Sports and cinema never fail to win the admiration of youngsters. When it is a sports-centric film, the expectations go sky-high and the youth flock to theatres.
Be it Bollywood or Kollywood, fascination for sports genre has always been high. In tune with the trend, Kollywood is churning out nearly half-a-dozen sports films.
They include Vijay63, Susienthiran’s Kennedy Club and Vennilla Kabbadi Kuzhu 2, Jada, starring Kathir, and Jai’s untitled film with Gopi Nainar.
Interestingly, actor Jiiva is playing cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth in the Hindi sports film 1983, while Keerthy Suresh makes her Bollywood debut in Ajay Devgn-starrer that is about India’s popular football coach Syed Abdul Rahim.
Why the clamour for sports movies? Damodaran, a film-buff, says, “They have always appealed to the masses. Take the case of films like Chennai 28 or Irudhi Suttru. They were about underdogs winning against all odds. They strike a chord with young audience. They have no language barrier. The likes of Lagaan and Chak De were huge hits across the country.”
Vijay63, directed by Atlee, features Vijay in the role of a football coach. It speaks about a women’s team that goes on to win a championship.
Jada is about football culture in north Chennai, while Jai’s film also speaks the same theme, and Susientharan’s Kennedy Club deals with a women’s kabbadi team.
According to Fazil, an industry tracker, “A sports film, too, needs commercial elements. There should be action, humour and emotion in it. Films like Chennai 28, Ethir Neechal and Irudhi Suttru succeeded because they were wholesome entertainers.”
Citing the example of recent-hit Kanaa, he says, “It spoke about father-daughter bonding with cricket as its base. It managed to woo the audience. Today it is being remade in Telugu.”
Even in Tollywood, sports films are a big draw. Nani’s recent release Jersey was an emotional drama. It spoke about how a middle-aged man pursues his dreams of playing cricket and emerges successful, he adds.
Content is the key. If the storyline is good and executed well, these movies will click, he said.