By Nilesh P. Khandare(07 Jan 2010)
Set in a Mumbai ghetto in the mid 80's and based on true life accounts, Striker is a story of triumph of human spirit over indomitable odds.
Born into a poor family, Surya grows up with few luxuries. Poosr health keeps him away from school often and that is when his elder brother, Chandrakant, introduces him to carrom.
Quite similar to pool in its concept, carrom is common among people from middle and lower income groups all over India. Precision and skill are vital to playing the game well; attitude and confidence are crucial to win. The underground carrom scene has been breeding hustlers and gamblers for many years.
Winning the junior Carrom Championship at 12 is not enough to keep Surya's fire for the sport burning through adolescence. Hopes for a job in Dubai, replaces the passion for carrom as Surya grows into a young man.
Duped by a bogus overseas employment agency, Surya loses all his hard earned money he had saved goiing to Dubai. Surya is forced to cross paths with Jaleel.
Since the 70's when the settlements in the ghetto began, Jaleel had acquired a strong hold in the area. He had his hands in every illicit activity since then. Feeding on the weaknesses of people, Jaleel was the self-Proclaimed King of Malwani.
Reintroduced to Carrom by his childhood friend Zaid, this time to the hustling scene, Surya starts playing again. Being gypped of his hard earned money by the same man who had caused misery for many families, Surya decides to take on Jaleel on his turf.
His patience and cool attitude are Surya's biggest strengths. But life has ways of testing even the strong.
Striker is not a film about good versus evil. It is the story of a friendship, life in the city of dreams in 80's, a story of a game that is most common but non-existent. A story of a Carrom player who grows up on the fringes of a criminal existence but does not succumb to it.