By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, Nov 22 (IANS) Actor John Abraham believes Dubai is a lucky place for his films to be launched.
"It is good to be back in Dubai. It is a lucky place for me to have my films launched. I was here last for the premiere of 'Taxi 9211' and it worked," he said at the premiere of UTV Motion Pictures' "Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal" here Wednesday evening.
He was accompanied by Bipasha Basu, who also stars in the film, and director Vivek Agnihotri on the red carpet at the Grand Cineplex here.
He said Dubai was an apt place to have the premiere of "Goal" as the film has a very South Asian look."The film is about racism. It is about South Asians. And Dubai is the place where the whole of South Asia - India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - meets," the actor said.
"Goal" revolves around Southall United Football Club, a struggling South Asian team in Britain, facing its deepest crisis yet - bankrupt, with no stars, no coach, no sponsors, no takers, no spectators and most importantly no owner.
The city council sends an eviction notice to the club after its 30-year lease gets over. Now, Southall United must win the Combined Counties Football League for the prize money that will save the club from losing its ground.
Shaan (Arshad Warsi) takes up the challenge to save the club from extinction. Tony Singh (Boman Irani), a disesteemed former player of the club, joins them as the coach in spite of being sniggered and laughed at. He and Shaan then work to gather the worn out team comprising Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi players.
Enter Sunny Bhasin (John Abraham), a brilliant striker who dreams of playing for England but is not selected for an English football club he has trained with throughout the season. The reason: his skin colour.
Sunny himself had always laughed at his own community and Southall United. Sunny and Shaan could not ever see eye to eye. Adding to their personal chaos is Shaan's cousin sister Rumana (Bipasha Basu) who is in love with Sunny.
Tony manages to convince Sunny to play for Southall United. It takes a while before Shaan and the team warms up to Sunny and then the club starts shining in the league.
Bipasha Basu urged the audience to watch the film with an open heart.
"My role in the film is not much. But it is a wonderful film. Watch it with an open heart. Please be kind to us," she said.
Director Vivek Agnihotri said that the film was a product of good teamwork.
"I had some wonderful persons working as a team with me. This is the result of that. I don't have much to say. Whatever I have to say, I have said it in my film" he said.
The evening saw a good gathering of Indian expatriates, as also local Emiratis and other fans of Indian cinema, trying to catch a glimpse of the Bollywood stars.
Both John Abraham and Bipasha Basu willingly obliged autograph-seeking fans even as young girls - and an old man - screamed: "John, I love you!"
John also threw a miniature football at the crowd, while Bipasha presented another to a young fan.
"Lagaan" (2001) saw Aamir Khan playing a cricketing hero. Earlier this year, film buffs across the world saw Shah Rukh Khan playing the role of a hockey coach in "Chak De India". Both films ended up as megahits.
Can John Abraham repeat the feat as a football striker? Well, he has got Dubai on his side.