Finally got to see the movie yesterday, after having read and heard numerous reviews ( all of which were unanimous that the movie was worth a watch).
And yes it lived up to its reputation. All in all a good movie, it wouldn't make it to my list of all time favourites, but it was worth a watch on the hall.
As an aside I really should mention that this was a real balcony , and even if I didn't quite sink into the chairs, the pleasure of seeing a big screen at the "correct" angle more than made up for it! Which also reminds me that I should check up if my old favourite back home - Chanakya - has shut down yet :)
Anyway coming back to the movie, it mostly stuck to its central theme of a bunch of hockey players being turned into a team by a coach, fighting agaist prejudice and problems along the way. It helped that there weren't any irrelevant side "angles". Although the problems, prejudice, attitudes and characters had their share of stereotypes, it wasn't overpalyed, and were mostly believable. The pace was good, the dialogues mercifully didn't get tacky, and the matches quite enjoyable. And it helped that a healthy dose of healthy humour was thrown in.
For me , I'd say that the most irritating part was rather unexpectedly SRK. Almost all reviews I'd read had assured me that he was restrained, but no matter what he does , he never ever lets you forget that its HIM. Him with his set number of facial twitches, larger than life persona and the ease with which you can almost imagine one look in this movie being followed up with a dialog from DDLJ/KKHT/or something of the kind.
Anyway to give the devil his due, the wild cheers in the halls - and perhaps the very show - would not have been there had it been another umm real actor.
Memories of "A League of their own" are inevitable. It was Tom Hanks who played the role of the coach there. He's among my all time favourite actors. And for a fraction of a second I actually had to jog my memory to remember who it was, who had played that memorable drinking, swearing, bully of a coach's character.