The Tokyo Olympics, initially scheduled to be held in 2020, are almost here. Despite the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic around the largest and only truly global sporting event in the world, it was given the go-ahead.
The world of sports and related events sometimes makes for exciting dramas that can be worked into equally exciting scenarios, which in turn results in great cinema. If you are looking forward to watching the games, you will undoubtedly enjoy these movies about the Olympics.
chariots of fire
Arguably the definitive Olympic film and one of the greatest sports films ever made, Chariots of Fire is a story of two British athletes who competed in the 1924 Olympics. The film is moving and emotional, a tale of victory over one’s trials. It also explores the appeal of the Olympics and the origins of the current, fiercely competitive form. The pace can be a little slack at times, but Chariots of Fire is still a great sports film.
Directed by Aussie Craig Gillespie, this Margot Robbie starrer chronicles the life of Tonya Maxene Harding, an Olympic figure skater. Robbie played the character to perfection, with equal parts humor and poignancy, giving it a kind of complexity and sympathy without getting tacky. The Tonya Harding incident and her connection to the Nancy Kerrigan attack is portrayed in a different light than what the sensational press reported at the time. The film was criticized for focusing only on Harding’s side of the story. While this may be true, this may have been done intentionally by some of the creators, as the press and media had focused solely on Kerrigan’s side after all. The film tries to correct the failure of the media and is quite entertaining at the same time.
3. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
With Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s biopic about the iconic titular athlete, Milkha Singh, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is an absolute triumph. The experience of watching this movie will be moving now that the Flying Sikh has left this world. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a rare sports film that strikes a fine balance between telling an emotional story and a sober study of the life of a celebrated athlete.
Steven Spielberg’s Munich isn’t quite a sports film, but it does revolve around one of the most tragic events in Olympic history (if not *the* most*). At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, nine members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists, who killed two players. Other hostages were later killed after a failed rescue attempt. After this, the Israeli government ordered strategic, covert retaliation against those responsible. Spielberg is a supporter of Israel, but his film sensitivity did not allow him to take sides. The film is not a chest-thumping celebration of targeted murders, but an investigation of ghosts driven by revenge.
In the film, directed by Bennett Miller and starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, Carell plays the role of an eccentric wealthy wrestling enthusiast. Tatum and Ruffalo play the roles of brothers Mark and David Schultz, respectively, who were both gold medalists in the 1984 Olympics. Darker than most sports dramas, the film deals with sibling rivalry and the unhealthy win-what- the-cost attitude many have regarding the Olympics or sports tournaments in general.