R. Siddharth: Surya
Born in a poor family, Surya grows up with few luxuries. The fact that he is a weak child and is frequently unwell keeps him away from school often. While at home he is first introduced to carrom by his elder brother, Chandrakant.
Winning the Junior National Carrom Championship at 12 is not enough to keep the fire for the sport burning through adolescence. Getting a job in Dubai and moving there replaces the passion for the game as Surya grows in to a young man.
Forged by a bogus overseas employment agency, Surya loses all his hard earned money he had saved for going aboard. Reintroduced to the game by his street smart friend Zaid (this time to the hustling scene). Surya starts playing again to not let his circumstances get the better of him, but the other way around.
Aditya Pancholi: Jaleel
The most dreaded gangster in Malwani, Jaleel is the quintessential anti-hero. Feeding on the bedlam and weaknesses of people, Jaleel has his hands in every law-breaking business conceivable. He spews venom in all directions, and his menacing presence creates fear in the hearts of Malwani's residents.
The flesh trade, drugs, extortion, robberies, etc; Jaleel has a piece in every pie. But his most favored vice is the gambling scene in carrom. A self-proclaimed connoisseur of picking the best in the game, nothing makes him angrier than when one of his handpicked players loses.
Surya and Jaleel crossing paths were inevitable...
Ankur Vikal: Zaid
Surya's childhood friend and most trusted ally, Zaid is someone with good intentions, but doesn't quite recognize the line between moral and immoral. The lack of patriarchal influences in his life makes him vulnerable and gullible to evil influences around him.
The desire for quick money and a knack for being street smart; Zaid is fuelled by desire to fulfill his dreams with Surya of changing their circumstances in the near future. He gets involved with Jaleel's gang, thinking it will be as easy to get out, as it was to get in. He is unsure of mind, but is always clear about his loyalties, which are always with his friend.
In his attempt to find solutions to problems, he generally worsens the state of affairs. He is the trigger in creating confrontational situations in Surya's life. His tendency of making light of most scenarios wreaks havoc for both friends.
Anupam Kher: Inspector Farooque
Inspector Farooque is unlike any other cop in the city. He is honest, tough and smart. Posted in Malwani to curb the ever-increasing crime rate, criminals in the area begin fearing him very quickly.
His goal is very clear - get rid of anti-social elements in the area one at a time. He is not afraid to try radical means to maintain peace in Malwani, even if it means compromising with the very criminals he wants to put down. He is well aware of the shortcomings of being in a society that is corrupt and insincere. But instead of allowing circumstances to frustrate or change him, he rises above and manipulates the same circumstances to do what is best for the people.
Farooque is one of the positive influences in Surya's life. It is because of people like him that Malwani does not explode in the cortex of communal and criminal violence through the many chaotic times seen by the city.
Nicolette Bird: Noorie
Noorie comes into Surya's life like a breath of fresh air. Her family moves in across Surya's house. She comes from a conservative Muslim background, & Surya is immediately struck by her effortless beauty and innocence.
He has never been in love before, & her addiction to his life propels him into action to figure out his future. Her sudden departure coupled with another mishap in his life leave him scathed for a long time to come.
Madhu is a fisherwoman, who runs a bar and restaurant all by herself. She learns to shed all coyness to deal with the various sorts of customers that visit her bar. She handles her drunken customers with a cool and no-nonsense attitude.
Although Surya frequents her bar often, it is not until much later that he notices her. She treats Surya like any other customer at first. Their interaction begins at a time when he is defeated, broken and at a rage with the world. She sees him at his lowest, and what follows is a relationship that is honest and mature.
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. Poor 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 for going 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 hand 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 the 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.
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