There was a time of sports dramas. Movies like Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (dir. Mansoor Khan, 1992), fueled the spirit of competition. The action centred on an inter-college cycling race, the romance was a running them, but the values it imparted were about hard work, dedication to oneâ€™s cause and the real passion for a sport.
Team spirit was taught in Ashutosh Gowarikerâ€™s Lagaan in 2001, produced by Aamir Khan if one can dare put such an epic film in such a category. The rag-tag cricket teamâ€™s desire to win against the mighty British became a metaphorical fight against colonialism, racism and injustice.
Then came that remarkable hockeyÂ film Chak De India! directed by Shimit Amin and Rob Miller. It forayed into untouched topics, including regional prejudice and sexism. Shah Rukh Khan as the coach of Indian womenâ€™s national hockey team portrayed the character in a memorable way. It was inspiring to people from every walk of life.
Now Bollywood seems to have entered the era of sports biopics, taking audiences into the lives of successful sportspersons. The struggle and hardships they undergo to achieve that ultimate goal make for a gripping story. Though we already know the â€˜endâ€™, we are exposed to the realities of that particular game. We engage with the character in a meaningful way. And itâ€™s not just as spectators: young athletes are inspired and motivated to pursue their goals with single-minded devotion.