In all genres of movies, we have similar elements associated to each genre. The ways the characters tend to react in different situations though are different. For example, in horror movies, a minor character is deeply troubled by a pseudo-force and is killed because of the cowardliness of that character. Whereas another character (usually the one with more screen time) tends to overcome that pseudo-force and hence ‘might’ succeed in eliminating it. Coming to the point, movies where a sport forms and integral part are often considered in a separate genre along with its usual elements of suspense/drama etc.
“A classic theme for sports films is the triumph of an individual or team who prevail despite the difficulties.” Some common examples of sports movies in world cinema are Goal, Miracle, Remember the Titans etc. Even in Indian movies, there are many flicks namely Iqbal, Lagaan, Chak De India etc. Usually sports movies end with the outcome of a match or a dream, in which the protagonist or his team are underdogs or they’re not expected to achieve it. The outcome however might be a win or an inspiring loss for the underdogs, usually the former. Many movies are true stories of former great teams or athletes whose stories, albeit unbelievable, are true.
The following couple of points are slightly off-topic but need to be mentioned. Talking about Indian movies, our protagonists, more often than not, are ‘great’ athletes despite their physical shortcomings. Their sport attributes are usually confined to a scene or two which do not have anything to do with the rest of the film. Those scenes are used to elevate the protagonists’ heroic characteristics. Some scenes are so obscene that they make one wonder why India gets so few Olympic medals. Their long jump skills, high jump skills etc. are sometimes out of this world. They also ‘behave’ as if they are sportive by defeating a rather unimportant person in the movie which is later contradicted by their fickle-mindedness.
I have brought up these points because sometimes we are shocked to see such instances. Well, ranting apart, we’ve also had our fair share of extravagant movies, albeit low on budget. Iqbal and the more recent Paan Singh Tomar prove this point. Movies like Chak De India have been successful mainly due to the nostalgia involved down to our patriotism. In Chak De India, many scenes/dialogues have been ‘lifted off’ from movies like Miracle etc. but many tend to disagree as it’s based on a true story. That movie owes its success to a lot of other people and movies and not its own credibility. Let us take another example; Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal wasn’t a big success, down to flaws in its situations, unrealistic characterization, unbelievable turn of fates and ill-explained sentiments.
What about the movies that fared very well, down to their own uniqueness, you may ask. ‘Iqbal’ was a rags to riches story with ups and downs in Iqbal’s career, which are realistically portrayed, and his personal and professional needs and ambitions are dealt with accordingly, without questioning the audiences’ intelligence and without any manipulations. The story itself is so touching and inspiring, it reflects the ambitions of millions and makes its protagonist succeed without ambiguous glorification’s.
To conclude, a ‘winner’ knows his own shortcomings, his capabilities and his promise. Extravagant effects or uncanny incidents in a movie which elevate the protagonists’ ‘heroism’ just make the movie, uninspiring and unreal. It is totally sane for the protagonist to achieve his ambitions in a humble and a simple way and not trying for the impossible, irrationally. This said, his struggles, the less manipulated the better. Because nothing is more likeable than reality and the projection of true pain, as it is the one that gets the audiences’ adrenaline pumping. Our mainstream filmmakers often tend to write scripts which in reality would never work, for their ‘dreams’ are surreal, their execution immobile.