New Delhi: 2016 is turning out to be a year of sports movies in India. Despite India's poor performance at the Rio Olympics, sporting discourses continue to occupy mainstream dialogue in the country. And it sure affects country's cinematic outlook, vis-a-vis Bollywood.
After the success of films like 'Sultan' and 'M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story', and also the upcoming release of another possible blockbuster in 'Dangal', movies – based on sports – have given Bollywood stars chance to play the roles of their real life heroes.
Salman Khan impressed everyone with his role an aged-wrestler, taking on MMA fighters with Haryanvi accent, song and dance routine et al in 'Sultan'. In the Dhoni biopic, Sushant Singh Rajput becomes the reel life version of one of India's greatest cricket captains, and the movie itself found general acceptance.
Then, there will be Amir Khan's 'Dangal', based on the lives of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters – Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, and niece Vinesh Phogat. It's already billed a must watch for all movie buffs.
But on Friday, another superstar in Akshay Kumar jumped on the sports movie bandwagon by announcing 'Gold', a movie based on India's first Olympic medal as a free nation.
Always regarded as one of the fittest and also bankable actors, Akshay doing a sporting movie sure gives Bollywood certain legitimacy when it comes to re-creating past glories.
For the record, a year after gaining independence, India won their first Olympic medal – a gold – at the 1948 Lodon Olympics in the men's field hockey event. The team, captained by Kishan Lal, defeated Great Britain 4-0 in the final.
It's yet to be revealed who's role the Khiladi actor will portray in the movie, but it's likely to be that of Kishan himself – still regarded as the greatest right-winger in the history of the game.
India winning the 1948 hockey gold medal is important for three simple reasons : 1) won at the home their past colonial masters, against them, 2) the team was competing in the world's greatest sporting spectacle for the first time as an independent nation and 3) started yet another treble-gold-medal spree at the Games, after the Dhyan Chand-led team achieved the feat in 1928, 1932, and 1936.
The film's release date has been set August 15, 2018.
In 2007, hockey-based movie 'Chak De! India', enthralled everyone with it's excellent narrative and performances from the ensemble of stars, including Shahrukh Khan, who played the real-life character of Kabir Khan.