by Vishaal S Shah
on Sep 12th, 2007

Chak De! India – Movie Review by a Management Freak

Chak De India Movie ReviewChak De! India (pronounced as “Chuck They” and meaning Come On India) – A lot has been written about the movie. It has earned rave reviews and continues to garner amazing collections in India and abroad. But, if you zoom in, Chak De is a tailor-made case-study for entrepreneurs and modern day managers. Infact, it has found a place in curriculum.

Aiming to teach aspiring management students some management and leadership skills through the film, some of the management institutes in India have actually decided to make Chak De! India a part of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) curriculum. The plot which essays the story of a fastidious coach and a testy team is not unheard of. But the treatment delivered to the sub-plots is what takes the cake. On the surface, the film delivers two core messages: of team spirit and the will to succeed. The team here, (The Indian Women’s Hockey Team) is an awkward assortment of sorts. No takers. No support and no sponsorships to fall back on. The players are not even a group, let alone a team. After a twisty turn of events and heavy soul-searching, the team finally plays to win. It is sheer team effort that sees them through. The coach’s effective leadership deserves a separate write-up. In a nutshell: the coach strikes the perfect chord with a team full of disharmonies.

Delve deeper and a lot of situations in the movie resemble real life quandaries. Take for example the attitude of the most senior player (Bindiya Naik) in the team. She took everything for granted – she just knew that she was right. She had her own glorious past, lived in her own world and never cared about the game. Doesn’t she remind you of that senior who goes on chopping new ideas, innovative solutions? Simply because he has “been there, done that!”? The problem with most organizations is the inflated egos that come free with most of the senior workforce. The result: ego tussles, team friction and a lot more.

Another trend that spoils team spirit is the “I – me – myself” attitude. This is brilliantly portrayed in the movie. The top scorers (Preeti Sabharwal and Komal Chautala) are competing to bag the highest scorer tag. What really happens is that they start competing with each other which eventually turns out to be advantageous for the opponents. Haven’t we seen this attitude prevalent in teams and organizations? Internal rivalry has people pulling each other down, competing against each other and even hoarding information and resources. What happens to the team? We all know the answer.

These are the kinds of questions Chak De asks and answers. A sports-flick that manages to do much more than just entertain: It educates. It represents in very subtle undercurrents the way a team should function in order to strike gold.

Chak De throws light on a number of management concepts like human resource management, strategy, motivation, determination, leadership, ambition and making the most out of worst.

We, at PHI, made Chak De a compulsory watch for all the employees. That’s the magic this movie weaves. Gripping screenplay, slick editing and tight narration just add to it. Go Chak De! This movie is really worth a watch or maybe two…or maybe three…Or more!!!

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