimately emerges as a stirring tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of sports. It reminds us of the untold stories that shape our nation’s history and celebrates the unsung heroes who paved the way for future generations.

With its captivating performances, breathtaking visuals, and heartfelt storytelling, Maidaan scores big on both the field and the screen, making it a must-watch for every cinema enthusiast.

Maidaan is set to hit cinemas tomorrow April 11, on the auspicious occasion of Eid.


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