Agnihotri set to score box office points with 'Goal'

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Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) After flirting with crime as the theme in his directorial debut, Vivek Agnihotri's second film "Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal", releasing Friday, puts sports in the spotlight.

Set in Britain, the film tells the story of Southall United Football Club which is going through its worst crisis ever - no money, no sponsors, no star players, no coach to lead them. And the final nail in the coffin comes when the city council sends an eviction notice.

It's a do or die situation for the Southall United as they must win the Combined Counties Football League, in their otherwise last season, to save the ground and their honour. The film tells the story of the players who rise and shine in their effort for the club.Shaan (Arshad Warsi) takes up the challenge and the first help comes in the form of a disgraced ex-player, Tony Singh (Boman Irani) who agrees to join them as the coach. At each step they face mockery, criticism, but Shaan and Tony turn a deaf ear and work to gather the worn out team together.

Then comes Sunny Bhasin (John Abraham) whose dreams to play for England crashes after his club does not select him because of the colour of his skin. Sunny, who always laughed at his own community and Southall United, joins the team at the behest of Tony.

However, Shaan is not too happy with the new induction because he and Sunny could not ever see eye to eye. Adding to their personal chaos is Shaan's cousin sister Rumana's (Bipasha Basu) fondness for Sunny.

It takes a while before Shaan and the team warm up to Sunny. With Sunny joining Southall United, the team gradually starts climbing the points tally. And the city council is worried.

However, Sunny is more interested in being noticed than in Southall United winning the cup. Johny Bakshi (Dalip Tahil), a commentator and a front man of the council, finds out his weakness and plans to lure him away from the team.

Will Sunny sacrifice everything he believed in for the team?

Agnihotri also takes an intimate look at a cross-section of Indians, Pakistanis and other Asians living in England. Arshad and Bipasha play Pakistani characters in the movie.

Agnihotri's "Chocolate" starring Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan was a riveting drama, but failed to be a commercial success.

Sports films were not popular in Bollywood earlier, but after the success of "Chak De! India" hopes are flying high. Agnihotri may just score a "Goal".