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Tokyo 2020

5 movies to watch to set the mood for the Tokyo Olympics

This is the season to binge-watch your favorite Olympics thriller pictures

Milkha Singh and Farhan Akhtar

The Real and Reel Milkha Singh


Kalptaru Agarwal

Updated: 20 July 2021 2:26 PM GMT

The binge-watching season of Olympics 2021 is on the way. The athletes and sports fans worldwide are pumped with excitement and enthusiasm for the international multi-sports event. If you cannot resist the patience to wait for D-Day just like us, no worries, we got you covered as we bring you the set of 5 movies based on the journey of star Olympic athletes who defeated all odds to come out with flying colors. Just a few days more until the Opening Ceremony of the XXXII Summer Olympic Games at Tokyo, let's set the mood right by binge-watching the 5 thrilling movies before we schedule our entire days to see our champion athletes.

Tokyo Olympiad

Based on: 1964 Tokyo Olympics

Released: 1965

Known as one of the Greatest Sports Documentaries of all time, what would be a better time to watch the Tokyo Olympics right before another Tokyo Olympics? The documentary covers an in-depth array of emotions filled with the athletic achievement and spirit of the Summer Games. Tokyo was originally planned to host the 1940 Olympics, but due to WWII, that dream remained a dream until 1964, which became a great source of national pride for Japan. For all the "Olympic buffs" out there, you better binge-watch this entire documentary to pump your excitement even further.

Where to watch: YouTube

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Based on: Milkha Singh (The Flying Sikh)

Released: 2013

A legendary movie based on a legend, Milkha Singh, his life's journey. If you are an Indian, you should be familiar with the term "The Flying Sikh," which was given to the famous sports star by a Pakistani official. The movie traces the scarred childhood of the champion during India's Partition and how he finds a purpose in his life when he falls in love with a girl and inspiration after joining the Indian Army. BMB beautifully crafts the journey of the running Milkha after he keeps on running for glory thereon. Barefooted, bruised, he won hearts and broke records but had a heartbreaking defeat at the Rome Olympics (1960). Singh manages to overcome his past to emerge as a winner in the end. You don't want to miss this exciting race for glory watching the emotional journey of India's most famous athlete.

Where to watch: Disney+Hotstar

Milkha stages running through different stages (Source: Indiefolio)


Based on: Jappeloup de Luze (The Legendary Horse)

Released: 2013

This 2013 horsey film is based on the legendary and brave horse, Jappeloup. It is a 50% inspiration and 50% bromance between a guy and a prize-winning horse in the game of Equestrian at the Olympics. It is a mix of sentiments and actions before the horse reaches the finale. The French movie follows the life of cavalier Pierre Durant, who is the owner of Jappeloup, tracing their movements and ultimate triumphant relationship. Filled with struggles and specific equestrian event moments, it becomes a must-watch before you encounter Fouaad Mirza taking part in the sports at the Olympics.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Hoopla, Google Play Movies, TubiTV

Famous status of Jappeloup (Source: Equus Magazine)

Chariots of Fire

Based on: Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams

Released: 1981/2012 (Stage adaption)

When you hear the iconic music of this movie, you will feel an instant source of motivation. This Oscar-winning movie is based on the triumph of the British at the 1924 Olympics, where they took a greater number of medals over the favored Americans. Chariots of Fire highlight the true essence of running with the qualities such as commitment, perseverance, and fraternity. Even if you are not a big fan of track and field, this will leave you fascinated as you witness the inner fire of both athletes. One runs because he believes in the race to glorify God and the other to prove his worth. Understanding human nature is enough to start and fall in love with this masterpiece—a must-watch before the Tokyo Olympics.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Chariots of Fire (Source: Alternate Ending)


Based on: Jesse Owens

Released: 2016

The last on the list is this grappling biopic based on the life of the legendary Jesse Owens and his quest for gold at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Race captured his life from the time period when a young Jesse Owens had just entered the Ohio State University. His sports journey began when coach Larry Synder was looking for young talent and found Owens. Throughout his journey, he battles with vices prevalent in history, like racial discrimination. His chance to win a medal is threatened by an outside force of US participation being taken as a validation of the Nazi regime.

Ownes life had been full of struggles, but under the immense pressure to withdraw from the Olympics, he outperforms everyone and every difficulty to bag the Olympics golds under the noses of the Nazis. If you are looking to witness Owens's life in Berlin and how Synder helped him get up there, this is a must-watch for you before the Olympic races get underway.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Netflix, Youtube, Google Play Movies and TV

Snippet from the movie (Source: Rotten Tomatoes)

Happy Binge-Watching!

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