Bollywood and sports: Lagan, Chak De! India, Goal, Pan Singh Tomar…and now be ready for Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’

Sports have no boundaries and neither has entertainment. And when these two mix together, it comes out with a heady cocktail if not all, but on many occasions. A lot of sports and sports personalities have inspired the Bollywood directors to make a movie on that sport or sportsperson and the latest doing the round is a movie based on the life of legendary Milkha Singh also known as Flying Sikh. The movie named Bhag Milkha Bhag is already into its making phase with Farhan Akhtar in lead role.

Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra of 'Rang De Basanti' fame, who is making the biopic with Farhan and not very long ago, the actor was in Chandigarh to have a real life experience of how the legendary athlete really strived hard and how to reach to that level. He even walked around with Milkha Singh to see the place where he practiced and tried to learn his mannerisms. Milkha in turn gave Farhan his running spikes.

The team is so serious about the biopic that Farhan had to train as an athlete. According to reports there was a lot of hard work and training everyday on the field and then the gym. There were athletic instructors, a technical expert for speed and endurance, all that is required to train an athlete, according to the director.

Farhan's look in the film has already created quite a buzz and Mehra says the reason why that sole picture of the actor from the sets of 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' has generated so much response is because it is full of sincerity. A picture from the movie shows Farhan sporting a beard, long hair and a buffed up body. Mehra says it is comparatively easier to achieve the look on the outside than feel what Milkha is like on the inside.

Bollywood has it in history of making movies based on sports which have gone on to become blockbusters. These movies have been able to instil a spirit of nationalism and also influence the sporting arena. Bollywood can be the most inspiring element of Indian society and going by this fact, the movie makers should dish out more and more meaningful movies on sports as history has it records that sports and Bollywood is a great combination and is certain to influence the Indian folks. Here is a look at some of the movies which were very inspiring and very popular.

The Directed by Ashutosh Gowriker and the lead role played by Amir Khan, this movie is considered to best sports movie ever in the history of Indian cinema. Based on an already captivating theme Cricket, it showed how a group of villager in defiance against tyranny agrees to play a match of cricket with the British rulers to save their village from the exorbitant taxes imposed on them. The movie became a hit worldwide and it also received nomination for the academy awards.

Chak De India: The movie which starred the King of Bollywood “Shahrukh Khan” went to become a smash hit and the title song sung by Sukhwinder Singh has become an anthem for the sports fraternity. The theme of the movie is based on ex assistant coach of Indian Women’s Hockey Team who played for India and was responsible for a significant lose against Pakistan, which saw him getting axed from the team. But returned to the scene and assisted the Women’s Team to win the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Somewhat similar was the case with Shahrukh in the movie and after a failure he makes the Indian Women’s Team to rise from the ashes and clinch the World Cup. The movie went to win many awards and not to forget hearts.

Pan Singh Tomar:
Another recent movie to be made on an athlete’s is Pan Singh Tiomar, the lead role being played by Irfan Khan. A brilliant movie, it’s depicts the story of an Army athlete Paan Singh was a small town lad who joined Army and went on to win the steeplechase at the Indian National Games for seven consecutive years. He broke the national record, a feat that was unsurpassed for 10 years. A series of life changing events however forced Paan Singh to give up athletics, pick up the gun and become the scourge of the infamous Chambal valley in central India. Filled with deep emotions and fateful twists, Paan Singh Tomar is a gritty, no holds barred action adventure set in the heart of India’s gangland, Chambal.

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal: Themed on Southall, the story is that the football team of Southall is under huge debt and is a verge of losing their ground. Starring John Abraham and Arshad Warsi, they fight to defy all odds and emerge as a winner in the league which helps them save the club and the ground. The movie never received the appreciation as it deserved but nevertheless was a good attempt at showcasing the most popular game of the World and trying to inspire Indian to play it more and more.

Iqbal: A beautiful movie themed on cricket where a deaf and dumb 18-year old villager aimed to break into the Indian National Team. Iqbal, the protagonist of the movie played by Shreyas Talpade, is a genuine talent but never had facility and also lacked support from his parents. But he did not let these odds to pull him down and with the help of his coach Naseeruddin Shah finally lives his childhood dream.

Hip Hip Hurray: A classic movie of 1980’s directed by Prakash Jha featuring Raj Kiran was a very inspirational based on football in which Raj plays the role of Sandeep, a well-known sportsperson. The story is that Raj takes up the job of a football coach and helps his team defeat their arch rivals.