Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Winning goal

Moving away from her image as the sultry, glamour girl, Bipasha Basu takes on the role of a physiotherapist in Dhan Dhana Dhana Dhan Goal. KK Moidu writes

In Goal, Bipasha Basu, the cat-eyed actress, appears in a totally new look in a completely new role. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, it is the story of contemporary Asian expatriates in the UK, told with the backdrop of professional soccer.
Appropriately named, Goal is based on the game of football. Rumana (Bipasha Basu), is the team's physiotherapist. She is the cousin of team captain Shaan (Arshad Warsi) but she falls in love with Sunny Bhasin (John Abraham) and that complicates the situation. But she shows maturity and values the club's interest more than anything else.
The story revolves around Southall United, a football club going through a crisis. The messy team has no coach, no star players, no sponsors and definitely no audience.
In order to survive, the dying football club must beat every opponent and win the Combined Counties Football League in England. They hope to reawaken the team and win the cup.
The city council teams up with a sports commentator to acquire the large area of land of the Southall United Club and that even puts the existence of the club in a dilemma.
The city council sends an eviction notice by blaming the club's lustreless performance and threaten to take the land from them unless the team improve their performance. They are sure that the team will never give a better achievement and will lose the cup and the land will finally come to their hands.
But the owner of the club, Sir Devi Dayal Dhariwal, hopes to save the land from greedy hands. He plays the last card to save the team by appointing a new coach.
Tony (Boman Irani) is assigned as the coach of the team. He is traditional and he wants the teams and players under his rule. He is an ex-player and forced out of the game after threats due to extreme racism. His resurrection of the team has to fight his own demons.
Sunny is a celebrated footballer and hopes to join a top team like every aspiring British footballer. He is not selected for the National Team because of his skin colour, so he joins the Southall United and is forced to reconsider his plans. His relationship with his father and girlfriend and his future as a footballer are at stake and he has to make a final decision.
The captain of the team Shaan doesn't like Sunny's entry in the team because of professional jealousy. He can't see eye-to-eye with Sunny, who replaces him when he got injured. But he tries to make a comeback in the team.
The rest of the film tells how the coach manages to re-arrange and strengthen the entire team. Will the Southall United win the title and preserve the ground? One has to wait and watch. Goal is the second sports-based Hindi film of this year after Chuk De India, starring Shah Rukh Khan. Chuk De India was about the neglected game of hockey.
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala under the banner of UTV Motion pictures, other major roles are played by Naveen Andrews, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Kushal Punjabi and Dilip Tahil. Music is scored by Pritam Chakraborty.
Kolkata girl Basu, one of the tallest actresses in the Mumbai film industry, is the second of three daughters (her elder sister is Bidisha and younger is Bijoyeta) and is lovingly called Bonny. But among her friends, she is better known as Bips.
Basu was born in New Delhi and her family later moved to Kolkata. Her entry into films and modelling was accidental; she wanted to study chartered accountancy or medicine.
Basu came into the limelight after winning the Ford Supermodel of the World 1996 contest at the age of 17. She is also the winner of Tulips Miss Super Vivacious. After her victory, she flew to New York, where she was spotted by the renowned photographer Steven Meisel.
After appearing in Vogue magazine, she was flooded with offers for modelling, but, she gave it up and returned to India.
Before acting in films, Basu shot to fame by appearing in prestigious advertisements. She became popular with the famous video Tu for Sonu Nigam's album Kismat. She also made a guest appearance in Jay Sean's music video Stolen.
Like other models and beauty pageant winners, Basu was also attracted by the Indian film industry. She made her debut in Abbas Mastan's Ajnabee and won the Filmfare Best Debut Actress Award. She played a married woman's role, who goes all out to woo her husband's married friend. With this film, she got the chance to share the screen with leading Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol and Kareena Kapoor. The success of the film gave her career a boost.
Basu played an amazing role in Raaz, although it was just the beginning of her career. Since then, she has played different roles in almost two dozen films. She also made special appearances in more than half-a-dozen films that includes the song sequence Phoonk De in No Smoking directed by Anurag Kashyap. Basu's item number Beedi in Omkara also won her acclaim.
Basu was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in Raaz and Corporate. She was also nominated for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award in No Entry and for the Filmfare Best Villain Award in Jism.
Basu also tried her luck in regional films. She made her debut in the Telugu film Takkari where she played the mischievous thief Donga. The Mahesh Babu-starrer was later dubbed in Hindi as Choron Ka Chor.
Basu also starred in the Tamil superstar Vijay's Sachien. Her character in the film as Manju, who runs behind the hero in skimpy clothes, did not earn her other prestigious offers from South Indian directors.
After Goal, the audience can decide whether they like Basu's new look or not. Will they prefer the track pants, jackets and specs, or her glamorous appearance which made her the darling of the masses.
If Goal brings out the untapped talent in Basu as an actress, it may prove to be a turning point in her career.

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