Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sports in Bollywood movies - A collection

A previous review of SRK's highly buzzed Chak De India led to a discussion on sports in Bollywood. This resulted in Manish taking a first cut at compiling a list of Bollywood films in which sports has featured prominently.

It's probably not entirely comprehensive but if I'm missing anything, drop by and let me know in the comments section and I'll update the list.

  1. Hip Hip Hurray (1984) Raj Kiran, Deepti Naval
    Raj Kiran takes up a job as a sports teacher in a school and negotiates a soccer rivalry with another

  2. Boxer (1984) Mithun Chakraborthy, Rati Agnihotri
    Daddy or kudi? Mithun has to choose between his father's honor and his wife's wishes. Daddy's choice: go toe-to-toe in a boxing ring with Sharat Saxena! Wife's choice: pyar bharaa aangan. Hey, I know what I would pick.

  3. All Rounder (1984) Kumar Gaurav, Vinod Mehra, Rati Agnihotri
    Kumar Gaurav messes up big time and disappoints his brother and his "fans". He hits the bottle but cricket beckons. Gaurav issues nuggets like "Iss ground ki kasam, I'll hit a six here"

  4. Kabhi Ajnabee The (1985) Sandip Patil, Poonam Dhillon
    Yes, he could bat. But can he act? You'll have to see for yourself (I'd like to share the pain here)

  5. Maalamaal (1988) Naseeruddin Shah, Poonam Dhillon
    Naseer is a cricketer who has to spend 30 million in 3 days to get at an inheritence worth 3.3 billion. Featuring a game between Naseer's team and a team led by Sunil Gavaskar

  6. Awwal Number (1990) Aamir Khan, Dev Anand
    A disgraced Aditya Pancholi tries to kill Aamir Khan by activating a bomb from a helicopter in the middle of Wankhede Stadium during a cricket match. If all terrorists were this stupid!

  7. Chamatkar (1992) Naseeruddin Shah, Shahrukh Khan
    Shahrukh Khan comes to Bombay and loses his way along with the plot. But hey, its got Johny Lever as a cricket commentator!

  8. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992) Aamir Khan, Pooja Bedi
    Sporting rivalry between three schools - rich kids, poor kids and girls! - climaxes with a cycling race between Aamir Khan and Deepak Tijori.

  9. Lagaan (2003) Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh
    No one escapes death and taxes - unless its taxes and you can really play a mean game of cricket. Aamir leads a motley bunch of untrained villagers against a British cantonment in this much beloved movie

  10. Stumped (2003) Raveena Tandon

  11. Iqbal (2005) Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad
    The story of an 18-year-old deaf and mute village boy who dreams of playing for India’s national cricket team.

  12. Hattrick (2007) John Abraham
    Cricket is the common thread binding this ensemble cast through three parallel stories

  13. Say Salaam India (2007) Sanjay Suri, Milind Soman
    Four boys make the incredibly difficult choice between playing cricket or wrestling in an akhadaa

  14. Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007) Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukherjee
    Saif Ali Khan romances a rich girl, races cars, wipes out, loses his touch and mounts a comeback to the track

  15. Chain Kulii ki Main Kulii (2007) Rahul Bose, Nasser Abdullah
    Harry Potter comes to cricket, but the wand is replaced with a magic bat

  16. Apne (2007) Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol
    A shamed boxer tries to overcome his kalank by forcing his sons to box. Sunny Deol says sure, dad but Bobby Deol would rather rock and roll

  17. Chak De India (2007) Shahrukh Khan
    A shamed hockey player (hey have we heard this before?) tries to make a point by coaching the Indian women's hockey team to glory

  18. Upcoming: Dhan Dhana Dhan...Goal (2007) Arshad Warsi, John Abraham, Boman Irani

  19. Upcoming: Meerabai Not Out (2007) Mandira Bedi, Mahesh Manjrekar, Eijaz Khan
    A cricket fanatic has to chose between her love for Anil Kumble and getting married. Hey, I know what I would choose!

  20. Upcoming: Yahan Ke Hum Sikander (2007) Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Sunil Shetty
    A star-studded cast in a story about why soccer should be the only religion on the field

  21. Coming at all? Shoonya Kay Kay Menon, Tulip Joshi
    The unofficial Mohammad Azharuddin story still stuck at the gates


Anonymous said...

Apparently, there is another sports flick coming this fall. Dhan Dhana Dhan ... Goal.

The movie stars John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Naveen Andrews (from LOST), Bipasha Basu, Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani.

Unknown said...

Right, I remember seeing that at AMC during the previews. And boy was it annoying sitting through the previes and then having to screen special, exclusive Yash Raj previews. I thought it would never end!

Anonymous said...

Maalamaal (1988), was another cricket related comedy where a Naseeruddin Shah XI plays a match against Sunny Gavaskar XI. I'll keep updating with more as I find them.

Anonymous said...

Hip Hip Hurray - how did I miss this one? Perhaps India's first sports genre movie. As good as Chak De, if not better. Soccer rivalry between two Ranchi schools. A Prakash Jha special starring Raj Kiran and Dipti Naval.

Also, Saaheb, starring Anil Kapoor.

Unknown said...

Manish, great finds. But I'm a little hesitant to add Saaheb to our list. We should pick movies where sports is central and not peripheral. Having said that, I haven't seen Saaheb myself.

Anonymous said...

Meerabai not out, starring Mandira Bedi, Mahesh Manjrekar and Anil Kumble!

Cycle Kick - a soccer film from Subhash Ghai, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor's assistant, Shashi Sudigala

Lahore - a kickboxing movie

Yahan Ke Hum Sikander - football with a religious angle thrown in.

Shoonya - yet another Anurag Kashyap film stuck at the censors because it is too close to Mohd. Azharuddin's story.

Mumbai Marathon/Marathon - directed by Nisha Chainani

Anonymous said...

There is also another sports movie coming out with John - Ash - Abhisek and some other dude. Its about bunch of adventure sportsmen who fall for the same girl.

sounds hot. except for Abhisekh

Unknown said...

The last time I made fun of Abhishek some nasty groupies stopped by. Besides Mum likes him. So I'm going to shut it.

But even some of the movies Manish dug up are so much in the nascent stages I kept them off this list. However, I'm keeping them in a seperate list to track and update this post.

Anonymous said...

nice post. if you'd like to learn more about mirabai and her love relationship with her Krishna, check out this site about Mirabai at

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Tara Rum Pum should be on the list...

Unknown said...

Manish, yes it should! I'll add it.

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

The chronology here is really interesting. Look how many there are in 2007. Is this unusual, and if so what's causing the sudden sports emphasis? Or are there always this many but they're so forgettable they're not making the list?

And Aspi, you don't like Abhishek? Don't make me do a hand-to-forehead Nahiiiiiiin!

Unknown said...

Arre, Beth, I like Abhishek but I still make fun of him sometimes. In fact, I don't touch only those I really don't like.

Good point about the frequency. Either we remember them better or they are making more of them. I think its more of the latter.

Anonymous said...

shtranj k khilari by satyjet roy
can make a place also.
shatraj represent the then india so it deserves to make a place in yours exclusive list

Unknown said...

Anon, Shatranj.. was on Manish's original list. But I've never thought of it as a sport. More as a game.

Which is why I had less of a problem when Sportstar used to be called Sport & Pasttime and had chess in the back pages.

Kanika said...

Hey, if you find chess to be a mere game and not a sport, how do you consider car racing(tara rum pum) to be a sports movie???

Unknown said...

Kanika, fair point. Here is the generally accepted definition of Sports.

"Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively"

Car Racing is extremely physical. On the other hand moving pieces around on a board while seated is not. Now one could say "Hey it requires a lot of fitness to sit in one place and concentrate". But then Watching TV would be a sport.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to suggest Ajay Devgan's 1992 Jigar and Aamir Khan's 1998 Ghulam.