The 2018 FIFA World Cup is upon us, with the opening ceremony scheduled for tomorrow at the Luzhinki stadium in Russia. As football fever grips the world, right about now is a right time to confront Bollywood’s downright lazy attitude towards depicting the world’s most famous sport in its films.
Not that we expect much from an industry where the closest thing to a stunning football sequence came out of Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal to be honest. While an argument can be made that ALL sports have been shabbily depicted in Hindi films (here’s looking at Victory, Patiala House), things have looked especially bad for football. Directors have not even cared about getting the some of the basic stuff right.
Here are 5 such instances where filmmakers had absolutely no clue about what to do with the football in the frame:
1. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Never mind that Shah Rukh Khan prides himself as a ‘sportsperson’, but even Watson would avoid the elementary gaffe in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s football sequence. Khan being the ‘hero’ of the film is seen standing next to the goal post, waiting for the ball so he can do the laziest rendition of a bicycle kick into (what looks like a) hockey goal and look ‘cool’. Unfortunately, it’s so daft that it reflect poorly on the actor.
2. Haseena Maan Jaayegi
Before Sajid Khan, there was David Dhawan. Peddling his brand of ‘leave-your-brains-at-home’ comedy, Dhawan’s films rarely made sense but they were still hardly as repulsive as Sajid’s. But this one time, even David Dhawan pushed the limits of ill-logic when he made Karisma Kapoor dress up in gym clothes on a golf course, and made her play basketball with a football in her hand. I feel your pain, footie fans!
3. Aap Mujhe Achhe Lagne Lage
When it has something to do with Bollywood’s dubious achievements, how can Vikram Bhatt be far behind? The man who has single-handedly destroyed Indian horror, showcased a stellar football sequence in his film, starring (the fresh and hit) jodi of Hrithik Roshan and Ameesha Patel. Just look at Roshan wearing his basketball jersey to the football field, and the dedicated defenders who try to stop a goal with their far-flung hands. Dude, it’s called FOOTball for a reason.
4. Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal
That pai laagu moment right before a final goal… Director Vivek Agnihotri probably believes that no Bollywood football match is complete without a lazily written ‘Daddy issues’ subplot being resolved on the football pitch. Also, don’t even get me started about how the multiple fouls against John Abraham’s character are allowed because OBVIOUSLY all goras are villains and born evil. One could see Agnihotri’s nationalistic tendencies before he became popular on Twitter.
5. Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo
Does football require sanskaar? The Barjatyas are obviously no pioneers of accurate depiction of sports (Hum Aapke Hai Koun, Tuffy… and the no-ball). But the obnoxious way in which a game of football is induced between Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor – is quite frankly, shocking. Also, just look at the way this goal is scored. Where did all the sanskaar disappear?
Hey Bollywood, please watch the upcoming FIFA world cup. So that when you depict the sport in a film again, you can at least try to replicate it with some authenticity.