Granted, as an American I have a bias towards sports obsession. But given the inherent drama, heroism, and opportunities for large groups of men to get together and dance, it seems this genre could be an unending well for Indian filmmakers.
How well does it fit the sports genre?
-A band of unlikely misfits coming together for a common cause: check
-A charismatic, naturally gifted leader: check
-An opponent who represents everything evil: check
-A romantic interest for our leading man: check
-A cool training montage: check
-Everything looks hopeless except for one improbable chance: check
-A last second play in the big game: check
-The laws of nature and human ability are occasionally bent for dramatic effect: check
-Moral victory + actual victory: check
It’s all there.
Nominated for an Academy Award, Aamir Khan’s film is guaranteed to leave you with a full heart and a big grin.
The setting is the late 19th century in West India (presently Gujarat). It centers around the excessive tax the poor farmers must pay to the British. After a series of altercations, the lead character, Bhuvan, makes a deal with the evil British commander that the tax would be cancelled for three years if the villagers can beat the British officers in a cricket match. If the villagers lose, the tax is tripled.
However, the villagers know nothing about cricket and have to learn the game first before they can beat the British.
You’ve already guessed the ending, but getting there is the fun part. The only downside to this film is its length if you aren’t used to Bollywood movies. At nearly four hours, it takes some time to get through, but you won’t regret it.
Who would like it: Anyone, especially sports movie enthusiasts and those who love a perfect ending.
What you will learn about:
- Why Indians love cricket
- Caste/community tensions (#IndiasnotIndia)
- Some Hindu mythology
- An embellished look at British occupation
- Why the Indian-British relationship is so complex (e.g. We hate you, We love you, You hate us, You love us, We don’t care about you)
- Why you should see Aamir Khan’s movies
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