India is a nation that has a great history in sports. While we may have some of the best cricketers in the world, it doesn’t mean we’re lacking in other departments. Over the years, India has been blessed to have some world class athletes that made the action proud. People like Sachin Tendulkar, M.S Dhoni and Milkha Singh, to name a few, have risen above their personal limitation and circumstances and achieved something not just for themselves but for the nation. The stories of these sportspersons are so inspiring that it motivated filmmakers from Bollywood to portray their journey on the big screen. So, on this Independence Day we decided to list few biopics that gave a tribute to the greatest in sports.
1. M.S Dhoni : The Untold Story
Cast : Sushant Singh Rajput, Disha Patani, Kiara Advani, Anupam Kher and Bhumika Chawla
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Release Date: 30 September 2017
Possibly India’s greatest, M.S Dhoni is someone who definitely deserved a biopic. M.S Dhoni led India to their second world cup title in 2011 ending the 28 year drought after the Kapil Dev team pulled off the same feat in 1983. M.S Dhoni’s is known for his calm demeanour even when the game is in the most tense of stages. This attitude has helped India come victorious when facing some next to impossible situations. Sushant Singh Rajput played the titular character of M.S Dhoni, who did a good job in replicating his personality on the big screen.
Cast: Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sanah Sheikh, Zaira Wasim and Sania Malhotra.
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Release Date: 23 December 2016
Aamir Khan’s Dangal is based on the Phogat family, telling the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, a wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to become India’s first world-class female wrestlers. Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) gives up on his dream of winning a gold for India at the olympics due to family responsibilities. Later on, he’s able to bring back that dream to life by training his daughters and making them good enough to be the best.
3. Budhia Singh: Born To Run
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Mahendre Patole and Tilotama Shome.
Director: Soumendra Padhi
Release Date: 5 August 2016
Possibly one of the most under-appreciated sports biopics in recent history, Budhia Singh was based on the phenomenal 5-year-old who was the talk of the world in 2006. This movie had a super strong performance by Manoj Bajpayee as Biranchi Das, Budhia’s coach. Even young Mayur Patole as little Budhia gave an honest and authentic performance. The highlight of this movie was the spirit of one young boy and the resilience of his coach to make him a sporting sensation against government and political pressures.
4. Mary Kom
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Kumaar and Sunil Thapa.
Director: Omung Kumar
Release Date : 5 September 2014
Omung Kumar’s Mary Kom was a Priyanka Chopra show all the way. Her physical efforts at learning boxing and putting on muscle was impressive but better still was the grace and restraint which she brought to her performance. She played a mother and a boxer. The various shades of her role seemed so authentic only because PC was in top form in this film.
5. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Divya Dutta, Sonam Kapoor, Pawan Malhotra and Meesha Safi.
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Release Date : 12 July 2013
Talking of physical transformations, no other actor managed a better impact for their role, than Farhan Akhtar in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The muscles he put on for this performance were intense, but the best part was Farhan’s overall athletic look that seemed a perfect reflection of the real Milkha Singh. The sprinting scenes in particular were top notch.