The games Bollywood plays
Hindi cinema might not have a very fleshed out sports genre, but the characters in our movies play quite a few games.
With Siddharth all set to play carrom in Striker, here's a look at some of the more unconventional cinematic games Hindi films have played:
Carrom -- Striker
Chandan Arora's latest film is set in Mumbai in the 80s, and involves the intrigue and mayhem surrounding a young boy who has emerged as a local star at the carromboards.
Siddharth stars in the lead, and the film's music -- featuring seven music directors including Vishal Bhardwaj, Amit Trivedi and Yuvan Shankar Raja -- is already making waves.
Image: A scene from Striker
Carrom -- Arjun
Rahul Rawail's 1985 hit featured Sunny Deol as the titular Arjun, an unemployed college graduate.
The character's increasing angst and frustration is best exemplified in the powerful shots of Deol slamming the striker against the carrom board, again and again and again.
Image: A scene from Arjun
Cards and cricket -- 99
In Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK's 99, Boman Irani played Rahul, a gambler so compulsive he bet on everything from cardgames to cricket matches -- even as he hunted for signs in everyday things.
Set around the year 1999, the film gradually weaves in the match-fixing scandal that shook cricket.
Image: A scene from 99
Cards -- Teen Patti
Rumoured to be a remake of Kevin Spacey starrer 21 -- which was about a professor using math prodigies to count cards and cheat in casinos -- Leena Yadav's Teen Patti features the intriguing pair of Amitabh Bachchan and Sir Ben Kingsley. The posters look quite interesting.
Image: A scene from Teen Patti
Cards and roulette -- The Great Gambler
Speaking of Bachchan, Shakti Samanta's underrated 1979 film featured him in twin roles as Vijay, a plainclothes police inspector, and Jai, a cardshark and expert gambler, running the gamut of casino con-games from cards to roulette tables.
An engrossing film that still rocks.
Image: A scene from The Great Gambler
Chess -- Shatranj Ke Khiladi
The great Satyajit Ray made only one Hindi film, this period piece set in 1856 and based on a novel by Munshi Premchand.
Sanjeev Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey starred as feudal lords too engrossed in chess to worry about freedom or revolution, while Bachchan made for a fine narrator.
Image: A scene from Shatrang Ke Khiladi
Chess -- Being Cyrus
Homi Adjania's directorial debut wasn't about chess per se, but it featured a chess game between Saif Ali Khan and the wonderful Honey Chhaya.
And as the innocent game turned deadly dark, one realised that chess wasn't just a metaphor as pawns fell and queens seduced.
Image: A scene from Being Cyrus
Cycling -- Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
Mansoor Khan directed nephew Aamir in this classic film about colleges competing in a cycling marathon.
Set in the hills of Dehradun, JJWS shows a longstanding rivalry between Model College and Rajput College, and while it explores everything from puppy love to teen arrogance, everything rests on the climactic cycle race.
Image: A scene from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
Gambling -- Jannat
Kunal Deshmukh's Jannat featured Emraan Hashmi as a scamster with a gift: a really uncanny lucky streak, which extended to everything from cards to women, and the ability to predict cricket matches, right down to every ball.
A pretty watchable film, with a solid performance from Emraan.
Image: A scene from Jannat