Sports drama has been a favourite genre of filmmakers across the globe. Movie industries around the world have unleashed a variety of riveting sports sagas. Some have failed in their endeavors but some have succeeded in keeping the audience spellbound. Over here, let us focus on the reel-life stories of famous sports personalities that have been magnificently captured on celluloid.
Sports biopics to capture the imagination of the cinephiles
In this Jet-Li-starrer martial arts drama, the life of Huo Yuanjia is portrayed effectively by throwing light on his life and the changing cultural phenomenon in China. Yuanjia happened to be a Chinese national hero, who conducted and dominated Wushu matches with participants from all across the world. His rise in popularity as a martial artist in the late 19th and early 20th century coincided with China’s disintegration from its cultural roots due to the influence of other countries. This biopic directed by Ronny Yu acts as the true metaphor for China’s come back to its original identity.
The Blind Side (Hollywood/ 2009/)
This is another riveting sports biopic written and directed by John Lee Hancock. The movie is inspired by the 2006 book “The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis. The movie follows the journey of Michael Oher, a US soccer offensive lineman, who fought with abject poverty to make his way into the National Football League, largely due to the backing of his adoptive parents. It has an incredible lineup of stars such as Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw and Quinton Aaron.
Cinderella Man (Hollywood/ 2005)
We have a fascination for movies that show incredible resurgences. Dubbed as a spent force in boxing post a tragedy that ruins his career in the ring, the real-life boxer James Braddock is at the lowest point in his life as he moves out of the sport during the Great Depression. Lonely and hopeless, James’ former manager gives him a last chance at redemption, will he triumph against all odds or come a cropper. Watch this poignant and exciting movie starring Russel Crowe (James Braddock), Renee Zellweger and Paul Giamatti to find out the eventual fate of the boxer.
The Hurricane (Hollywood/1999)
This happens to be another sports biography from Hollywood that won several hearts for its realistic portrayal and intriguing drama. The film tracks the journey of a boxer Rubin Carter who gets falsely implicated in a triple murder case. Denzel Washington perfectly showcases the trial and tribulation of a boxer who was wronged by the system. The movie also stars John Hannah, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber among others.
Soorma (Hindi/ 2018)
Movies revolving around hockey, our national sport, are always special as it is our national game. This 2018 hockey drama was based on the life of Sandeep Singh, one of the finest players to have graced the game. The movie effortlessly portrays Sandeep’s exploits as a hockey player and how he overcomes a humongous hurdle that almost puts a full stop to his glorious career. It starred Diljit Dosanjh as Sandeep Singh alongside Tapsee Pannu, Angad Bedi, Vijay Raaz etc and was directed by Shaad Ali.
Captain (Malayalam/ 2018)
This 2018 directorial by Prajesh Sen narrates the sordid saga of India’s forgotten football legend, VP Sathyan. The movie chronicles the achievements, agony and despair of the Kerala-born footballer, who defies all the odds stacked against him to make it to the Indian team and his eventual downfall snowballing into a terrible fate. The movie apart from showing Sathyan’s rise to fame also shows the ugly side of the sports administration, how it is destroying the lives of genuine talents in our country. It is also a scathing indictment of the way football is organised in India. The versatile actor of Malayalam cinema Jayasuria captures the angst and frustration of a wronged Sathyan totally and the actor is ably supported by Anu Sithara, Saiju Kurup, Siddique etc.
MS Dhoni (Hindi/2016)
The list involving sports biopics is incomplete without featuring the big-screen adaptation of the journey of this wonder boy from Jharkhand. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Ranchi lad who later on became the captain of India, has had several interesting tales behind him. The movie directed by Neeraj Pandey, tracks the life of Dhoni from childhood to his moment of ultimate glory, when he lifts the World Cup as the captain of India. The movie would not have been as impactful as it finally turned out without the sincere performance of the late Sushant Singh Rajput, who was able to bring to the fore the insatiable hunger and burning desire of the small town cricketer. The late actor was ably supported by actors such as Anupam Kher, Kiara Advani, Disha Patani etc.