Over the years, the game of cricket has been treated as a religion
in India and the cricketers are worshipped as Gods. The streets come to
a halt when a match involving India is being played. Such is the
passion for this sport in India that many fans watching an exciting
encounter have had heart attacks in the past. The stars of the game
enjoy the same kind of fame as the Bollywood stars do. But it’s a
proven fact and a mystery at the same time that the same sport doesn’t
get the love of its enthusiastic fans when it’s been scripted into a
movie. Let it be Dev Anand’s Awwal Number, Kumar Gaurav starrer All
Rounder or Subash Kapoor’s Say Salaam India, or for that reason, even
Iqbla to a certain extent, all have been doomed at the box office.
“Story based on cricket may give you 2% mileage, but at the end of the day, all depends on the manner in which the subject is dealt with”, director Subhash Kapoor, who attempted a movie on cricket ‘Say Salaam India’ says, “It is fine if cricket is the theme of a movie, but the treatment meted out should be really good.” But having said this, when he was asked to reason out why his movie bombed, the director remained speechless.
Film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh feels that the content of the movies made on cricket may not have been good. Says the critic, “A good script is a must for any movie to do well at the box office. It’s not about cricket or some other sport. It’s the way you narrate a story to the audience is what matters. If a well made film is made with cricket as a backdrop, I am sure its going to hit. There is no specific reason for the flop record on movies made on cricket”.
Let’s leave cricket aside and focus on other not so famous sports like football, hockey, etc in India. The mystery becomes more complex when we learn that the movies made on such sports have done wonders at the box office charts. Chak De India revolving around the theme of hockey and Goal made on the sport of Football are the most recent examples. Even the 1992 released film Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar focusing on a sport like cycling was a big blockbuster, wherein in India most people aren’t even aware that cycling falls in the category of sports.
“See, again I say that a story should justify the theme. It’s not necessary that on which sports you make a movie on, if the narration is good, then the movie has to do well. Again I believe marketing too plays a big factor,” quotes Subash Kapoor. At least we get a clue why his film Say Salaam India wouldn’t have worked, i.e. bad marketing.
“All the movies which did well had good directors who have the capability of merging the storyline beautifully on celluloid. People just want to listen and see a good story like Chak de India. Cast also matters, but only when a good story is there,” believes Taran.
In the end, it seems that a good script and a visionary director are the hero’s behind the success of a film. But our question still remains unsolved, why have all the movies made on India’s greatest sport, ‘Cricket’ done badly? Isn’t there a creative writer to script a good movie on this sport? Well, only time can answer this question. - Alok Hisaria - (SAMPURN)