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Biopics in Bollywood

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2016 will be remembers as a year of Biopics. Many great biopic movies released this year and some of them are awaiting release. On this Friday, the most awaited sports biopic "M.S.Dhoni - The Untold Story" released all over the country. Movie has already created a lot of buzz and has emerged as a HIT on the third day of release. With the success of "M.S. Dhoni - The Untold Story" and some other biopics released this year, it is now assured filmmakers will be looking more at making biopics. This  is a new trend in Bollywood now. Earlier in India producers and directors were not much interested in making a biopic. The main reason was biopics in India doesn't really find an audience but now a days the scenario has changed. With the success of some of the biopics, It has now become a new trend in Bollywood to make a biopic based on the real life incidents of the people. Filmmakers are now studying more about famous personalities and real life events. Think India today will be discussing some of the most famous and loved biopics of Bollywood.

Rustom (2016)



Rustom is a 2016 Indian crime thriller film written by Vipul K Rawal, directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and produced by Neeraj Pandey. It stars Akshay Kumar, Ileana D'Cruz, Arjan Bajwa and Esha Gupta in the lead roles. Though film is not completely a biopic but is based on the real life incident of Naval Officer K.M. Nanavati and businessman Prem Ahuja. The film which revolves around a courtroom drama received positive reviews from critics and was hugely successful movie. Rustom is another series in the patriotic movie series of Akshay Kumar.

Azhar (2016)



Written by Rajat Arora and directed by Tony D'Suza Azhar is a sports drama based on the life of Indian cricketer and former national team captain Mohammad Azharuddin. The film landed in controversy and was not successful at the box office, Emraan Hasmi performance was appreciated.

Neerja (2016)


Neerja is a an Indian biographical thriller movie based on real life incident of Pan Am flight purser Neerja Bhanot. The story is based on the Pan AM flight 73 travelling from Mumbai to New York via Karachi, Pakistan which got hijacked by Libyan terrorists on 5th September 1986 in Karachi. Directed by Ram Madhvani and written by Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh this movie revolves around the Neerja Bhanot who disillusioned the terrorist for 17 hours and saved livees of all the passengers on board by her presence of mind. Role of Neerja Bhanot was played by actress Sonam Kapoor. This movie proved to be a big commercial success and was loved by critics as well.

Airlift (2016)


Airlift is a 2016 Indian war thriller film starring Akshay Kumar and Nirmat Kaun in lead roles and directed by Raja Krishna Menon, The film revolved around Ranjit Katyal (Played by Akshay Kumar) who was a Kuwait-based businessman, as he carries out the evacuation of Indians based in Kuwait during the Invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. This movie was also critically as well as  commercially successful movie, However some government officials and historians criticized that portrayal of diplomats and bureaucrats in the film was in the bad light.

Main aur Charles (2015)



Main aur Charles is a crime film written and directed by Prawaal Raman. The film is inspired by true events and told from the perspective of respected Indian cop, Amod Kanth who handled the notorious case of serial killer, Charles Sobhraj. The film opened to excellent reviews across India. Altough the film bombed at box office the performace of the actors and the direction was hugely appreciated.

Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015)




Manjhi - The Mountain Man is a 2015 Indian biographical film which is based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi. Dashrath Manjhi was a laborer in village near Gaya district of Bihar who carved a path 9.1 metres (30 ft) wide and 110 metres (360 ft)long through a hill 7.6 metres (25 ft) using only a hammer and chisel. The film directed by Ketan Mehta and produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and NFDC India was very well recieved by critics and did well at box office. The role of Dashrath Manjhi was played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. 

Manjunath (2014)



Manjunath is an Indian Drama film written and directed by Sandeep A. Varma based on the true story of Manjunath Shanmugam – the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow graduate who was killed in Lakhimpur, U.P., in November 2005, for his stand against corruption & fuel adulteration. Though not popular, this movie was hugely appreciated by the critics.

Rang Rasiya (2014)



Rang Rasiya is a film starring Randeep Hooda and Nandna Sen in the biopic on the life of renowned painter Raja Ravi Varma. Made as a bilingual, the film is titled Rang Rasiya in its Hindi version and Colours of Passion in English. The film directed by Ketan Mehta was a very critically acclaimed movie and performed well at the box office too. This film depicts the life journey of the painter in detail. This movie was based on the book Raja Ravi Varma authored by the Ranjit Desai
Marry Kom (2014) 



Mary Kom is a 2014 Indian biographical sports film directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film is based on boxer Mary Kom and stars Priyanka Chopra in the lead role of the eponymous boxer, with Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa in supporting roles as her husband and mentor.  The film depicts Kom's journey of becoming a boxer to her victory at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in Ningbo. 
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)



Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a 2013 Indian biographical sports drama film based on the life of Milkha Singh who is an Indian Athele. It stars Farhan Akhtar in the lead role with Pavan Malhotra and Art Malik in supporting roles and Sonam Kapoor in a cameo. The film proved to be major commercial success and was very well received by the critics.  The film was inspired from the book written by Milkha Singh and his daughter. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag revived many awards including National Film Award for the Popular choice movie. 

Shahid (2013)



Shahid is a 2013 Indian Hindi biographical film which was directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Anurag Kashyap. Shahid is based on the life of human right activist and lawyer Shahid Aazmi who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai. The movie which stars Rajkumar Rao in the title role of Shahid Aazmi received positive reviews from critics and was considered be a successful movie at box office. The film also won two National Film award including Best Actor and Best Director award.

Pan Singh Tomar (2012)




Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, Paan Singh Tomar is a 2012 Indian biographical film based on the true story of the athlete Paan Singh Tomar. He was a soldier in the Indian Army and he wins a gold medal at the Indian National Games, but is forced to become a bandit. Irfan Khan plays the role of Pan Singh Tomar. This movie was critically as well as commercially successful. Pan Singh Tomar also won two National Film Awards including Best Feature Film and Best Actor.

The Dirty Picture (2011)

The Dirty Picture is a commercially and critically sucessful movie of 201. It is an Indian biographical drama film inspired by the life of Silk Smitha who was a South Indian actress and known for her erotic roles. The film was directed by Milan Lutharia and  Vidya Balan played the role of Silk Smitha.The Dirty Picture won several awards including 3 National Film Awards and 6 Filmfare awards.

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se (2010)




Directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se is an Indian epic movie starring Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Sikander Kher in the lead roles. It is based on the book Do And Die by Manini Chatterjee, based on the Chittagong Uprising against British rule in 1930. The movie was based on the life of Surya Sen and depicts the journey of the Chittagong Uprising, from the rise to its aftermath. Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se was not commercially successful but was very well received by the critics and garnered mostly positive reviews.

Jodha Akbar (2008)


Jodha Akbar was a historic drama based on the Mughal emperor, Akbar's romance with Jodhabai.Jodha Akbar was directred by Aushutosh Gwarikar. It stars Hrithik Roshan(as Akbar), Aishwarya Rai(As Jodhabai) and Sonu Sood(As Surajmal) in the lead roles. This beautiful and musical  love story of an emperor was also very well received at the box office. Film also won several awards but director Ashutosh Gwarikar was criticized by some historians for the inaccurate portrayal of facts.

Gandhi My Father (2007)




Movie 'Gandhi, My Father' directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and produced by actor Anil Kapoor was based on Chandulal Bhagubhai Dalal's biography of Harilal Gandhi. Harilal Gandhi was son of Mahatma Gandhi. This movie doesn't really highlight the life of Mahatma Gandhi, instead this movie explains troubled relationship of Mahatma Gandhi with his son. This is an important movie just for the reason It dared to show a different perspective to the iconic image of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi. Darshan Jariwala played the role of Mahatma Gandhi whereas the role of Harilal Gandhi was played by Akshay Khanna. This movie performed average at boxoffice but was critically acclaimed. Gandhi My Father bagged three national film award including Special Jury award for Feroz Abbas Khan and Anil Kapoor, Best Supporting Actor for Darshan Jariwala and Best Screenplay award.

Mangal Pandey (2005)



Mangal Pandey movie was based on the life of revolutionary Indian Soldier Mangal Pandey. The movie was directed by Ketan Mehta starred Aamir Khan in the lead role of Mangal Pandey and Rani Mukherjee. The film was criticised by some  due  to the wrong depiction of facts and also the movie did not perform at the box office but got good response from critics. Mangal Pandey is counted among the best works of Aamir Khan.

Netaji Shubhash chandra bose (2004)



Direcred by Shyam Benegal Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero is a 2004 Indian, biographical war film based on the life of Shubhash Chandra Bose. The film comprise of an ensemble cast of Sachin Khedekar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rajit Kapur, Arif Zakaria, and Divya Dutta. This is considered to be the best film made on the life of Shubhash Chandra Bose. Upon release, the film received wide critical acclaim at the BFI London Film Festival, and has garnered the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, and the National Film Award for Best Production Design for that year.
Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)


This iconic movie was based on the real life hero  and legendary freedom fighter Sardar Bhagat Singh. The film was directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi and role of Bhagat singh was played by Ajay Devgan. This movie depicted Bhagat Singh's struggle for Indian independence from his young days. Many movies depicting  the life of Bhagat Singh was released but this movie is by far considered as the best movie based on the life of Bhagat Singh. The movie however doesn't performed very well at the box office and was an average grosser but this movie was critically acclaimed all over the world. 

Ashoka (2001)




Aƛhoka is an epic historical drama film directed and co-written by Santosh Sivan. It is a dramatised version of the early life of emperor Asoka, of the Maurya dynasty, who ruled most of the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role of Ashoka. The film was not successful at the box  office and was also panned by the critics. Historians also  criticized the movie for wrongful depiction of the facts.

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar



Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar directed by Jabbar Patel tells the story of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, known mainly for his contributions in shaping the Constitution of India, as the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constituent Assembly. The film was a project funded jointly by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Government of Maharashtra. The film which tells the story of B.R.Ambedkar in detail was appreciated by the critics and won 3 National film awards that year including  National Film Awards for Best feature film in English and Best Art Direction and Best Actor. 

Bandit Queen (1994)


Bandit Queen movie was based on the life of famous female dacoit Phoolan Devi. The role was convincingly played by Seema Biswas. The film depicts a disturbing story how Phoolan was transformed from a simple girl to a dreadful dacoit. Directed by Shekhar Kapoor, the movie was highly acclaimed by critics and won several award including the National Award for Best Picture.

Sardar (1993)


Directed by Ketan Mehta, Sardar is a Indian biopic based on the life of one of the India's greatest freedom fighter, the Iron Man and  of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This movie was written by noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar. Paresh rawal performed the role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel quite convincingly. This film was screened on August 12, 2016 at the Independence Day Film Festival jointly presented by the Indian Directorate of Film Festivals and Ministry of Defense, co
mmemorating 70th Indian Independence Day.
Manthan (1976)


Directed by Shyam Benegal, Manthan is a 1976 film based on the story of the pioneering milk cooperative movement of Verghese Kurien who is also called the Father of the White Revolution in India. Script of the movie was written by Shyam Benegal and Vijay Tendulkar. It revolves around the  backdrop of  White Revolution of India (Operation Flood) which started in 1970, ushering an era of plenty, from a measly amount of milk production and distribution. Aside from the great measurable success that this project was, it also demonstrated the power of "collective might" as it was entirely crowdfunded by 500.000 farmers who donated Rs. 2 each. The film won various awards including 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Vijay Tendulkar.

Shaheed (1965)



Directed S. Ram Sharma Shaheed is a 1965 Hindi movie based on Bhagat Singh's life. This is one of the most prominent Indian patriotic movie based on Indian independence movement. It was one of the first movie based on  Bhagat Singh Life. Manoj Kumar played the role of Bhagat Singh quite convincingly. Shaheed was also first of Manoj Kumar's series of patriotic films. The film was screened retrospective on August 15th 2016 at the Independence Day Film Festival jointly presented by the Indian Directorate of Film Festivals and Ministry of Defense, commemorating 70th Indian Independence Day.


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