Bollywood looks to boxing for inspiration after Olympics
Bollywood’s ode to hockey might not have inspired the Indian Hockey Team to even qualify for the Beijing Olympics, but 22-year-old Vijender’s bronze medal – India’s first ever in boxing – could prompt filmmakers to revisit the sport.
Though, there have been Hindi films centered on boxing, the biggest knockouts have come from Hollywood.
The biggest cult classic of them all is the 1976 release Rocky, the film which launched Sylvester Stallone as a struggling boxer who gets a chance of a lifetime to fight a heavyweight champion.
The film won three Oscars and spawned several sequels. The last and sixth one came as recently as 2006 – two decades after the original one.
Though, Rocky might be a popular choice, the film which would top the critics list is Martin Scocese’s biopic Raging Bull.
Robert De Niro’s act as the short-tempered emotionally self-destructive boxer Jake La Motta also won him the Academy Award.
Other Hollywood notables include Russell Crowe starrer Cindrella Man, the biopic on Mohammed Ali, starring Will Smith titled Ali and Hurricane with Denzel Washington.
Bollywood has had its share of boxing stories too, the earliest being a Mithun Chakravarthy potboiler titled Boxer.
More recently we had Sohail Khan put on his boxing shorts for Aryan directed by Abhishek Kapoor. Talking about the film, director of Aryan Abhishek Kapoor said, “It was about a passionate young athlete who wanted to fight for the country.”
And of course who can forget the recent Apne in which the three Deols came together to spin the tale of family honour and boxing.