If you’re Indian, you most definitely have a favorite team, even if your city doesn’t have it’s own franchise. We all fight when it comes to statehood and language and caste and everything but when it’s cricket, everything is forgiven. A Jharkand native is called “Namma Thala Dhoni” and is considered a Chennai boy. Virat Kohli is as good as a Bangalorean. Even politicians have been taking a break from campaigning to catch a little IPL action. Let’s take a look at some movies that talk about cricket and combine our love for movies and the game.
Forever number 1 on the list of cricket movies, Lagaan has an incredible cast that includes Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Suhasini Mulay and Kulbhushan Kharbanda, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, and with music by AR Rahman, it worked because it combined the biggest religion in the country, cricket, with patriotism and the freedom struggle. Along with the cricket match, the subject of tax, being oppressed, caste discrimination were also addressed. It was also nominated for the Academy Awards. That’s always a great stamp of approval to recommend a movie to us.
Iqbal is about a small town deaf and mute boy who loves cricket, and overcomes challenges like his physical ones, his farmer-father dissuading him because of lack of funds, nepotism and favoritism, to fulfill his dreams of playing cricket for the country. In some ways it is better than Lagaan because it had a smaller budget, no star to rely on, and no superb supporting cast to boast of, and definitely no AR Rahman making music. Nagesh Kukunoor sure knows how to sell you dreams the right way.
Kanaa stars Aishwarya Rajesh in the role of a girl who watches her father break down after India loses the 2007 World Cup, and vows to bring back the World Cup for India. Sathyaraj plays her cricket crazy father who supports her dreams. Also what’s great about this movie is that the director, Arunraja Kamaraj, who is multi-talented as a singer, lyricist, writer and director, also really played cricket when he was younger! So he must’ve really known what he was writing and directing.
Jannat is a movie that introduces you to the big bad world of cricket betting. It stars Emraan Hashmi and Sonal Chauhan in a plot that revolves around love in the middle of cricket, moving countries, the tale of a don, the problems you face with your family, and lots more, all in one film. It did really well at the Box Office, and also probably was single-handedly responsible for planting the seeds of betting in young minds.
Kai Po Che
Kai Po Che tells us the story of three friends in Ahmedabad who open up a venture that offers sports good and training. The rest of the country may dream of playing on a team, but these boys from Gujarat focus more on the business. It stars Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh and Rajkummar Rao - very well cast. Amit Trivedi added a great touch with his music, and the film has a great supporting cast. It also talks a little about communal riots because the story takes place during the Godhra riots. It is the movie adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s book, so they had enough of a reference to go by and make this superb film about friendship, community, harmony, and of course, cricket.
Chain Khuli Ki Main Khuli
What’s better than a movie about cricket? A movie about cricket and kids! Chain Khuli ki main khuli came out more than a decade ago, and tells us the story of an orphan kid who loves cricket, and finds a magic bat to play with and make it to a professional team. It didn’t do too well at the Box Office, mostly because it released a few months after India failed to win the 2007 World Cup.
Chennai 28 and the sequel
Chennai 600028 was supposed to be called “Enga area ulla varadhe” which translates to “Don’t come into my area”. How great is a gang war when it is about cricket? Watch the movie to find out. It combines cricket with love, friendship, neighbourhood politics and family.
But is also shows us how cricket is played on the streets of India, and how it is part of almost every Indian kid’s childhood. It was declared a sleeper hit because it picked up momentum after release and ran in theatres for a whole year. Such miracles can only happen in India!
1983 is a family drama that stars Nivin Pauly, who played Kuttan in Bangalore Days. He plays the role of a boy who had to give up his cricketing dreams, but tries to live vicariously through his son. The whole family is cricket crazy, and the movie starts with all of them watching the 1983 World Cup together. The scenes where they show street cricket being played in India are very accurate.
It doesn’t seem like the craze for biopics will end anytime soon. There has already been one about MS Dhoni, one about Sachin Tendulkar, and an upcoming one featuring Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev. But even with all this, there’s no such thing as cricket overdose in India.