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Maidaan: A Sports Enthusiast’s Perspective on Why Ajay Devgn’s Film Stands Apart from SRK’s ‘Chak De India

Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan has found itself in a fortunate or unfortunate comparison with Shah Rukh Khan’s Chak De India. These two films share almost identical plots, with two coaches transforming a team of underdogs into players for the National Team. The ongoing debate revolves around whether Amit Sharma’s film is better than Chak De India. Fortunately, when I discussed the film with a genuine sports enthusiast, who happens to be an encyclopedia when it comes to cricket statistics, he had an answer to settle this rising debate.

Here are the reasons why Maidaan stands tall in comparison to Chak De India:

The Real vs. Fiction Story The major distinction between both films lies in the balance of fiction and reality. Syed Abdul Rahim’s struggles are grounded in reality, while Kabir Khan in Chak De India is a dramatized character created to serve the commercial masala of a film. Maidaan, therefore, strikes the perfect balance of pathos and empathy, unlike Chak De India’s Kabir Khan.

The Personal vs. National Fight Due to the difference in their real vs. fiction elements, the motives of both films also diverge. Maidaan celebrates the unsung hero of the nation, while Chak De India portrays Kabir Khan as the hero. Kabir Khan’s story revolves around personal redemption, whereas Syed Abdul Rahim tirelessly strives to put India on the world map, yearning for recognition from the Indian National Football Team. So while Kabir Khan claims, “Mujhe states ke naam na sunaayi dete hain na dikhayi,” Syed Abdul Rahim lives by that motto every single day of his life.

The Sports Choreography Chak De India presents a dramatized tale that may or may not be believable. Moreover, since it focuses on the personal journey of a man coaching and molding the best women’s hockey team for the country, the matches are glamorized and choreographed to suit the film’s needs.

This starkly contrasts with Maidaan, which offers one of the most meticulously crafted sports films in India. The brilliantly choreographed matches elevate Maidaan to a higher pedestal compared to Chak De India, providing audiences with an immersive and detailed sports experience.

Ziya Khan


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