The release of 83 has gotten people all excited to watch the story of India's journey to its first cricket World Cup trophy in the year 1983. Now, we thought that before watching 83, you could go back to some of the great sports films listed below. Just as a warm-up, you know? Read on.
How about we start with arguably the best sports movie the country has produced to date? This Shimit Amin directorial debut is bound to make you tear up, but what we like the best is that it never backs down from admitting that the gender, race, and religion of an athlete can possibly affect their whole career, and hence, life.
Another sports movie that is so much more than just the game - as it plays out in real life as well. But while Lagaan is a social commentary film, it is also thrilling, as that last-over scene still somehow manages to give us goosebumps. If you're watching it for the first time, you'll know what I am saying.
This critically acclaimed cricket movie did not get its due in the theatres possibly because it did not feature a "big star". Now would be a very good time to go and watch the film. It's a personal favourite and you can read more about it here.
4. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
I always find it fascinating how, while giving tribute to one of India's finest track and field athletes, Farhan Akhar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra set some personal milestones for themselves too. The movie is painfully crafted to perfection and is a fitting tribute to the Flying Sikh.
If you watch the interviews given by the Phogat sisters, you will realise that the strictness of their father is shown accurately shown in the movie. And that's got to be something. Dangal broke many a box-office record and we see why. Also, look out for the girls' brilliant game. They underwent strict training from actual wrestlers before the shoot.
6. MS Dhoni: The Untold Story
Making a movie on MS Dhoni in 2016 could have gone so wrong if it was not executed properly, but thanks to earnest efforts from the cast and the crew, it turned out to be brilliant. The movie follows MS Dhoni's life and it puts into perspective what he had to go through to be where he is today. The late Sushant Singh Rajput outdid himself in this biography.
7. Paan Singh Tomar
Paan Singh Tomar isn't what you'd call a quintessential "sports movie" but still deserves to be on the list because sports is a very important part of it. Plus, it is a great film overall and holds so much value. It's named after an athlete who won medals in track and field but later, forced by the system, became a rebel. Easily one of Irrfan Khan's best performances, which is saying something.
India has produced many movies on boxing, and some of them are great too. But if we had to choose just one of them to watch, we'd go for Mukkabaaz. Vineet Kumar Singh who co-wrote the movie and starred as the protagonist shines brightly in this political-sports drama, which is grounded in reality.
9. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
Again, not necessarily a "sports drama" but still deserves a watch because of the central plot relying so heavily on a cycling competition. The movie was released in 1992 but hasn't lost its magic. Be ready with some tissues, because you'll need them.
Ah, those are real gems!