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Field heroes go with alter egos on screen

Apurv Shukla – Blockbusters bring joy-Apurv Shukla Web

Sports form an integral part of most of our lives.

We follow our favorite teams and keep track of our much loved sportspersons performances in the sporting arena.

Cinema is also a passion for many people.  Filmmakers are always looking for new stories and ideas to engage and entertain the audiences.

Sports, with all their highs and lows, carry stories which can be interestingly translated on screen.

Films on sports and sportspersons are an established part of Hollywood.

Superstars shine

Hindi cinema is also gradually catching on to this trend.  One of the most successful Hindi films based on sports has been the Aamir Khan starrer ‘Lagaan,’ in which a motley group of villagers learnt and beat the English at their own game of Cricket.

Shahrukh Khan did his best to promote India’s national game Hockey in ‘Chak De India.’ His character was loosely based on former India goal keeper Mir Ranjan Negi.

One of the best biopic on Indian athletes was the 2013 Rakesh Mehra directed ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.’ Farhan Akhtar played the titular role of the track and field sprinter from Punjab, Milkha Singh. It narrated the multiple Asian Medal winner’s life and travails. The film was a heart warming tale of triumph of hope over misery, and won both critical and commercial acclaim.

Kom comes to light

India’s most successful woman boxer Mary Kom saw her life chronicled on the big screen in the 2014 Omung Kumar directed ‘Mary Kom.’

Priyanka Chopra played the titular role of the five-time World Amateur Boxing champion from Manipur. The film depicted the hardships athletes have to face when trying to take up sports as a career in India. It also brought out the deeply flawed selection process followed by sports bodies, and the lack of commercial interest in sports like Boxing. The film won laurels at the Box Office. It also brought a positive message on women empowerment, and shone the spotlight on North East India – an area often ignored in mainstream social and political discourse in India.

Azar’s innings

May 13, 2016 will see another sport person’s life story retold on screen. Emraan Hashmi plays the role of Mohammad Azharuddin in the Ekta Kapoor-produced ‘Azhar.’ The former India Cricket Captain has been one of the most talked about cricketers of his generation. The 99-test veteran had a spectacular initiation to the sport. He scored three centuries in his first three tests against England.

Azhar was appointed Captain of the Indian team in 1989 and lead the national team in three World Cups. Later, he was accused and implicated in match fixing charges.

Azhar also stars Prachi Desai and Nargis Fakhri (reprising the roles of Azhar’s two real life wives). The film will also have characters based on Azhar’s colleagues from the 1990s including Ravi Shastri and Navjot Singh Sidhu among others.

High expectations

Field heroes go with- Azhar Poster WebThe expectations from the film are high. Especially interesting to watch will be how the film portrays Azhar in front of the audiences – as a champion cricketer or a disgraced athlete?

This year will also see the release of ‘Sachin: A billion Dreams,’ depicting the life and times of one of the best cricketers the world has ever seen (Sachin Tendulkar).

Audiences are keen to watch the stories of sportspersons on screen.

Filmmakers have realized the real life stories of sportspersons make for a rich and layered reel interpretation. The onus lies on filmmakers to create a balanced product fairly representing all aspects of the athlete’s life, and respecting the audience’s sensibilities at the same time.

Photo:

  1. Azhar comes to screen on May 13
  2. Millions await Sachin Tendulkar framed

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