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Silverscreen Recommedation: Five Women Centric Sports Films To Watch

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Actress Taapsee Pannu announced today that she is prepared to learn the ‘cover drive’ from Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team. Taapsee will be headlining the biopic of the cricketer. The film titled Shabaash Mithu showcases Mithali’s successful journey and will be helmed by Raees fame Rahul Dholakia. Viacom18 Studios is set to bankroll the biopic.

At a time when the idea of women’s empowerment is being misconstrued and used as a formulaic bait to pull audiences to theatres, some sports films about women have managed to stay true to the idea and win several hearts. Here are five such films we recommend for you watch.

Bend It Like Beckham, 2002

When you watch this film, the conundrum facing every traditional Indian household and it’s women will flash in front of your eyes. And in the end, you’re left with the tagline, “Who wants to cook Aloo gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?”. The film talks about an Indian girl with a conservative family who’s passionate about soccer and is naturally not allowed to pursue her career. Starring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and others, the film was helmed by Gurinder Chadha.

Chak De! India, 2007

A classic sports movie looked upon till today for its brilliant sequences as well as Salim-Sulaiman’s songs too. Albeit the presence of a big star like Shah Rukh Khan, the women of the film were given enormous space, making it a film that celebrated women along with strong feelings of patriotism that didn’t feel forced or aggressive. Apart from Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Malvade, Shilpa Shukla, Sagarika Ghatge, and Chitrashi Rawat also starred in the film helmed by Shimit Amin. The film is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Mary Kom, 2014

Priyanka Chopra managed to impress us in this movie with her fierce mien. The film dwelt on the struggles faced by Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom before she rose high. Darshan Kumaar and Sunil Thapa starred along with Chopra in the film helmed by Omung Kumar. While it is an impressive attempt, the film did face (valid) criticism over representation. Why was Priyanka cast in this role, while there was a chance for Bollywood to finally cast someone from the northeastern part of India in a mainstream film. The film is streaming on Netflix.

Dangal, 2016

At a time when Indian parents refused to see their children in trousers and vests, the Phogat sisters from Haryana entered the wrestling ring and managed to reach great heights with a supportive father, Mahavir Singh Phogat behind them. The film starring Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra is loosely based on this real-life story. Helmed by Nitesh Tiwari, the film is streaming on Netflix.

Irudhi Suttru, 2016

A wonderful performance-led film that also managed to hit the bulls-eye with a strong emotional core. Though a debutant, Ritika Singh pulled off the short-tempered livewire girl of small means, with big dreams with great ease. The film talks about how she goes on to become a boxing champion after her coach identifies herhe talent, others failed to notice. Starring Madhavan, Nasser, and Zakir Hussain the film was helmed by Sudha Kongara. The film is streaming on Viu.

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