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Mary Kom To Dhoni: Sports Films About Indian Athletes

Mary Kom To Dhoni: Sports Films About Indian Athletes

Playing sports in person is unrivaled. The next best thing, though, might just be watching sports films. Movies based on the lives of sporting champions typically tell stories of tenacity, willpower, and triumph over adversity – the complete spectrum of emotions that make sports unique. It has all the ingredients for a big box-office hit! Numerous Bollywood films, including 83, Chak De India, Dangal, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Lagaan, were based on sports. Well, not many sports-related films have performed well at the box office since the pandemic. However, Bollywood is now prepared to provide us with a wide array of films that are set in a sporting environment. Here are a few well-chosen Bollywood sports films about Indian athletes that no sports fan should overlook.

Bollywood Sports Films About Indian Athletes

Mary Kom

In the 2014 film of the same name, Priyanka Chopra gives a standout performance as the famed Indian boxer MC Mary Kom.

The Mary Kom film, which chronicled her career as a fighter as well as how she managed her family and career, received a lot of positive reviews and had the best opening weekend ever for an Indian film with a female lead.

Even seasoned boxing lovers will struggle to find any errors in Priyanka Chopra’s portrayal of the action after her extensive physical training to nail down Mary Kom’s boxing technique.

Even though the movie was released in 2014, the tale solely covers her victory at the 2008 World Boxing Championships. Her 2012 London Olympics bronze medal achievement was not included in the film because of contractual requirements that it only represents her life up to the year 2008 for the sake of the plot.

Chak De! India

Chak De! India, released in 2007, was a well-liked movie that featured one of Bollywood’s most promising actors and was among the top-rated sports films in the country.

Although it draws inspiration from the 2002 Commonwealth Games victory of the Indian women’s hockey team, the fictional Shah Rukh Khan-starring film explores a wide range of important issues like feminism, sexism, partition, intolerance, and prejudice.

Former Indian captain Kabir Khan, played by Shah Rukh Khan, redeems himself after being shunned after his team’s defeat versus Pakistan by directing and motivating the Indian eves to success.

The movie, released to coincide with India’s 60th anniversary of its independence, hits all the appropriate nationalistic notes and is entertaining to watch even if you’re not a hockey enthusiast.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

The life of Indian sprinter Milkha Singh, who won medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, is the inspiration for the film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run Milkha Run).

The film, which stars Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh, is brutally honest as it examines Milkha Singh’s early life during the partition and tracks his struggles before becoming one of India’s most admired athletes.

It is one of the best sports films in Bollywood and is based on the book The Race of My Life by Milkha Singh and his daughter. Milkha Singh asked for just one rupee in exchange for selling the film rights, with the understanding that a portion of the proceeds would aid the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust, which assists underprivileged athletes.


The famed Phogat family of wrestlers, particularly Geeta Phogat, Babita Kumari, and their patriarch Mahavir Singh Phogat are the subject of the film Dangal.

The narrative shows how amateur wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, played by Aamir Khan, lived his dream through his children, who went on to win gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, after being forced to give up the sport.

The film was favorably praised by reviewers and won several accolades both domestically and internationally. One of the best sports films produced in India is arguably Dangal.


The first hockey team from independent India to win a gold medal at the Olympics was depicted in the fictional film Gold.

The film, in which Akshay Kumar plays the fictional Tapan Das, explores 12 years of Indian history in addition to the 1948 Summer Olympics.

The movie is entertaining to watch even though it may depict the events in a little more suspenseful manner than they did.

Paan Singh Tomar

Army soldier, world-class athlete, and… thief?

Paan Singh Tomar is a high-octane film because of its fantastic true narrative rather than because the filmmakers fictionalized it.

Paan Singh Tomar’s ability as a runner was discovered while he was in the army and was forced to run on the parade ground as punishment.

After becoming the national champion in the steeplechase for seven consecutive years and the holder of a 10-year record, Paan Singh Tomar’s village disputes got out of hand, and he ended up turning into a notorious dacoit.

We won’t reveal any more of his background, but rest assured that the late Irrfan Khan-starring film Paan Singh Tomar is anything but a standard sports tale!

MS Dhoni: The untold story

The movie follows Dhoni’s life from an early age via various life experiences. Arun Pandey, Dhoni’s manager, proposed the concept for the biography after seeing an incident at an airport during the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final. Following two years, construction got underway with Dhoni’s approval.


83 is a movie based on Kapil Dev. The 1983 Cricket World Cup-winning India national cricket team, coached by Kapil Dev was the inspiration for the scenario and dialogue in the movie. The movie is co-written by Khan along with Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, Vasan Bala, and Sumit Arora.

A black-and-white opening clip from the 1983 Cricket World Cup Final between India and West Indies opens the movie. When India is fielding in the second innings and Viv Richards is on strike, Madan Lal bowls towards her. Richards attempts to loft the ball for a six-yarder but is grabbed by Kapil Dev.

Which Bollywood Sports Films About Indian Athletes is your favorite?

Do let us know in the comment section below.


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