By Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
For a change the industry is not lulled into complacency but it is ready to take the bull in the shape of cricket jamboree head on by releasing films that are based on cricket or other sports during the world cup saga. May be the mind set is changing and the opinion has started gaining ground that if the product is good, buoyed by the success in the cricket field the audience would return to the cinema halls with a vengeance.
HAT TRICK is going to hit the screens on this Friday, while TARA RUM PUM PUM, a Yash Raj Banner film is going to kiss the enlighten on the silver screen on 26 April the day on which the grand finale of the world cup would be staged in West Indies.
Interestingly enough, Sports film as a genre has suddenly found a new lease of life in the Indian film industry. This is a very positive development, as sports as a narrative has had a very feeble presence in the Indian films, while Hollywood and even Chinese film industry on an average makes two-three films based on sports as theme. Some of the milestones in this regard worth mentioning can be JERRY MAGUIRE, ROCKY series, ESCAPE TO VICTORY, RAGING BULL, OLYMPIAD I and II, THE CUP etc., BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM etc.
If one were to turn the spotlight to find such parallels in the Hindi films, the search engine would only throw up names like, HIP HIP HURRAY, SAHEB, and ALL ROUNDER and to an extent LAGAAN, JO JITA WAHI SIKANDER and BAAZIGAR that had sports as the theme and the reference point for this search would span a period of around twenty years. This list does not include two films in which Sandeep Patil acted along with Debshree Roy, which incidentally had nothing to do with sports, but the sports persons had donned the grease paint to become star, a feat which unsuccessfully Ajay Jadeja also tried to emulate. What it points to the fact that is that we as a nation do not hold sports in such a good esteem so as to consider it as a theme for making movie. During the old times, one would be at a loss to search for a film based on sports theme, probably JOHNY MERA NAAM to an extent may be an example, but beyond that there is nothing much to talk about.
Fortunately enough there has been a sudden mushrooming of films based on sports theme and the film makers have now developed a confidence to stand up to the cricket world cup as is happening with HAT TRICK. This could be owing to the success that the dubbed films like BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM attained even in small centres, which would have given an indication that there is a demand for this kind of films, subject to the conditions that it should have sports as a predominant motif and not be a theme lurking in the background. In the recent times, the success that IQBAL achieved as a film also would have contributed to a change in the mindset of the film industry.
Among the films in various stages of completion are John Abraham starrer GOAL, CHUK DE featuring Shah Rukh Khan, MEERA BAI NOT OUT where Anil Kumble is playing himself, Ahmed Khan's YAHAN KE HUM SIKANDER and Mukta Searchlight's CYCLE KICK. A positive feature of this turn around has been that cricket does not form the theme in all of these films, but it is trying to bring other sports in the motif as well, owing possibly to the awareness that is building around sports, and also about using sports as the channel vehicle to remain fit and healthy. With this objective in mind, the makers that have picked up the baton have a youthful demeanor about themselves, and probably this may turn out to be the new feather in the cap of the film industry, and could also bring into motif various sports that are practiced with passion in the country side.