Indian Sports films review
Indian Sports films review
Set in 1893, this film’s historical backdrop is not only there to provide color, it provides legitimate and believable plot narratives to this joyful spectacle. Aamir Khan plays Bhuvan, a local man who stands up to the British Commander over the Lagaan (farmers tax). They decide to settle the dispute via a Cricket game. What follows has a recognizable sports movie theme running through it but masters romance, intrigue and wonderous dance sequences with skill. This is a thoroughly enjoyable movie that manages to take the sports movie tale and make it it's own.
Chak De India! (2007)
Here we visit the world of Field Hockey, Shah Rukh Khan plays Kabir Khan, a former player who fell from grace after losing a championship to local rivals Pakistan. 7 years later he re-emerges to manage the women’s national team. It addresses important themes like sexism within it and does a good job of portraying how these women from 16 different Indian states overcome their differences. However, if you were expecting the usual splash of life from musical numbers then you may find yourself disappointed at the training montages in their place. Despite being formulaic the film should be praised for the platform it gives to women whilst being pleasantly watchable.
Mary Kom (2014)
It is hard to speak about a boxing film without the inevitable Rocky comparisons arriving, but this true story is not only engaging from a visual point of view, it too addresses important female issues (such as the post-birth challenges a female boxer faces). Unfortunately, beyond these areas, the film falls down. Priyanka Chopra and Sunil Thapa, who play a boxer and quintessential grumpy coach respectively, do not seem to have much of a connection on screen and you are left feeling like you’ve barely got to know the woman behind the fists. Truly, a watch worthy movie by Priyanka Chopra.
M.S. Dhani – The Untold Story (2016)
This tells the story of the Captain of the Indian Cricket team, from his youth, where he started off as a football goalie, through the various events of his life. This doesn’t sound like the most interesting of descriptions as it isn’t the most interesting of films. Yes, it has its moments of triumph in keeping with the sports film genre, but the film is a ponderous affair that misses many key scenes that could have added greater depth to it. Sushant Singh Rajput does a good job in his inscrutable portrayal of the titular character but unfortunately the films length and prerequisite for in-depth cricket knowledge make this a missed opportunity.
It might be that placing a sports movie into a pivotal time in history is the key ingredient to creating a film that not only tells the tale of sporting glory but does so in an entertaining manner. Gold, much like Lagaan, does just this. Themes such as Indian identity are handled well without slowing the film down, as the Indian Field Hockey team goes on to win Gold at the 1948 Olympics on their former occupiers’ own turf – Wembley. Akshay Kumar portrays the strategist leading the team to success in a believable, flawed, yet likable performance that ties together a film that is uplifting, sensitive and most importantly; enjoyable.