Bollywood and Cricket – India’s two obsessions
It is hard to find an Indian who is not interested in either of the two.
Yes, Bollywood and Cricket are India’s two priced obsessions. We are a nation where cricketers are deified and temples are made in the name of cine stars. Yet it may be surprising to know that seldom do two meet in a nation of over a billion people.
Let’s toss aside for the moment the fact about cricketers dating film stars, and we see that the connections between India’s two obsessions become few and far between.
How many good movies have been made on Cricket in Bollywood? I can count on my fingers and I wouldn’t be done with just a single hand.
Aamir Khan’s Lagaan was perhaps the first movie in the recent history that had a cricket match forming the backbone of the story’s plot. The movie showed the rise of the underdog when an ill-equipped team of Indian villagers managed to defeat the trained English team to get three-year lagaan (land tax) waived off. Even the Oscars couldn’t ignore the film, but fell just short of honouring it with a golden-man statuette.
Another movie that had its story woven around cricket was Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal , which told the story of a deaf and mute young boy’s passion for cricket. With sheer struggle and hard work, Iqbal (played by Shreyas Talpade ) rises from a small village to being a pace bowler in cricket team.
And now, when the Cricket mania is at its high, ready to hit the theatres is Milan Luthria’s Hat Trick which tells the story of five different characters whose lives are linked to cricket in one way or another. The movie has Kunal Kapoor and Rimi Sen playing fans of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Paresh Rawal plays a cricket buff in England, while Nana Patekar plays a doctor who hates everything about the game. The movie’s story moves against the backdrop of Cricket World Cup.
Apart from these, hardly any other movie comes to mind while talking about Cricket. Yes, we can see glimpses of the game in films like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (that had a cricket sequence) or Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (in which Salman expressed his love on a cricket field, in the middle of a match). But these apart, India’s two obsessions seldom meet on the silver screen.