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Top 5 sports biopics of the decade which changed Bollywood Mainstream cinema

The Indian film industry has churned out many sports biopics; some have received critical acclaim, some made no impact and some went on to be both commercially and critically well received.

1.     Paan Singh Tomar (2012)

 This film is a true story about an athlete from the Indian army who won seven consecutive gold medals at the National Games but met a sorry end as a dacoit. Irrfan Khan won recognition as the best actor for his lead role as Paan Singh Tomar. Although the movie did not do very well commercially, it won the National Award for Best Feature Film.

 2.     Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

     Bhaag Milkha Bhaag tells the inspiring tale of India’s Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh, the sprinter from the army who made headlines after winning gold at the Asian games and the Commonwealth games. Farhan Akhtar seemed to be tailor made for the role. A good screenplay and a talented cast ensured the story was well told. The movie also had a hit musical score.

 3.     Mary Kom (2014)

This biopic about the 5-time Women’s World Champion and Olympic Medal winning boxer, MC Mary Kom, was an inspiring tale of the sportswoman’s struggle to first take up the sport despite her father’s disapproval and the subsequent comeback after motherhood. Priyanka Chopra did justice to the lead role.

4. MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)

 This biopic on India’s most popular skipper, MS Dhoni, gives a bird eye view of the cricketer’s journey from the school playground in Ranchi to being the captain of the Indian Cricket team. Sushant Singh Rathore played a very believable Dhoni with his restrained acting. The movie also had a great musical score.

5.     Saand Ki Aankh – 2019

Saand Ki Aankh is based on the lives of the ‘shooter daadis’ of Uttar Pradesh, sisters-in-law, Chandro and Prakashi Tomar who fired their first shot in their 60s and went on to win multiple-medals clad in their traditional rural garb. Now well into their 80s, the spunky ladies from rural UP have shot the way clear for more women to step out of their homes in a region plagued with gender discrimination. 

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