National Sports Day 2020: From Sushant Singh Rajput to Farhan Akhtar - actors who portrayed sports icons

There are many films that have over the years tugged at our heartstrings or made us gasp in outrage (or surprise) and stay glued to our seats as the characters surmount many a difficult situation. And if you're anything like most viewers, it is always just a smidge more fascinating when the film is based on real events or an actual person's life.

In this article, in keeping with the theme of 'National Sports Day' we're going to focus on some of the movies that have seen actors take on the stories of eminent sports personalities with aplomb.

1. Sushant Singh Rajput in 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story'

A riveting performance by late actor Sushant Singh Rajput had brought former team India captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the silver screen. Written and directed by Neeraj Pandey, the film garnered positive reviews from all quarters and brought Rajput widespread appreciation for his portrayal. The movie however did go on to win much by way of awards.

2. Priyanka Chopra as 'Mary Kom'

Tough and determined, Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom has overcome many a challenge, becoming one of India's most celebrated athletes. She is also a mother of two and a Rajya Sabha MP. She is the only female athlete who has held the World Amateur Boxing champion's title for a record six times and has an Olympic bronze medal and gold medals from the Asian Games and the Commonwealth games. And while these might be big shoes to step into, Priyanka Chopra held her own as 'Magnificent Mary' in the 2014 film of the same name. Receiving generally positive reviews, the film was a box office hit that also garnered several awards.

3. Dangal

We have not mentioned any specific actor when it comes to this film simply because this was not a one-person effort. A biographical adaptation of the lives of Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari -- both gold medal-winning wrestlers -- this film is perhaps one of the most successful around. While Aamir Khan stars as their father Mahavir Singh Phogat, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra portray the roles of Geeta and Babita respectively. Additionally, Zaira Wasim plays a young Geeta Phogat while Suhani Bhatnagar essays the role of her sister in their early days. 2016's Dangal is both a critical and commercial success. Having garnered positive reviews and awards galore, it then became the highest grossing Indian film and also the highest grossing sports film in the world.

4. Diljit Dosanjh as Sandeep Singh

2018's Soorma was a commercially successful film based on the life of hockey player and former team India captain, Sandeep Singh. The movie chronicles the life of the Arjuna Award winning sportsman who was seriously injured in a shooting incident at the young age of 20 when he was a rising hockey star. The film chronicles his efforts to overcome the injury and his eventual return to the field ending with a scene wherein he shoots a goal at the 2009 Commonwealth Championship.

5. Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh

This biographical film on The Flying Sikh was directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and based on The Race of My Life written by Milkha Singh and his daughter Sonia Sanwalka. While the story has blurred the past and present slightly in places (making references that did not exist in the 1950s when it is set), it was a commercial success that garnered many an award.

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