Updated: July 16, 2021 8:40:40 am
Farhan Akhtar took the world by surprise as the trailer of his film Toofaan dropped. The actor plays a boxing champion Aziz Ali in the film, who rises from the ashes, not once but twice. Farhan once again impressed his fans with not just his physical transformation but also manages to pack the right punches. The tale of redemption has been directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and also stars Mrunal Thakur, Paresh Rawal and Supriya Pathak.
Before you stream Toofaan on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, here are eight films on boxing that you must watch. Sorted for the weekend, aren’t you?
The sports drama starred Sylvester Stallone in the titular role of Rocky, which continues to be an alternate identity for the star. The ‘rags-to-riches’ drama projected the story of Rocky Balboa, an Italian-American street fighter who gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The 1976 film was followed by Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), Rocky Balboa (2006), Creed (2015), Creed II (2018), and Creed III (2022). Apart from playing the lead, ‘The Italian Stallion’ as Sylvester was popularly called wrote six films and even directed four of the six titular installments.
Priyanka Chopra surprised the world when she got into the avatar of India’s most successful boxer Mary Kom. While the makers were criticised for casting a star and using prosthetics to make her look like Mary Kom, Priyanka’s performance shut them all. The actor underwent extensive training for months to attain a muscular physique and even learned the sport to match the boxing champ’s Kom’s distinct style. The Omung Kumar directorial is also ranked among the highest-grossing Indian films led by a female actor.
The Anurag Kashyap directed film starred Vineet Kumar Singh and marked the debut of Zoya Hussain. It even premiered in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and released internationally with the title The Brawler. Not many know that Vineet wrote the film with his sister Mukti, based on their observations of several sportspersons’ experiences in the country. After being rejected by many production houses, Anurag took up the project but put a condition that Vineet would have to become a real boxer. To complete his task, he went to the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports and trained in boxing for a year. The film won accolades from critics and masses alike.
The 2001 film, starring Will Smith, focuses on acclaimed boxer Muhammad Ali’s life from 1964 to 1974. The film chronicled Ali capturing the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston and then being banished, only to return to fight Joe Frazier in 1971. The Michael Mann directorial also focussed on how Cassius Clay Jr became Ali after his conversion to Islam, reclaiming the title from George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle fight of 1974.
The Sudeep starrer 2019 film was initially planned to release in nine languages but later settled for five. The film follows the journey of an orphan who goes on to become a wrestler and a boxer while getting into brawls with those who disrupt his personal life. Playing a pro-wrestler Pailwan Kichcha, Sudeep impressed masses with his physique and action-packed stunts. The film also marked the debut of TV actor Aakanksha Singh.
The 2016 Tamil-Hindi bilingual film written and directed by Sudha Kongara, starred R. Madhavan as a coach to Ritika Singh, who played an aspiring boxer. It was reported that Madhavan suffered a minor injury on the sets during the last schedule but continued to shoot through the pain. He even wore metal braces to have a lisp that most boxers have from injuries. The story of redemption was remade in Telugu as Guru with Venkatesh stepping into Madhavan’s shoes.
The 1980 biopic stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, an Italian-American middleweight boxer, whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, destroyed his personal and professional life. Director Martin Scorsese was said to be initially apprehensive about developing the film but later came to relate to the boxer’s story. Considered one of the greatest films ever made, Raging Bull gained critical acclaim, and continues to be a favourite among sports-movie lovers.
Another iconic biographical sports drama, the film brought to life the story of James J. Braddock, who was nicknamed ‘Cindrella Man’. Directed by Ron Howard, it starred Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger and Paul Giamatti. The Irish-Americal boxer was forced to quit the sport after suffering an injury. To make ends meet, he gets back to the ring with an injured wrist, this time fighting harder with his left hand. As Braddock gains success, his rags to riches story made sportswriter Damon Runyon dub him as ‘The Cinderella Man’
Starting July 16, Toofaan will stream on Amazon Prime Video.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.