2 weeks ago Terri Fleming Comments Off on Breakaway
The environment of Breakaway is the Indian Sikh community who emigrated in Canada where fathers successfully started business which made life comfortable for the new generation of children. In the same time problems of integration are still perceivable, as well cultural clashes between an old generation which would like to give priority to the Indian culture and traditions, and the much less conservative youngest, who would prefer instead to embrace more consistently the local customs.
When watching the movie, immediately came to my mind the “British and female” version on the same topic, “Bend it like Beckham”. In that version an Indian girl needs to overcome all the cultural and family ties to become a very professional soccer player.
Located in the suburbs of Toronto, the movie tells the story of a young man, Rajveer, struggling between his traditional family expectations and his own dreams about becoming a hockey star.
Rajveer doesn’t have a positive relation with his conservative father, who insisted on him, as eldest son, to give up college in order to follow the family business, a transportation (trucks) company
Among the reasons of tension between the two apart from the job as truck driver, that Rajveer doesn’t like, there is also the fact that Rajveer decided to cut his hair, refusing to wear the traditional Sikh turban. Last but not least, Rajveer’s favorite sport is hockey, very popular indeed in Canada, but certainly not in motherland India.
The boy still meets up with his Sikh friends, and when they get the time, they play hockey as a hobby and they even decide to make a team.
His father completely disagrees with this, and forbids him to ever play hockey again.
However, Rajeev receiving the support of the more “open-minded” members of the family, in first place his uncle Sammy, who runs the transportation company with his father, keeps playing.
Thanks to Rajveer’s uncle the team receives a sponsor support, uniforms and a name Speedy, like the family company and Singh’s, like the family name of all the team members, who are in some way related.
With the help of native Canadian coach Dan Winters, the Speedy Singhs started training for the national championship. Whilst playing, Rajveer falls in love with Dan Winters little sister, Melissa The two fall in love and keep on meeting.
Rajveer continues to make up excuses in order for his father not to discover that he is still playing hockey. The team reaches the finals, but only a night before the hockey finals, Rajveer lies to his father and says he is going to New York for a job delivery, though his father spots him playing hockey in the semi-finals. A family crisis follows, worsened also by Rajveer having an argument with his coach which takes to his expulsion from the team. However, at this point, comes up the occasion for him to amend.Once again deep cultural differences create the problem. In fact, according with Sikh religion, men are not supposed to ever cut their hair. They usually let them growing and keep tidy up and covered by turbans. As according to international regulation, players are obliged to play wearing safety helmets, the Speedy Singhs team was forbidden to play the final. However, knowing that in ancient time Sikh represented the cast of warriors in India, Rajveer finds out that they were allowed to wear a special helmet. With the help of Melissa, who, as a student of law in the meantime has also sent an appeal to the Human Rights Commission in order to let the Sikh playing, Rajveer order and buy a copy of the traditional Sikh warrior helmets for his team members.
Thus naturally he is readmitted on the team.
Eventually, before the finals, at his cousin’s wedding, Rajveer comes up with a turban and explains his passion about Hockey to his father is still angry but lets him go.
The team with hilarious helmets receive the taunts of the opposite team, who think they can win with ease. Of course, they are wrong. The Sikh community offers maximum support an keep their spirits high, like those of the ancient warriors of whom they are keeping the tradition.
When at last even his father shows up to support him, he helps the team win.
..and like all fairy tales, also the romance between newly hockey star and Melissa celebrates its happy end.
The comedy follows a brilliant pace and is never boring.