Five Tropes in Bollywood Films About Sportswomen

Sanya Khurana

Misogynist Sports Authority Vs Athlete 

If you have seen 'Shaabash Mithu', you’ll remember the scene in which Taapsee Pannu asks the cricket board to fulfill some “basic needs” of the women’s team – “more matches, travel facilities, clothes that have their names.”

The Cheerleading Male Coach

It's often coach Kabir Khan's 'Sattar (70) Minute' monologue that lingers in people's memories more than Vidya's triumphant goalkeeping at the conclusion of Chak De! India. 

Athletes and Their Femininity

Dangal for example, when Geeta starts applying nail polish and grows out her hair, her sporting performance sees a considerable dip. However, after removing the nail polish, there is a visible improvement in her performance. 

Marriages or Sport?

It’s the classic choice for women: Achieve professional success by embracing the identity of athletes, but in exchange, the domestic and traditionally feminine aspects of their life has to suffer.

Patriotism to Transcend Prejudice

By the close of the film, the focus invariably shifts from enabling female athletes to a display of patriotism as the athlete in question represents the country in a tournament.