Making a sports biopic has some in-built advantages. For the audiences, they offer the charm of watching movie stars assume the roles of known sports personalities
NEW DELHI: Bengali film Golondaaj, which has announced its release for the Independence Day weekend, adds to the sport biopics slated for release this year. The film directed by Dhrubo Banerjee and produced by SVF Entertainment stars Dev, Alexx O’Nell and Anirban Bhattacharya in the lead roles, is the story of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikary, considered the father of Indian football.
To be sure, Indian cinema’s love for sports biopics is evident in the number of films slated for this year. In June, Ranveer Singh will essay the role of cricketer Kapil Dev in ’83, while Maidaan starring Ajay Devgn as real-life football coach Syed Abdul Rahim will release in October. Taapsee Pannu is also prepping to play Mithali Raj in a film soon.
More recently, Hindi film industry also turned to the specific genre of women and sports films to drive theatrical audiences, as real slice-of-life stories emerge and female-led cinema finds more favour at the box office. Last week, T-Series released Saina, based on the life of badminton player Saina Nehwal, starring Parineeti Chopra.
Media experts say that since filmmaking is a business, for sports movies to be appealing, the narrative must be married to something that will be commercially successful.
“So, when you’re picking people whom you will talk about, they have to be subjects that will click and whose life has already found a certain currency. And sport is one such subject which is of interest to people,” Prasoon Joshi, writer of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a biopic of Milkha Singh, had said in an earlier interview to Mint.
Making a sports biopic has some in-built advantages. For the audiences, they offer the charm of watching movie stars assume the roles of known sports personalities, pushing themselves out of traditional comfort zones and seeking critical appreciation. Also, there are specific marketing opportunities these films lend themselves to, allowing for several corporate partnerships, and resonating with people since it’s a story of human triumph.