Review: Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan – Compelling Sports Drama

  																				Review: Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan – Compelling Sports Drama

Release Date : April 11, 2024 Rating : 3.25/5

Starring: Ajay Devgn, Gajraj Rao, Priyamani, Rudranil Ghosh, Chaitanya Sharma, Davinder Gill, Tejas Ravishankar, Amartya Ray, Sushant Waydande, and others

Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma

Producers: Boney Kapoor, ZEE Studios, Arunava Roy Sengupta, Akash Chawla

Music Director: AR Rahman

Cinematographer: Tushar Kanti Roy, Fyodor Lyass

Editor: Dev Rao Jadhav, Shahnawaz Mosani

Ajay Devgn’s long-delayed sports drama Maidaan is finally hitting the screens on April 11 (full-scale release), with paid previews planned for the 10th evening. We attended a special premiere of this biographical film and are bringing you a detailed review much in advance.


In the 1952 Helsinki Olympics (Summer Olympics), the Indian football team loses by a big margin to Yugoslavia, and due to this news agencies start mocking our players. Indian team football coach Syed Abdul Rahim (Ajay Devgn) explains the reasons for the loss to the Football Federation of India, and he opines that he needs a new set of players. S.A. Rahim scouts for new blood all over the country, starting from his native Hyderabad. The rest of the film showcases Rahim’s journey and the obstacles he faces at every step of the way.

Plus Points:

Without an iota of doubt, Maidaan is one of the best sports dramas ever made in India. Maidaan is very challenging from the creative side since we have seen some great films in this genre, like Chak De India, Dangal, and MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. Hence, from the film’s trailer, most of you might have had the “been there, seen that” feeling, but Maidaan will erase all your doubts once the lights turn off in the theatre. It has hair-raising sequences, edge-of-the-seat moments, emotions, and drama in equal parts.

It’s no surprise that Ajay Devgn is a three-time National Award winner, and through Maidaan, he once proves why he is the best in the business. Most of us do not know much about the legendary football coach Syed Abdul Rahim. But after watching this sports drama, Ajay Devgn will surely come to mind whenever we think of S.A. Rahim. Such is the perfection shown by the versatile actor. Very few performances will stay in our hearts even after the film, and Ajay Devgn’s portrayal of Rahim Saab is one such memorable performance. It will go down as one of the best performances in the history books, and Ajay Devgn is surely a strong contender for the National Award this year.

The way the football matches are shot is just incredible. In sports dramas like these, the match scenes play a pivotal role in driving the narrative forward, and the Maidaan team has hit it out of the park in this aspect. Kudos to the unit for designing the match scenes in such an electrifying manner, with numerous goosebumps moments. There are scenes that will make us forget that it is a feature film and root for the Indian players, as in the case of a live match. The production values and VFX works are top-notch, giving us a feel that we ourselves are on the ground.

The cinematography and AR Rahman’s pulse-pounding background score are the icing on the cake. The camera movements during the final thirty minutes neatly capture the game tactics and help us feel the players’ emotions. Chaitanya Sharma, Davinder Gill, Tejas Ravishankar, Amartya Ray, Sushant Waydande, and all the other boys did an outstanding job, and they deserve equal credit for the kind of effort they have put in.

Maidaan illuminates how politics in sports are hindering our nation’s growth at the international level. One more good thing about Maidaan is that the events aren’t overdramatized, and they look very realistic. Gajraj Rao will make us hate him to the core, and such is the finesse displayed by the senior actor. Priyamani is good as a housewife despite her less screen time.

Minus Points:

Maidaan is not without shortcomings, and one major drawback is its duration, which can also affect its showcasing. The team could have done with a shorter runtime for a better impact, and a few scenes in the first half should have been cut short.

It is not that the first half isn’t good. It has impactful moments and lays the foundation for nail-biting moments in the second hour, but the slow pacing can sometimes be a bit irritating. Also, a few scenes seem stretched. The director took more time to build on the drama, and the family scenes needed better execution. Though Priyamani is good, her role could have been etched better.

Technical Aspects:

Lately, the makers of biggies aren’t taking more care when it comes to showcasing the minute details, but the Maidaan team has put in their blood and sweat. The superimpose or title over (text on the screen) has been done to perfection, and it makes us travel along with the story and timelines. Background score by AR Rahman, cinematography by Tushar Kanti Roy and Fyodor Lyass, and the VFX by Redefine help us have an immersive cinematic experience.

Boney Kapoor and ZEE Studios spent huge bucks on Maidaan, and it is visible in every frame. Kudos to them for shaping this film incredibly without compromising on scale and budget. Director Amit Ravindernath Sharma did a good job depicting Syed Abdul Rahim’s life story and the roadblocks he faced. The film celebrates the sacrifices and hard work of our football players, who were looked down upon. However, the director could have taken more care regarding the pacing and the lengthy duration.


On the whole, Maidaan neatly chronicles the important events that happened in the life of legendary Indian football coach Syed Abdul Rahim. It also celebrates the golden era of Indian football. Ajay Devgn’s performance is nothing short of a masterclass. The football sequences, the background score, the VFX, and the cinematography offer us a nice experience. A few portions in the first half seem prolonged and the overall runtime could have been reduced. Nevertheless, the pulsating second half and plenty of thrilling moments make Maidaan an engaging watch. Recommended. Rating: 3.25/5

Reviewed by 123telugu Team

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