Maidaan

Maidaan (transl. Field) is a 2024 Indian Hindi-language biographical sports drama film co-written and directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma and produced by Akash Chawla, Arunava Joy Sengupta, Boney Kapoor and Zee Studios.

Sports action by Rob Miller and ReelSports. Ajay Devgn plays the role of Syed Abdul Rahim, a pioneering football coach in India between 1952 and 1962.

Maidaan
Maidaan
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAmit Sharma
Screenplay bySaiwyn Quadras
Aman Rai
Atul Shahi
Amit Sharma
Dialogues by
Story bySaiwyn Quadras
Akash Chawla
Arunava Joy Sengupta
Produced byZee Studios
Fresh Lime Films
Akash Chawla
Arunava Joy Sengupta
Boney Kapoor
Starring
CinematographyTushar Kanti Ray
Fyodor Lyass (sports)
Edited byDev Rao Jadhav
Shahnawaz Mosani (sports)
Music byA. R. Rahman
Production
companies
Distributed byCCC Studios
Release date
  • 10 April 2024 (2024-04-10)
Running time
181 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageHindi
Budget₹235 crore
Box officeest. ₹68.09 crore

The film's preview shows were released on 10 April 2024. Theatrically the film was released worldwide on 11 April 2024, coinciding with Eid. Despite a positive critical reception, the film bombed at the box office grossing ₹67 crore worldwide.

Plot

At the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, the Indian national football team faces a major defeat against Yugoslavia with a score of 10-1. The members of the All India Football Federation blame the coach Syed Abdul Rahim for the team's underperformance. Rahim requests for permission to form another team with new players. The members of the federation are reluctant, especially Subhankar, but he receives support from President Anjan, who grants him permission. Rahim then scouts for players from all over India and forms a new team consisting of Tulsidas Balaram from Secunderabad, Peter Thangaraj from Hyderabad and P. K. Banerjee and Chuni Goswami from Calcutta among others. Roy Choudhary, an influential journalist from Calcutta holds a grudge against Rahim, as he has formed the team with very less number of players from Calcutta. At a party organized for the new team, Rahim and Roy Choudhary have a bitter exchange, where they humiliate each other.

At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the Indian team prepares to play against Australia. A player from the Australian team disrespects Neville D'Souza and makes him tie his shoes. Neville goes on to score a hat-trick and the Indian team wins the match with a score of 7-1, leaving the Australian team in shock. The Indian team eventually secures the fourth position at the Olympics. Meanwhile, Roy Choudhary and Subhankar plan to remove Rahim from the federation and make Subhankar the President. At the 1960 Summer Olympics the Indian team is pitted against France, which is considered the best team in the world. The match draws with a score of 1-1 and the Indian team fails to qualify. The federation removes Rahim as coach for the Indian team on the grounds that the team has failed to give a good performance for a long period of time. Rahim also learns that he has developed lung cancer due to his excessive smoking and will not live long.

Rahim decides to spend his remaining days at home with his family and has frequent coughing fits. His wife, Saira, motivates him, telling him to not give up and pursue his dream of leading the Indian team to win a gold medal. Rahim requests the federation to let him coach the team again and promises that if the team does not win a gold medal, he will not coach any team again in his life. Subhankar, who is now President, initially refuses but has to give in to his request as the other members of the federation give their votes to let Rahim coach the team, given the even poor performance of the team since the time Rahim was removed as coach.

Rahim begins to coach the team again and prepares them for the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. However, the Finance Ministry refuses to let the Indian team participate in the competition, given insufficient funds. Rahim personally speaks with the Finance Minister Morarji Desai and requests to let the team participate, explaining its significance. The Minister agrees, given the condition that only a selected few players will be allowed to go for the competition. Rahim agrees to it and decides to take only 16 best players from the team and leave out the rest, including his son Hakim, who had also begun to play for the team.

Thangaraj, the team's goalkeeper is injured before their first match and is replaced by Pradyut Barman, which weakens the team. In their first match, the Indian team is pitted against South Korea and they face defeat, with the teammates blaming one another for their poor performance. After the match, Rahim makes them understand the importance of formation and coordination. In their next match against Thailand, Jarnail Singh, a player from the Indian team is gravely injured by an opponent. Rahim instructs the Indian team "to make them pay for it" and they go on to play more aggressively, winning the match with a score of 4-1. An Indian diplomat publicly criticises the decision of not allowing Israel and Taiwan to play in the competition, which angers the people of Indonesia, leading to massive public protests against the Indian team.

On the day of the final match, where the Indian team would play against South Korea, the team bus is attacked by protesters and the military is brought in to provide security for them. Rahim's health deteriorates and he begins coughing up blood, but still motivates the team by delivering an inspiring speech. On seeing Rahim's determination, Roy Choudhary has a change of heart and starts supporting the Indian team. Thangaraj and Singh also rejoin the team for the match. The Indian team goes on to win the match with a score of 2-1, winning the gold medal at the Asian Games.

Cast

Production

Principal photography commenced on 19 August 2019 and experienced long delays due to COVID-19 pandemic and Cyclone Nisarga ultimately ending in May 2022. The film was scheduled to release in theatres on 3 June 2022 but was delayed due to impending post-production works. The film was set to be released on 23 June 2023 but was delayed again.

Music

The music of the film is composed by A. R. Rahman while lyrics are written by Manoj Muntashir. The first single titled "Mirza" was released on 18 March 2024. The second single titled "Team India Hain Hum" was released on 27 March 2024.

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Mirza"Manoj MuntashirRicha Sharma, Javed Ali5:16
2."Team India Hain Hum"Manoj Muntashir, Davinder Singh, Slow CheetaA.R. Rahman, Nakul Abhyankar2:43
3."Ranga Ranga"MC Heam, Saraswati Putra Ramajogayya SastryVaishali Samant, MC Heam2:58
4."Dil Nahi Todenge"Manoj MuntashirJaved Ali4:18
5."Jaane Do"Manoj MuntashirA.R. Rahman, Hiral Viradia6:47
Total length:22:02

Release

Theatrical

The film had paid previews on 10 April 2024, before releasing nationwide a day later on 11 April coinciding with Eid, in standard formats and IMAX.

Home media

The film's digital rights have been bagged by Amazon Prime Video and satellite rights acquired by Star Gold.

Reception

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 70% of 10 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.7/10.

India Today’s Sana Farzeen rated the film 4 out of 5 stars and said “Ajay Devgn strikes gold, yet again” Bollywood Hungama critic rated 4 out of 5 stars and wrote "Maidaan is one of the finest sports-based films of Bollywood that rests on a National Award-worthy performance by Ajay Devgn."

Shubhra Gupta from The Indian Express rated the film 2.5/5 and wrote “… makes you want to clap, cheer and shed a proud tear.” and said “Ajay Devgn plays Syed Abdul Rahim with a patent sincerity and only a hint of the slo-mo swagger. His rag-tag team has the kind of composition so syncretic that it makes you ache with nostalgia.” Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com rated 2/5 stars and observed "Maidaan draws out more yawns than yays."

Dhaval Roy of The Times of India gave 4 stars out of 5 and said, "Ajay Devgn shines as Rahim, becoming a larger-than-life figure despite a quiet, understated, dignified demeanour. Priyamani, as his wife Saira, is impressive in every scene. Gajraj Rao, as the devious journalist, hits it out of the park." Vinamra Mathur from Firstpost said, "With Maidaan, Sharma, and writer Riteish Shah want to take us through the 50’s and show what the game meant for India", and rated the film 3 stars out of 5.

Rishil Jogani from Pinkvilla gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5 and said, "Maidaan is a work of passion, that can only be envisioned by someone who is really passionate to tell the underdog story of the Indian National Football Team." Simran Srivastav from English Jagran said, "'Maidaan' has been made with passion which is impeccably shown on the big screen. The stellar performances of every actor in 'Maidaan' truly elevate the movie and make it more interesting to watch", and gave 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Anuj Kumar of The Hindu stated "Maidaan needs to be populated as one hopes that it spurs the young generation to take their love for the game from screens to the field and prove the saying that Rahim took Indian football to grave with him wrong."

See also

References

Tags:

Maidaan PlotMaidaan CastMaidaan ProductionMaidaan MusicMaidaan ReleaseMaidaan ReceptionMaidaan

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