The much awaited Azhar is set to release on Friday. The movie, which is based on the life of controversial former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin, is the first of the three sports biopics which will be releasing this year.
The other two movies are the Aamir Khan starrerDangal, based on the senior Olympics wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat and the Sushant Singh Rajput starrer, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story.
There have been many inspiring Bollywood sports movies made in the past, P2N News takes a look at five of the best sports movies ahead of the release of Azhar.
1. Chak De! India
Chak De! India, based on the life of former Indian hockey goalkeeper, Mir Ranjan Negi (coach) taking the Indian women’s team to victory in the Commonwealth Games in 2002, took the nation by storm when it released in 2007.
Screenwriter Jaideep Sahani took the idea of an Indian women’s hockey team winning a tournament and wrote an inspiring fictional story around it.
Sahani beautifully depicts how women in sports are not taken seriously in India and how anything can be achieved if one believes in his or herself.
2. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag totally justifies one of India’s greatest runners, Milkha Singh’s achievements on the track.
The movie, which released in 2013, exquisitely describes how the Commonwealth gold medalist dealt with the partition of India and Pakistan and all the struggles he went through to become a competitive runner in the world stage.
Farhan Akhtar, who won the Filmfare award for the best actor in the leading role for this movie, essayed the character to perfection.
Iqbal, like Chak De! India, touches upon the greatest asset, which is ‘belief in oneself’.
The protagonist in the film, who is deaf and dumb makes it to the Indian team as a fast bowler against all odds.
Vipul K Rawal’s strong script made the audience believe that the language of sports is higher than any other language.
4. Paan Singh Tomar
Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sanjay Chauhan pulled off a spectacular biopic of the seven-time national steeplechase champion, Paan Singh Tomar, in 2012.
Tomar, who represented India in the 1958 Asian Games, turned into a bandit after retiring from the Indian Army.
When the runner returned to his village after his tenure with the defense force, he had to face a land feud, which forced Tomar to turn into a dacoit.
The film reminds us about the many Indian sportsmen who are not taken care of, once they move out of the scene.
Many Indian athletes have sold their medals to stay afloat financially.
Lagaan showed us the relation we have with cricket. Hockey maybe India’s national sport, but cricket holds a special place in almost every Indian’s heart.
The movie is like a timeline of how India picked up the game from the British and became a competitive force in the cricketing world.