Here are 7 incredible sports stories and movies inspired by real people and events.
Chak De! India (2007)
Chak De! India set the precedent for sports movies in India. Directed by Shimit Amin, the film follows a true chord as it eventfully describes the turbulence and struggles endured by the Indian women’s field hockey team. Inspired by the team’s empirical run in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and along with an empowering ensemble cast led by Sagarika Ghatge and Vidya Malvade, the film also remains Shah Rukh Khan’s most noted performance after (the wildly successful) DDLJ. And we are still waiting for Mr. Khan to shine some of his ingenious Chak De! magic onscreen. Chak De! India won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film 2009.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Emulating a beast of a performance through the landscapes of Leh Ladakh, Farhan Akhtar’s transformation to play and perform ‘The Flying Sikh’ is beyond commendable. Although Milkha Singh wasn’t the muscular pole he was shown to be, it doesn’t detract from Farhan’s performance. Incredibly high on adrenalin and drama – with the 1947 partition playing a pivotal role, the film also features National Award winning actress (for Neerja) Sonam Kapoor. Made by maverick director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag struck a deep emotional chord with audiences, and won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film 2014.
Mary Kom (2014)
Based on and inspired by five-time world champion Mary Kom, this National Award winning film is directed by Omung Kumar. Mary Kom is also the first Indian woman boxer to win an Olympic medal. It was indeed incredible to watch (National Award winning actress) Priyanka Chopra get down and dirty in an all-new sports avatar. She imminently dips into her acting zone, aesthetically camouflages as the indomitable Mary Kom and nails the part to near-perfection. Mary Kom won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film 2015.
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)
No ‘Indian sports movies’ list can be marked complete without an ‘untold’ cricket story. Helmed by National Award Winning Director Neeraj Pandey, the film’s story manifests itself into an emphatic watch. Based on our 2013 World Cup winning captain, the formidable Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the movie has actor Sushant Singh Rajput donning the infamous Blue jersey and closely cloning the cricketer right down to his body language and mannerisms.
This was by no means an easy movie to make – but Rahul Bose and team manage to work under the most trying circumstances and climate to tell the story of a mere means girl from Telangana and her ultimate quest to climb Mount Everest. Together with Aditi Inamdar (as Poorna Malavath) and S.Mariya, they make the mountainous climb.
Budhia Singh – Born to Run (2016)
It won the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film in 2016. With the magnificent Manoj Bajpayee and Mayur Mahendra Patole as main leads, the film follows the journey of a 5-year-old running prodigy from Odisha. From nurturing the father-son relationship to dealing with the dynamics of power and politics in sports, Budhia Singh – Born to Run is raw, unadulterated and triumphant in its own right.
Let’s seal the list with the strength of Indian sports cinema – Dangal. Inspired by our first Commonwealth wrestling champion Geeta Phogat and directed by Nitesh Tiwari, this seamlessly strung sports film marched on to become a smash hit worldwide. Powered by the ever so popular Aamir Khan and pillared by an all-female cast – Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar, Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh, Dangal propagates the father-daughter relationship at the heart of it. Zaira Wasim won the National Film Award For Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dangal.
We hope that this list reiterates the importance of Sports in our society. We hope that these incredibly inspiring stories and movies will help SpreadSports in India.
– Varun Kumar | Enterapped