Journey of Indian Cinema celebrating Sports prior to the Millennium Age

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National Sports Day 2018

If Bollywood is satisfaction after a good meal, Sports is the hunger in you to achieve satisfaction. India is a diverse country with each region and state giving prominence to different sporting activities, conducive to the culture and weather in our country.

While Hockey has been considered a National Sport of India, the bat and ball game of 11 players called Cricket, has always cherished superior popularity. We take you through a journey of Indian cinema over the years showcasing sports prior to the 21st century.

 PRE MILLENIUM ERA:

(i) BOXER (1984)

Dharma (Danny Denzongpa) works as a boxer with Kashmir Silk Mills. He is assured to be sent to London, if wins the next boxing bout against Shera. Unfortunately, Dharma not only loses the game, but is also significantly injured and unable to box anymore. Over the years, his son, Shankar (Mithun Chakraborty) turns into a criminal due to the pressures of society and increasing family problems. He meets with boxing manager, Tony Braganza (Parikshat Sahni) during his days in prison, and after being released, he starts to train with him and eventually challenges the reigning Champion Raghu Raj (Sharat Saxena).

Boxer was considered to be the Indian version of popular Rocky Series.

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(ii) HIP HIP HURAY (1984)

A sports drama directed by Prakash Jha and scripted by Gulzar, the plot revolves around a computer engineer Sandeep Chowdhary (Raj Kiran) who takes up a temporary job as a sports instructor at Ranchi. After series of events that the protagonist undergoes in his personal and professional life, he goes on to leading his football team to victory.

This movie also marked the directorial debut of Prakash Jha.

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(iii) AWWAL NUMBER (1990)

Awwal Number was an out and out sports film directed by the legendary actor, Dev Anand.

The plot revolved around a budding star, Sunny (Aamir Khan) who had been included in the team in place of another famous star Ronny (Aditya Pancholi). This preference of the cricketer over another popular batsman creates hatred in the heart of Ronny against Sunny. The drama unfolds where it is discovered that terrorists in the field where a match is to be organized between India and Australia, have planted a bomb. The parallel plot of securing the match from terror attack and Sunny becoming a star by playing a match-winning stroke for the country, all leads to a thrilling climax.

It is rumoured that the director, Dev Anand was keen to offer the role of Sunny to then Star of World Cricket and current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan.

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(iv) JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDER (1992)

A multi-starrer blockbuster movies of the 1990s leaves us with an impressionable memory even today. Set in the backdrop of boarding schools in Dehradun, the plot included the sportsmanship exhibited by different students coming from varied strata of society. The innocence and charm of young hearts, clubbed with the do or die spirit to win the Cycle race, got the audience hooked on to the film through and through.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander is registered as one of the classics and also marked the debut of choreographer, Farah Khan.

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(v) JIGAR (1992)

An unofficial remake of the 1989 blockbuster, Kickboxer, Jigar was a movie based on two good friends practicing wrestling and martial arts. The movie starred Ajay Devgan and Arjun (Firoz Khan) who display their wrestling skills all throughout the film. The movie was quoted to have done an overall business of Rs. 9crores back in 1992.

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(vi) BAAZIGAR (1993)

While the blockbuster movie was a thriller starring the very fresh, yet unpredictable Shah Rukh Khan, a critical part of the film introduced Indian cinema lovers to the sport of Car Racing. The second character of Vicky Malhotra portrayed by SRK in the movie is presented on the screen through a car race in Chennai, then Madras. This crucial scene furthers the plot and also cements a new era of Sports in Indian Cinema.

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