Cricket and Bollywood are two of the most loved subjects in India – whether you’re a student, a young professional, a home-maker, or even your 80-year-old grandad who can’t get over just how brilliant the 1983 World Cup win was.
Everyone loves cricket and Bollywood in the country. Both have the ability to keep viewers hanging on until the very end and neither fail to bring together fans from every corner of the country. Mixing both these high-entertainment products is bound to create epic results, thus explaining the growth in cricket-centric movies of late.
The first movie ever to have cricket as the main theme was Love Marriage in 1959 where the lead character was a cricketer. That was followed by All Rounder in 1984, which highlighted the struggles of an upcoming cricketer.
Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan (2001) was probably the most iconic Bollywood movie based on cricket ever made. The concept was simple – a bunch of naive villagers come together and teach themselves to play cricket in order to defeat the British so that they can be exempted from their exorbitant taxes.
Another upcoming cricket movie is 83, which is based on the Indian cricket team’s 1983 World Cup win.
Ranveer Singh plays Kapil Dev in the movie, while his real-life wife, Deepika Padukone plays Dev’s wife Romi. And ahead of the film’s impending December 24 release date, Dev, who captained the winning squad looked back fondly at his time in charge and gave his thought on the movie.
Kapil Dev said:
“It was great to interact with Ranveer during the making of the movie. Other actors have also given their best I’m sure,”
So, why do Bollywood directors think cricket is where the money lies?
The answer is simple – Both cricket and Bollywood have a high entertainment value and they sell. You might think that there may not be any takers for a five-day Test series between India and Bangladesh, but you’re sorely wrong.
Similarly, you might wonder who would go watch ‘Chain Kulii ki Main Kulii’, but the fact that the movie revolves around Kapil Dev and his iconic bat used during the ‘83 World Cup, drew a ton of people to the theaters when the movie was released in 2007.
For die hard fans, a movie based on MS Dhoni is a must-watch. The movie went on to receive one of the widest releases ever for a Bollywood film. Film directions have the innate ability to tap into a fan’s emotional being and give them exactly what they are looking for – entertainment, drama, and passion only a true cricket fan will understand. Some of the best cricket movies Bollywood has made until date are:
Love Marriage (1959), Dev Anand, Mala Sinha
Lagaan (2001), Aamir Khan
Iqbal (2005), Shreyas Talpade
Say Salaam India (2007) Sanjay Suri, Milind Soman, Sandya Mridul
Meerabai Not Out (2008) Mandira Bedi, Mahesh Manjrekar
Jannat (2008) Emraan Hashmi, Sonal Chauhan
Patiala House (2011), Akshay Kumar, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Anushka Sharma
Azhar (2016), Emraan Hashmi
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), Sushant Singh Rajput
The Zoya Factor (2019) Dulquer Salmaan, Sonam K Ahuja