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Goal premieres in India and Pakistan

Goal to also release today in Pakistan
By Team
(23 November 2007 5:00 pm)
MUMBAI: After Dubai it was Mumbai where "Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal" had its première. The same evening Goal received a
clearance from the Pakistan Censor Board to release the film in
Pakistan making it the first ever-Indian film to have a day & date
release in Pakistan.

The Mumbai première was attended by John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Arshad Wasi, Director-Vivek Agnihotri and UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala. Suniel Shetty, Ken Ghosh, Shekhar Suman, Soni Rajdan, Pallavi Joshi, Yukta Mookhey, Manav and Shweta Kohli, Narayani Shastri, Sagarika Ghatke were also present.

In Pakistan the film releases today with 12 prints across Karachi,
Lahore, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala. The film kicks off worldwide today 23 November.

The film is about a contemporary story of the Asian community in UK, told through the dynamic prism of professional football.

It may be called ‘Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal’ but unfortunately nothing happens dhan dhana dhan… neither does the film move so nor do the goals happen dhan dhana dhan. In fact, one word to aptly describe Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal would be laboured.

Much water flows in the Thames before the individual characters of a motley football team in Southall, captained by Shaan Ali Khan (Arshad Warsi) are established. Southall United, a team high on enthusiasm and aspiration but painfully low on resources, and without either gear or coach, is in dire straits.

Their lease on their stadium land is up for renewal and is already being eyed by sharks led by the council head called Anne whose most used word is ‘****’ when things aren’t going her way. In cahoots with her is commentator Johny Bakshi (Dalip Tahil). Not surprisingly, the team has to win the league if they are to keep their playing field.

Meanwhile, there is a confused Sunny Bhasin (John Abraham) born and brought up in England who keeps getting rejected by his club because he is not white. He is not quite English and by inclination not quite Indian. He eventually joins the club when the team’s coach Tony Singh, a failed hero himself, challenges him. The stage is thus set for this till-now loser side to make a try for the highest accolade the game can offer.

Like the recent ‘Chak De’ and to some extent ‘Lagaan’ it’s about the underdog facing all sorts of trials if not downright humiliation to come together to claim victory. Sports is the medium for redemption whether at a personal or team level. It’s all about the triumph of the human spirit.

But ‘Goal’ fritters away so much time in needless back stories and basic preparations for the game that interest in the story wanes considerably in the first half. It is only in the latter part of the film when the team is playing better and winning matches that the speed of the film picks up but by then it is a little too late. Thankfully, the story does not meander much in the direction of the love story between Sunny and the physiotherapist on the team Rumana (Bipasha Basu).

‘Goal’ belongs to the men, and despite some stereotyping (the Sardarji on the team has a garage, the Muslim has a butcher’s shop and so on), they support the main players well. Boman Irani has a tendency to ham, especially in emotionally charged scenes.

John Abraham suits the role of a footballer and with his shorn locks and lean physique looks the part. He doesn’t have much emoting to do and gets by ably. But the film is really Arshad Warsi’s who is wonderfully adept both on and off the field, proving once and for all that there is much more to this under-appreciated actor than Circuit and comedy.

source: DNAindia and

Re: Goal premieres in India and Pakistan: Reviews

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (Review 2)

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal
Vivek Agnihotri
Ronnie Screwvala
Pritam Chakraborty
John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Arshad Warsi, Naveen Andrews

Sonia Chopra

In this season of sports movies, when another one introduces itself with snazzy promos and a catchy victory song, you expect something different.
You take it for granted, that obviously, if precious time, money and effort has been spent in producing yet another sports story, there's bound to be something separate these folks want to say. And then you watch Goal and you wonder what the goal of the film was (excuse the unimaginative pun).

Goal special: News, videos, images and more

Honestly, this Goal is all jhol -- there’s this group of Indian immigrants in England who form the Southall United Football Team and are aiming at winning the League, to save their club from dissolving.

Typical underdog, emotional tug-at-heartstrings element. Except here, the team is such a sorry bunch of overweight, over-the-hill losers, you don't see why you should root for them. It’s not a Chak De, where you're hoping the talented, starring team beats others silly and emerges the solo winner.

Still, it's a movie, and in the name of creative license, things come together pretty quickly. The team's captain Shaan (Arshad Warsi) is determined to turn the team’s fortunes around and finds an old coach Tony Singh (Boman Irani). The coach has given up on football long back owing to a sob story, and now wears an unshaven look, a grim expression and tweeds, and says dialogues like - Tum Mein Jeetne Ki Himmat Hai?.

Perhaps they wanted to avoid a cliché. Singh swears to turn around the team, even as you marvel at his bravery, bordering on foolishness. At the same time, the band of boys decides they need money, a bus, a doctor and sponsorship, and all that happens rather effortlessly. A rousing song later, they suddenly become superlative players.

Heck, they also get the cool dude footballer Sunny Bhasin (John Abraham) who earlier wanted to play with the goras, but was left out because of racism. Dejected, Bhasin decides to take up the coach’s persistent offer to "play with his people".

Then there are dialogues like - Hindustan choda hai, hindustaniyat nahin. The desperate use of racism to instill faux patriotism in the viewers is not very dignified. It is, in fact, desperate, and doesn't work.

Once they start winning matches (inexplicably), they break into a celebration where the item song Billo Rani comes in. There's also a kid, the captain's brother, who hangs around mysteriously everywhere, looking as confused as the script.

There's a twist at the end too, connecting two people and their stories, and the coincidence of that turn is so inconsequential to the story, it elicits no response.

There are attempts as being funny by including a Sikh(Naveen Andrews) in the team, one who looks miles away from being an athlete. But he’s good-hearted you see – he's kept his garage girvi for raising money for the team – a positively mental thing to do.

As always, the Sardarji is the joker of the team, what's more, his coming into the frame is marked by bhangra music in the background. And this film talks of racism?

Goal is extremely chauvinistic in its interpretation of patriotism – the Brits are often referred derogatorily as 'You gori chamdi'. What is the need to do that? Nobody clapped.

Then the film encapsulates other givens of a game movie – the coach is a taskmaster who keeps telling everyone – 'You're late' and does inspiring locker-room dialogue-baazi before every game. The end, as always, is the hit-or-miss situation marked by the last goal. You already know what's going to happen first frame onwards. It's just a dreary ride till getting there.

Of the cast, Boman Irani saves the film on many occasions. His rendering of the coach is note-worthy and interesting, despite the empty characterisation. John suits the role -- He looks the part and acts well.

Bipasha is a doctor, one who doesn't do anything when Sunny is lying on the ground injured, instead is hysterically screaming his name typically like a Bollywood heroine. The rest of the team is best forgotten, this may be the time you may thank yourself for having a short memory.

The cinematography tries to impress but is unnecessarily mobile, such that at times you want to intervene and physically steady the camera yourself. The screenplay is predictable. The dialogues range from the bizarre to somewhat ok. Here's an example – In a supposedly romantic scene, John's Sunny claims that Bipasha's nuts, and she retorts: 'Main bahut sexy bhi hoon'. You cannot help agree with the former observation. Editing is unforgivably lax.

There’s one area where this film misses the goal completely – Sound – which is of foremost importance in a sports movie.

Re: Goal premieres in India and Pakistan/ Goal actors claim race abuse

Bollywood stars claim race abuse
By Dil Neiyyar
BBC Asian Network

Arshad Warsi says the incident shocked him

Two of Bollywood's biggest stars say they were racially abused while filming in west London.

A group of white men in a car are said to have hurled insults at Bipasha Basu and Arshad Warsi as they shot the film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal in Southall.

Arshad Warsi told the BBC Asian Network of the incident in May: "I was shocked. I'm not used to this sort of thing."

The area saw racial violence in the 1960s and 1970s but community leaders say such incidents are now rare.

Mr Warsi said the experience shook him and his fellow actors.

"A car stopped with a couple of white guys. They just lashed out at us and totally gave us their point of view.

"It's the first time I've experienced this."

The actors had been recording a scene close to Glassy Junction, the area's famous Indian themed pub.

"For me it was an alien thing. It was like, do people actually think like that?" Mr Warsi added.

'Absolutely disgusting'

Fellow Bollywood star Jonathan Abraham was also on the set of the film, which was released in the UK on Friday.

"When you come into London and you're shooting, its the last thing you expect," he said.

Locals were angry that two of the Indian film industry's stars were abused by racists.

"It's disgusting, absolutely disgusting," said 19-year-old student, Preety Johal.

Racial violence was common in Southall in the 1960s and 1970s.

The area has also witnessed race riots.

In 1979 there were street battles when the anti-immigrant National Front held a meeting in the town hall.

Bipasha Basu is one of the stars of Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal

This resulted in the death of anti-racist campaigner Blair Peach.

Two years later there were further troubles after a far right skinhead band played a controversial concert in the town.

It is a different picture today.

The town's Indian and Pakistani communities for the most part live happily alongside Somalis and the newest immigrants from eastern Europe.

Campaigners such as Janpal Basran from Southall Community Alliance say racism is rare.

He said: "We're now known as a very mixed, vibrant town. It's usually very tolerant, very welcoming town."

It is not the first time that a Bollywood star has been verbally roughed up in Britain.

Shilpa Shetty made international headlines when fellow contestant Jade Goody was verbally abusive to her on the Big Brother show on Channel 4.