In every socio-political phase, the focus of Bollywood also changes. Before Independence, we had films which were though mostly based on mythology but had a message about importance of freedom and revolt. After Independence, films slowly shifted to the theme of social reform, economic development and idealism.
In the 60s, with the idealism and dream of a happy prosperous country after Independence shattered, harsher realities started haunting the real and reel life.
The 70s gave birth to the tragic romantic and by the 80s we had ‘angry young man’ fighting the evils of our society. The more recent Hindi cinema has directly or indirectly started harping on a loud jingoism. On the other hand, the real-life heroes have also caught the attention of film makers.
Sports heroes are fascinating and cricket heroes are more fascinating since there’s a lot of glamour attached to them. The result is cricket-centric films. ’83 is soon going to be released which showcases India winning the first cricket world cup. It stars very bankable Ranveer and Deepika.
Filmmaker Raju Hirani is also making a biopic on former Indian cricket captain Lala Amarnath. Lala Amarnath was independent India’s first cricket captain and father of former Indian cricketer Mohinder Amarnath.
Hirani and his team are working on the subject and have Mohinder Amarnath involved in the project. Mohinder Amarnath’s character also features in the film ’83. Actor Saqib Salem has been roped in to play his character.
Lala Amarnath was the first Indian to score a century in Test cricket and also has the credit of dismissing Don Bradman with a hit wicket. He is also considered to be someone who made cricket popular in India.
It is learnt that Hirani may produce the film, but the film may be directed by some other director. Hirani at present is working on two other scripts; one is a sequel to Munnabhai MBBS and another could feature Shah Rukh Khan in it.
There is another biopic in the pipeline, based on the life story of the Indian women cricket team captain Mithali Raj. Another bankable star, Taapsee Pannu, has been reported zeroed in for portraying Mithali’s character. Director Rahul Dholakia will be directing the film which will be titled Shabaash Mithu.
So, it seems Bollywood has two obsessions nowadays: jingoism and cricket. Will the audience lap them up too?