In India, Cricket and Cinema are blended into the lives of its citizens. And in very recent times they have made encroachments into each other’s territory in a major way. With film stars more interested in IPL franchises, they are more seen in stadiums than on the silver screen. As if that wasn’t enough, vivacious regional film industries are now vying each other forming their own cricket teams.
The tryst of Bollywood with cricket had, in fact, started many years ago. Many films depicting aspiring cricketers and their fate and luck have made the cash registers tingle. Bollywood frequently pulls out stories related to the passionate game, thereby offering cocktail movies that have become runaway hits. Here we have a list of the most popular cricketing movies.
Lagaan has added the element of Indian national spirit to the game and filmdom. This inspiring tale is set in a rustic village during the British Rule in India. Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan plays the main protagonist, who urges his fellow men fight against spiteful tax rules through a game of cricket. He convinces them to learn and play the game of cricket for a bet against the British, at the stake of reducing their huge Lagaan (tax).The film has been crafted by the talented Ashutosh Gowariker, who continued to make national integrity based films. One high point of the flick is music composed by the inimitable AR Rahman. The film was a huge hit and was also nominated for the Academy Awards. It imparted significance of resilience, spirit, inspiration and team work to its viewers.
Iqbal is one of the major films which opened a commercial entry to the eminent director Nagesh Kukunoor. The average Indian teenager’s love and passion for cricket is depicted in the flick. However the story is given a different platform – with a deaf and dumb boy (Shreyas Talpade) from a secluded Indian village, surpassing all hurdles to achieve his desire, to play for the Indian National Cricket Team. The story has a convincing narration and is handled sensitively to strike a chord with the Indian audience. Iqbal did succeed at the theatres mainly with its mouth to mouth publicity. Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal depicts the sports along with the politics that come with it.
Patiala house is a very recent example of the film of this genre. The film has Akshay Kumar in the lead role opposite Anushka Sharma. It is said to have inspired from the life of English Spinner Montey Panesar. The film deals with the issues of racism and double identity. Cricket is used a medium to show the conflict of the dichotomies that makes a family migrate to foreign land. Akshay Kumar enacts the character of a bowler who is passionate about cricket and aspires to play for England, thereby conflicting his father’s traditional values, family ties and ethics. The film did moderately well at the box office.
Aamir Khan had started his rendezvous with cricket-based stories very early on in his career, in this film directed by Dev Anand. Awwal Number was more concerned with sports based jealousy, passion, love and the spirit of the game. Awwal Number gave preference to the dirty side of cricket – like, jealousy and revenge – than the game. The story revolves around a new star Sunny (Aamir Khan) included in the cricket team in place of another famous star Ronny (Aditya Pancholi). Ronny’s hatred against Sunny forms the crest of the story. However, Awwal Number was also ridiculed for the unlikely ‘masala’ content the director had stuffed into the film.
Dil Bole Hadippa
This cricket movie is thoroughly intended to entertain the audience with all the formulas like vivid Punjabi spirit, national pride, NRIs who find their love for India, Bhangra, and a spunky female lead character who plays a male. This Shahid Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee starrer revolves around a game played to strengthen peace between two neighboring states. The USP is that, the heroine of film, Veera (Rani ) a die hard cricket fan who aspires to play for her nation, dresses up as a guy to make it to the team. It succeeded in capturing the spirit of the game and sportsmanship (or sportsladyship?). It has romance, songs, and situation comedies (created by the male disguise of Rani.) A wholesome entertainer movie spiced with cricket and romance.
This multi-starrer by Milan Luthria is a sweet film which you can enjoy with your family and friends. It deals with three different lives, which is intertwined with cricket. Though the film pays no direct tribute to the game, cricket itself forms the main character of film.Further Reading
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