Hindi Cinema World saw few sports based films hitting Box Office as Lagaan and Chak De! India did big business and other producers also tried their hand in directing movies based on sports background but without much success. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag made news in Bollywood and woke up the sports world that we had a flying Sikh, who dominated the tracks with his dedication, regular practice and the will to win at the highest level. Only Golden girl P.T. Usha had the tenacity and the temper to work hard like Milkha Singh. The Sardar of speed was a significant success when there was no media publicity and he performed well in an individual game. He made his mark in Pakistan and made the General to call him Flying Sikh for speed, alertness and the aggression to win the Friendship Game there and brought laurels for the country. We are fortunate to see the Flying Sikh in action through Farhan Akhtar.
Biopics have become the order of the day for Bollywood as they not only honour the legends but are also being appreciated and enjoyed by the audience. From kings and queens to gangsters and freedom fighters; several movies have been made in Bollywood. There have been many biopics made recently on various personalities but these days, sports biopics have become popular. For many they are the dream project and for some it is a medium to pay tribute to their favourite sports star; but for the audience it is the moment of inspiration and rejoicing and reliving the victory of their favourite sports person.
Chak De! India made big news as hockey is our National game and women’s hockey was given pride of place in this film. Shah Rukh Khan did fit into the role of the coach very well. But the team failed to put up a regular show on astro turfs and hence their performance at the International level was somewhat questionable. In Lagaan, Aamir Khan’s side failed to handle a regular season bat but still made 300 plus score with handmade wooden willow. Mary Kom made a mark with Priyanka Chopra getting the best out of a different role in a biopic. Mohammad Azharuddin, the tainted cricketer did live up to his lavish style of life in the cricketing world and finally banned for his role in match fixing charges and does not deserve a biopic. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is considered a hero in India after his two world cup wins and the film achieved significant success but not to the extent of Dangal.
Aamir Khan’s wrestling drama Dangal did not touch the hard work put in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ or his own Lagaan. However the film did make an impact on the masses and that was clearly vindicated in its box office collection which is slowly touching Rs.350 crore mark. Now he got the tag of the film industry’s most dependable star of all time. An average of Rs.200 plus crore collection of his seven films is an unique record. He came saw and conquered Bollywood from his early days of ‘ Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’. His trade mark acting, his wishful thinking and giving equal opportunities to all his co actors all gave him an added advantage in his films and it is replicated in overwhelming collections of those movies. He is a born actor but his image was tarnished by self created intolerance issue but softened his stand after facing public wrath. Aamir Khan really swarmed box office with his super hits and Dangal proved this point in a very big way.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)