Compared to every other film industry across the globe, Bollywood films are often considered far from reality. Recently Shershah released on Amazon prime, Biopic of PVC Captain Vikram Batra did something unique and real.
We have a Hero beating the hell out of more than 10 to 15 goons and if his action sequences are not enough to impress, then he is also an excellent dancer, singer, charmer, and whatnot! The actress or the Heroine, on the other hand, is most often a glamorous, beautiful young girl who can sing, dance, and sometimes is the damsel in distress waiting to be rescued.
Well, that’s how a Bollywood film is made. There’s hardly anything realistic about most Bollywood films. Yet, there are few exceptions where filmmakers try to portray realistic characters focusing on a believable story rather than just an entertainer. Such a mindset has also inspired Bollywood filmmakers to try biographical films on popular personalities.
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Best Bollywood Biopic Movies of All Time
A biopic is basically a film that features the life story of a real person or a particular incident involving the person. In Bollywood, a lot of biopic films have been produced, and most often they have gone unnoticed, thanks to lack of media coverage. However, since the new millennia, things have begun to change for Bollywood. The industry has begun acknowledging some lives and their achievements as well as take it as their responsibility to tell their life story on the big screen, of course with few exceptions.
Here is the list of best Bollywood biopic movies of all time:
Shershah is a biopic film based on the life of PVC Captain Vikram Batra, he lost his life during the Kargil war and was awarded the Param Veer Chakra by the Army. Shershah was the code name of Vikram Batra and Sidharth Malhotra lived the role of PVC awardee. The film shares the personal life of Vikram Batra, his love interest, family, and his journey towards the bravest soldier of the Army.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a sports biopic film based on the life of our own Flying Sikh, the great Milkha Singh. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is first of its kind sports biopic film in India. The film stars Farhan Akhtar in the titular role as Milkha Singh.
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)
The second on our best biopic films list is another sports biographical drama. M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is based on the life of Indian Cricketer and former Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Directed by Neeraj Pandey, the film shares some of the unknown and interesting facts about M.S. Dhoni and his life beyond his cricketing career. Sushant Singh Rajput plays M.S. Dhoni in the film alongside Disha Patani, Kiara Advani, Bhumika Chawla, and Anupam Kher in the important roles.
Also Read: Best Bollywood Movies on Cricket
Neerja is a Hindi biographical thriller film featuring an incident in Neerja Bhanot’s life where she valiantly saves 359 of the 379 passengers during the hijack attempt of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan. Directed by Ram Madhvani, the film is narrated from Neerja’s point of view and also highlights the trauma faced by her family during the whole incident. Sonam Kapoor plays the titular character of Neerja Bhanot, whereas Shabana Azmi plays her mother in the film.
Mary Kom (2014)
Here’s another sports biopic film making to our list of best biopic movies of all time. Mary Kom, as the title suggests, is based on the life of former Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom. Directed by Omung Kumar, the film features Priyanka Chopra in the titular role of Mary Kom. The film depicts Mary Kom’s life and the struggles she faced while pursuing her passion to become a boxer and represent India at an international level.
The Dirty Picture (2011)
The Dirty Picture is not officially a biopic but it certainly resembles the life of South Indian actress Silk Smitha, popular for her erotic roles. Directed by Milan Luthria, the film actually highlights the life of Silk, played by Vidya Balan, and her journey to stardom as well as her eventual death. Alongside Vidya Balan, the film also stars Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, and Tushaar Kapoor.
Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
Paan Singh Tomar can also be listed under the sports biopic films on this best biopic films list. However, Paan Singh Tomar features a terrible ending compared to the other films as this movie features the life of athlete turned bandit Paan Singh Tomar. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, the film features Irrfan Khan in the titular role. The film depicts the story of a Gold medallist soldier from the Indian army at Indian National Games, who becomes a renowned bandit in the Chambal Valley.
Bandit Queen (1994)
Bandit Queen is another film based on a famous Indian bandit named Phoolan Devi. Directed by Shekhar Kapur, the film depicts the life and atrocities faced by Phoolan Devi where she was gang raped and abused by policemen and other men from the upper caste. The film is about her vow for revenge and her transition from Phoolan Devi to Bandit Queen. The film stars Seema Biswas in the titular character.
Dangal is a 2016 sports biopic film featuring the life of Phogat sisters. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, the film tells the real life story of Phogat family and Mahavir Singh Phogat’s quest to train his daughters, Geeta and Babita, to win a Gold medal at the world stage. The film stars Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2004)
Till now, the list of best biopic films is highly dominated by sports biopic films and it’s time for a change. Here is Shyam Benegal’s 2004 war film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero, which is, of course, a biographical film about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The film features Sachin Khedekar in the titular character and depicts the life of Netaji in Nazi Germany (1941-1943) as well as Japanese-occupied Asia (1943-1945) which eventually lead to the formation of Azad Hind Fauj.
Also Read: Best Movies about Indian History
Directed by Omung Kumar, here’s yet another biographical film based on the life of an Indian prisoner facing a death sentence in Pakistan and his quest for justice. The film features Randeep Hooda as Sarabjit, whereas Aishwarya Rai plays his sister Dalbir Kaur. The film mainly focuses on the journey of Dalbir Kaur seeking justice for her brother and her 22 years quest to bring Sarabjit back to India.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India, is an unsung hero of India’s freedom struggle. His legacy is often overshadowed by the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi and the charisma of Jawaharlal Nehru. When Ketan Mehta directed the 1993 film Sardar featuring Paresh Rawal in the titular character, the world came to know a lot about this great legendary freedom fighter and his efforts to build an independent India.
Shahid is a 2013 biographical film based on the life of human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was eventually assassinated in Mumbai in 2010. Directed by Hansal Mehta, the film features Rajkumar Rao in the titular character. The real life Shahid Azmi also defended the 2004 film Black Friday while it was struggling for a release against the Censor Board and that act influenced Anurag Kashyap to make a film about his life.
As ‘a thing of beauty is joy for ever’ the pieces of information about Bollywood Films are awesome. Please let me know through my e-mail anything about Bollywood Biopic Films, since I am doing research on those genres.
Thank You sir
hope by now you have done your research as its early 2019. I have just started my PhD on Indian Biopics. Would love to read your thesis all together and get a different prospective about the topic.
If we do or don’t do it, someone will laugh