A lot of movie makers have immortalized the ups and downs of these athletes on screen.
Indians love their movies and sports hand in hand. On a few occasions, both of these worlds come together to great effect. Bollywood filmmakers have time and again used the lives of sporting icons as inspiration for biopics. Getting familiar with their life’s story and struggles bring the fans ever so close with the sports personalities they only view as spectators.
Below is a list of five such films which were remarkable in depicting the lives of major Indian sporting icons.
Saina is one of the latest sports biopics based on the life of Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal. The film is directed by Amole Gupte and produced by Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar among others under the T-Series banner. Indian actress Parineeti Chopra portrays Saina Nehwal in the movie as an adult.
The narrative focuses on Saina’s rise to the top, struggles with becoming famous at an early age and how she forged a comeback after spells with injuries. The movie had a decent reception and the fans applauded Chopra’s dedication to portray Nehwal on the big screen.
4. MS Dhoni: The Untold Story
MS Dhoni has been Indian cricket team’s one of the most successful captains. He played a major role in guiding the team to World Cup win in 2011. Sushant Singh Rajput portrayed the Captain Cool on the big screen and did so with great accuracy. He trained hard to replicate Dhoni’s batting form and his iconic Helicopter Shot.
The movie depicted Dhoni’s journey to becoming the player he was. Moreover, Dhoni himself became a consultant in the making of the biopic. The film is one of the highest grossing sports-based biopics in Bollywood. It collected US$16 million worldwide.
3. Mary Kom
Mary Kom is a biopic directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Viacom 18 Pictures. The movie is based on Mary Kom, India’s undisputed best female boxer of all time. She is also one of the few figures who have won an individual Olympic medal. In fact, she is the only female boxer to win an Olympic medal.
Priyanka Chopra played the role of Mary Kom in the film and she did a fantastic job portraying her. The actress went through a rigorous training regime to do justice to the role. She earned a lot of plaudits from the film and sports industry alike. The movie had a very warm reception among the watchers.
Dangal is one of the finest sports biopics to come out of Bollywood. It released in 2016 under the banners of Aamir Khan Production, Disney and UTV Motion Pictures. The movie depicts the lives of the Phogat sisters – Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat. Aamir Khan plays the role of their father Mahavir Phogat and the narrative focuses on the training he imparts on both Babita and Geeta.
The movie received widespread positive reviews by critics, thanks to Aamir’s acting and the raw portrayal of the humble beginnings of the Phogat sisters. The movie does justice to Geeta Phogat’s journey to becoming the first female wrestler to win a Gold Medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Dangal is the highest grossing sports-based movie worldwide and the highest earning Bollywood film globally, making $330m approximately. What’s mind boggling is that the production budget for the film was only $9.8m.
1. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was released in 2013, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. The biopic depicts the life story of legendary Indian sprinter, Milkha Singh. The athlete was a Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, an Army Officer and an Olympian. He also won several medals at the Asian Games and National Games.
Farhan Akhtar played the role of Milkha Singh in what is regarded as one of the best Bollywood biopics of recent times. His portrayal of the sprinter remains one of the most iconic attempts by an actor to date. Farhan went through an incredibly hard training regime to shape his body in line with an athlete. The actor received plaudits from all corners for the determination and the justice to the role. The movie grossed over $14 million worldwide.