Maidaan movie review: Ajay Devgn excels in a rousingly inspiring and brilliantly crafted sports drama

Maidaan movie review: Ajay Devgn excels in a rousingly inspiring and brilliantly crafted sports drama

Maidaan movie review: Ajay Devgn excels in a rousingly inspiring and brilliantly crafted sports drama

What: Maidaan – starring Ajay Devgn as India’s greatest football coach – the legendary Syed Abdul Rahim is a testimony that the Indian football team once earned the title Brazilians of Asia, director Amit Sharma in his befitting cinematic tribute to Syed Abdul Rahim gives us one of he finest sports/football movies where we see Ajay Devgn delivering his finest performance after Zakhm (1998).

Maidaan movie synopsis

The journey of the golden era of Indian Football (1950 – 1960) when Indian football coach Syed Abdul Rahim from Hyderabad formed an Indian football team picking players from streets, football clubs etc to form a winning combination that created history and won the gold medal in Asian Games of 1962 held in Jakarta and more fighting against all odds.

Maidaan is a journey of how the team of the golden era of Indian football was formed that included players like Chuni Goswami, P K Banerjee, Peter Thangaraj, Tulsidas Balaram, Jarnail Singh, and Pradyut Barman wo brought glory to the Indian football story around six decades ago.


Maidaan movie review

ZEE Studios

Maidaan movie review

"Soch ek, samaj ek, dil ek, isliye aaj maidaan mein utarna gyarah, par dikhna ek” this dialogue by Ajay Devgn before the final match between India and South Korea at the Asian Games 1962, has the potential to be on everybody’s lips because Maidaan – directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma is not just a film its an emotion running for one hundred and eighty-one minutes.

Based on the incredible determination of India’s greatest football coach – the legendary Syed Abdul Rahim who brought India into limelight as a football playing nation when Hockey, wrestling were the favourites to win medals for India at Olympics, Asiad and other sports tournaments while cricket was becoming popular day by day.

Today, India is obsessed by cricket and though there is a passion for football, there has been no significant achievements after Syed Abdul Rahim’s heroic triumph.

In fact, many who follow the game are not aware that India once had a football team that won gold medal and gave it tough to the champions like France during the golden era of Indian football (1950 – 1960).

This makes Maidaan an important film, a necessary film, a story that should be told and Amit Sharma deserves a pat on his back for picking the triumph of Syed Abdul Rahim in this sports movie.

A sports movie has its known templates (I hate to call it clichés as we humans will be always excited/thrilled to witness the triumph of the underdog). majority of us know the end result of such genre.

The mastery lies in how you present the underdog triumph to the audience, the screen writers Saiwyn Quadras, Aman Rai, Atul Shahi, Amit Sharma, Ritesh Shah and Siddhant Mago on the story by Saiwyn Quadras, Akash Chawla and Arunava Joy Sengupta create the atmosphere with an engrossing screenplay backed by proper build up. The characters earn the audience interest successfully and emotions come out naturally.

Director Ravindernath Sharma narrates this period drama like a classic epic and is successful in holding the audience interest throughout. The football matches are exceptionally shot and the excitement is tremendous.

Kudos to sports directors of photography Fyodor Lyass, Tassaduq Hussain, and Christopher Reed for such a treat for football fans and in general, its terrifically thrilling.

The last thirty minutes will make the kid inside you break loose, you will clap, cheer and cry at the triumph of Indian football. The final match is sheer goose bumps and the last ten minutes can make anyone emotional, no matter you love or hate football.

Dialogues by Ritesh Shah add to the punch making Maidaan an rousingly inspiring sports drama.


Ajay Devgn gives his best after his first national award triumph Zakhm (1998). Ajay Devgn as Syed Abdul Rahim is intensity redefined in exceptional subtly. Ajay Devgn delivers a performance that will be savoured and remembered for ages. It won’t be a surprise if Ajay wins his fourth national award for his performance in Maidaan.

Priyamani, as Ajay Devgn’s wife Saira, is outstanding as the loving, caring wife who at cruicial times turns into a strong pillar of support.

Gajraj Rao, as the wicked devious journalist is incredible, fabulous use of body language and expressions.

The Football team - Chaitanya Sharma (PK Banerjee), Amartya Ray (Chuni Goswami), Davinder Singh (Jarnail Singh), Tejas Ravishankar (Peter Thangraj), Aryann Bhowmik (Neville D’souza), and other actors are marvellous.

Baharul Islam as the Football Association Head leaves an impression 

The casting of Maidaan is pitch perfect.


Maidaan is a well-crafted movie that achieves brilliance in cinematography Tushar Kanti Ray (movie) as mentioned earlier Fyodor Lyass, Tassaduq Hussain, and Christopher Reed as sports cameraperson do an exceptional job. Editing by Dev Rao Jadhav (movie) is in sync while Shahnawaz Mosani (sports) editing raises the excitement level as desired. AR Rahman’s music (film and background) adds value, vigour to the film.


Maidaan - final words

Maidaan is a triumph on various fronts. After Chak De, a sports movie in Hindi cinema that will be cherished for ages. A football-based sports drama that is not only super exciting to watch but it’s also a story of incredible triumph that needs to be told. Maidaan is an emotion, an experience that doesn,t require any prior knowledge of football and it sees the invincible dark horse of Bollywood Ajay Devgn in his best form that redefines intensity.

Going with a deserving 4.5 stars


A request: please carry your handkerchiefs, you may require just before when the end credits roll.




Rating : 4.5/5

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About vishal verma

vishal verma

A child born from life & fed by cinema. A filmi keeda from child & a film journalist for the last fifteen years. a father, seeker, foodie who loves crooning bollywood melodies More By vishal verma

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