One such ‘coming of age’ film is Breaking Away (1979), which tells the story of four friends/schoolmates Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley), Cyril (Daniel Stern), Mike (Dennis Quaid), and Dave (Dennis Christopher). Breaking Away is directed by Peter Yates of The Run of the Country fame.
The four friends belong to the local stonecutters’ community. Socially and economically they are not that well off and hence are made fun of by the Indiana University students who belong to rich and influential families.

Dave (Aamir Khan) is crazy about competitive bicycle racing and is in awe of the Italian racers, Italian music, Italian culture, and even tries his hand at conversing in Italian, at times even behaving like one only to be chided by his father. One fine day he bumps into Katherine (Pooja Bedi), a university student and instantly falls for her. He lies to her about his real identity and pretends to be an Italian exchange student.
Inevitably, the two groups get into a fisticuff and the matter reaches the office of the University President who challenges Dave to participate in the annual Indiana University Little 500 race.

Moocher, Cyril, and Mike encourage Dave to take on the challenge and form a team to participate in the Little 500 race. The race starts and Dave proves to be much, much better than the other competitors as he rides non-stop and builds up a substantial lead. However, he is injured in a crash and has to stop. Not the one to give up, Dave tapes his feet to the pedals and starts again and in a thrilling finish, overtakes Rod (Deepak Tijori), the current champion, in the last lap and wins the race to everyone’s surprise and immense joy for the local stonecutters.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992): Directed by Mansoor Khan, and starring Aamir Khan, Ayesha Jhulka, Deepak Tijori, Mamik, and Pooja Bedi. Here our class discrepancy is between Model College, which has students from poor local households, and students of various prestigious and high-end colleges of the area, namely Rajput, Xavier's, and Queen's, catering to students hailing from ultra-rich and upscale families.  

There is an annual inter-college sports championship and the main event is the bicycle race. Model College look forward to Ratan (Mamik) who barely manages to make a cut while competing with Shekhar Malhotra (Deepak Tijori) of Rajput College. Sanju (Aamir Khan) is Ratan's younger brother. He's one careless guy with no worries and sense of responsibility. Sanju frequently clashes with Shekhar and his friends.  

Out of nowhere enters Devika (Pooja Bedi), who bowls over both Sanju and Shekhar. Sanju impresses Devika by pretending to be the only son of business tycoon Thapar and moves around with her.

The lie is exposed and Devika turns to Shekhar who insults Sanju and his brother Ratan and their father Ramlal. Sanju gets into a fight with Shekhar and his friends. Ratan single-handedly beats them up and chases him away.

Shekhar and his friends attack Ratan and leave him severely wounded, dashing his hopes of winning the annual cycle race. In a major turn of events, Sanju takes the responsibility to compete and take sweet revenge on Shekhar by denying him the hat-trick.
Sanju wins the race at the last moment much to the joy of the Model College and his brother and father.   

In Breaking Away, the locals are addressed as 'Cutters', a rather derogatory term and in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar it is 'Pyjama chaap'.
Notwithstanding the copy bearing, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar has an extremely good soundtrack, especially the song 'Pehla Nasha' and the inter-college music competition.

PS: This write-up is for information and fun purpose only.

- Tahir Qureshi/ JPN


Latest news from Entertainment News Desk