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Silverscreen Recommedation: Five Women Centric Sports Films To Watch

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The first look poster of actress Taapsee Pannu starrer Shabaash Mithu is out now. The film is a biopic of the cricketer Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team. Helmed by Raees fame Rahul Dholakia, it will showcase Mithali’s successful journey and will be bankrolled by Ajit Andhare under his Viacom18 Studios banner. The story has been penned by Priya Aven. The film is slated for release on 5 February 2021.

We find an intense Taapsee donning the blue Indian jersey and a hat whilst firmly holding the cricket bat. The rudraksha that Mithali usually wears is also seen around Taapsee’s neck.

Taapsee took to Instagram to share the poster:

At a time when the idea of women’s empowerment is used as a formulaic bait only to bring audiences to theatres, some sports films about women have managed to stay true to the idea and won several hearts. Here are five such films we recommend.

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’ll be 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 from a conservative family in the UK, who’s passionate about soccer and is, naturally, not allowed to pursue a career in the sport. Starring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and others, the film was helmed by Gurinder Chadha and explores the young woman’s struggle to play the game she loves

Chak De! India, 2007

A classic sports movie looked up to till today for its brilliant sporting set pieces, as well as Salim-Sulaiman’s songs. Despite the presence of a big star like Shah Rukh Khan, the women of the film were given lots of 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 talent that 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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