Veteran director Kamal's latest Malayalam film Goal is a story about, yes, you guessed it, football.
The director has weaved a simple tale that shows virtue as the ultimate victor and that life does give a fair chance to the underdogs.
But does it work? Well, the script by Kalvoor Ravikumar presents the story in such a way that even two hours feels too lengthy.
The film starts with shots of the Coimbatore Airport where the students of the prestigious Good Shepherd School in Ooty are seen landing for the beginning of the academic season. Here the boarding school is shown as a fun place to be in, with the students breaking into song and dance immediately.
Then one by one, the main characters enter the frame. Sam (Renjith Menon) is a poor boy employed as a grounds staff while Maria (Muktha) is employed in the school mess. Vijay (Rahman) is the football coach while his niece Nitu (Aksha) is a student from the school. A few more players make their appearance.
After the introduction we then get the story, which has many sub-plots. We have the coach Vijay, who is the butt of jokes among the faculty members for failing to win even a single inter-school match.
To make it worse the football team has its own problems -- the star players are wayward in their behaviour and have big egos. They indulge in illicit activities like drug abuse and other such things.
As we move on, it is discovered that Sam is a prodigiously talented footballer and Vijay, with the support of few more students (including his niece Nitu) gets him admitted in the school.
We get to see influences of films like Iqbal and many others in this film, which tries to pack too much in a single venture. Romantic angle notwithstanding, we have misunderstandings galore and an attempt at comedy in the form of Salim Kumar, a non-teaching staff in love with the librarian, who is a nun.
However, Goal is worth watching for the performances of the newcomers. Renjith Menon gives life to the character of Sam while Muktha adds some lighter moments to the bleak proceedings. Aksha provides some eye candy and nothing else.
To sum up, Kamal's effort to score this Goal misses the post by a few yards.