NEW DELHI: Cinema is one of the powerful mediums which can serve a purpose in ameliorating the myriad issues in a society. Cinema is also an effective and happy medium of expression, articulation, and a tool to bring about change in the reasoning and structure of society. To encourage and aware the masses about women’s empowerment and women’s rights, numerous films have been made. Mary Kom (2014) was one such inspiring film. Revolving around the life of the legendary boxer Kom, who won India a medal in boxing at the 2012 Olympics. Priyanka Chopra, a critically claimed actress plays the role of the protagonist flawlessly. The climax of the film depicts the world championship while her loving son endures serious heart surgery. Mary, a fantastic female boxer who reached the pinnacle of glory and also won the most world titles (five-in-a-row between 2002 and 2010). She has also been honoured with India’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan.
Similarly, the Phogat family of Balali village in Haryana’s Bhiwani has been inspiring people through thick and thin. There are three Arjuna Award winners in one extended family. The three great wrestlers— Geeta, Babita, and Vinesh were given the Arjuna Award in 2012, 2014, and 2016 respectively. The Phogat family has so far produced three Olympians in the field of wrestling. Dangal (2016) shows the social-culture footmark and gratitude of the Phogat sisters. Amir Khan, actor, and producer, featured in a major role as a father— Mahavir Singh Phogat— in the film. Mary Kom and Dangal appealed to all sections of society. All actors, actresses acted well in both films.
Filmmaker Srijit Mukherji is yet to make a biopic on Swapna Barman— a unique female athlete with six toes on both feet— who became the first Indian to win heptathlon gold at the 2018 Asian Games. Nevertheless, the most successful film based on sports was made in Hollywood. The film depicts, the great professional boxer Million Dollar Baby. It was directed by Clint Eastwood. Despite stirring up a severe controversy, the film went on to win four Oscars, including one of the best films and best actress. The lead role in the film depicted the life of a young professional boxer and the plot was well contemplated and unfamiliarly arduous. The American actress Hilary Swank transformed herself for the role, working out, getting in shape, and gaining nearly 20 pounds of muscle mass. Cinema has been a competent medium of expression and a strong device to bring out a change in mind-sets and systems of the cultural civilisation.
The writer is a former Associate Professor of the University of Delhi and a consultant at the Limca Book of Records