Biopics Have Always Been A Favourite Formula For Bollywood Directors, Here Are Few Biopics That Made A Mark In Past

Bollywood has come up with a plethora of biopics this season. Some of them released are Azhar, Sarabjit, Main Aur Charles, Aligarh & Neerja and the ones that are about to be released are MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Dangal, Sachin, Raghu Raman 2.0. But this is not the first time that Bollywood is seeing some classic flicks. There have been a lot of biopics made and released with a little or complete focus on the life of the person.

Here are some of them from the past which will give you goosebumps. Not all of these could garner huge publicity at the time of their release but the ones that did, were a massive hit.

1. Bandit Queen (1994)

Based on the life of Phoolan Devi, a lady Bandit from Uttar Pradesh who later turned to Member of Parliament and was assassinated by three gangsters. She was born to a lower caste family, grew up in poverty & was subject to child abuse by her old husband and upon becoming a social pariah took to a life of crime. Movie was directed by Shekhar Kapoor and the character was played by Seema Biswas.

bandit queen

2.  Shahid (2013)

This movie by Hansal Mehta is based on the life of human right activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai, portrayed beautifully by Rajkumar Rao. Shahid Azmi is known for defending those who was accused in 2008 Mumbai attacks.

3. Guru (2007)

One of the major hits by Abhishek Bachhan, Guru, is loosely based on the life of the business tycoon, Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of Reliance Industries. The movie shows the struggle of a man striving to make his mark in the Indian business world. The movie is directed by film maker Mani Ratnam. Apart from Abhishek Bachchan who plays the role of ‘Gurubhai’ (Dhirubhai), the movie stars Mithun Chakraborty, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, R. Madhwan and Vidya Balan.

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4.  Chak De! India (2007)

The film chiefly based on women hockey players, coincidentally also resembles the life story of the hockey player, Mir Ranjan Negi who faced accusations of throwing a match against Pakistan in the 1982 Asian Games. Screenwriter Jaideep Sahani met Mir Ranjan Negi and informed him that he was unaware of his plight while he wrote the script of the movie. Negi then agreed for the making of the movie and also said that he did not want to hog the limelight. The movie stars Shah Rukh Khan, as Kabir Khan (coach) and 16 young actresses who play the role of hockey players. Chak De! India was the third highest grossing film of 2007 and won many awards.

chak de india

5.  Dhoop (2003)

This war drama is based on the life of Anuj Nayyar, captain of the 7th Jat Regiment of Indian Army and also a Maha Vir Chakra Awardee who dies in Kargil war and his family. The film is an account of the inspiring struggle of Prof. Nayyar (father of Anuj Nayyar) and his family against entrenched systemic corruption.

Dhoop 2003

6.  Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

This is an Indian biographical sports drama film based on the life of Milkha Singh, also known as ‘Flying Sikh’, an athlete who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. The film focuses on his early life depicting how he witnessed his entire family being killed during the partition and travelled alone to Delhi as a refugee, thus making this movie more about human spirit rather than sports. This film showcases the life of Milkha Singh from 13-28 years of age. Interestingly, he refused the offer of a good amount of money and only took Rupee 1 as the token money because he believed if the film could inspire young people and result in India’s first Olympic track gold that would be the reward for him.

The film stars Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh and was recorded as the biggest hit of the year.

bhaag milkha bhaag

7.  Hawaizaada (2015)

It is an Indian film inspired by the biography of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade and directed by Vibhu Puri. This movie is set in Bombay, 1895, and is a fictionalised story about Talpade who is credited with having constructed India’s first unmanned plane. The movie stars Ayushmann Khurana, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Sharda.


8.  Iruvar (1994)

So far, one of the best movies of Mani Ratnam, Iruvar is based on the two former & one current CM of Tamil Nadu i.e., M. Karunanidhi, MG Ramachandram & Jayalalitha. The personal lives of the lead characters, their extra-marital relations, ego problems have been portrayed with near accuracy in the film. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made screen debut with this film.

Iruvar 1994

9. The Dirty Picture (2011)

An Indian biographical drama film inspired by Silk Smitha, a South Indian actress note for her erotic roles. The movie does not solely revolve around Smitha and also involves some of her contemporaries such as Disco Shanti and Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe. The star cast of the movie includes Vidya Balan, Emraan Hashmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Tushar Kapoor and was directed by Milan Luthria.

dirty picture

10.  Manthan (1976)

The classic Amul Add Melody was taken from the movie “Manthan”. This classic flick from Shyam Benegal is based on the story of pioneering milk cooperative movement of Dr. Verghese Kurien. This movie depicts the struggle of Dr. Kurien to establish Amul, a daily cooperative in Anand, Gujarat in 1946 which is today, jointly owned by 2.6 million milk producers. An interesting fact of the movie is that it was produced by the 5 Lac farmers of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Federation.


11.  Ek Doctor ki Maut (1990)

This movie from Tapan Sinha, a noted Bengali Film maker, is loosely based on the life of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, who pioneered the IVF Treatment just at the time when another English Doctor Dr. Robert Edwards was conducting the experiments. Although, he succeeded in his experiments before Dr. Edwards but due to bureaucratic negligence, ostracism, reprimand & insult, he was not given credits for his research.

Ek Doctor ki Maut (1990)

12.  Manjunath (2014)

This movie is based on the true story of an IIM, Lucknow Alumini Manjunath Shanmugam who was killed in Lakhimpur, U.P. in 2005 for his fight against fuel adulteration & corruption. The movie was directed by Sandeep Varma & was co-produced by India Government.

manjunath ediot tha sala

13. Harishchandrachi Factory(2009)

This funny one is a Marathi Film which depicts the struggle of Dadasaheb Phalke in making India’s first feature film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913, the year which is also known as the birth of Indian Cinema. What makes it a must watch is the style in which the movie is made is completely in sync withthe movies made in Dadasaheb Phalke’s days.


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About the author /

Ashmita is an ardent writer who loves to cover the emotions and write about facts, lifestyle and travel, her hobbies include reading and dancing. She is a fun-loving person whose sole purpose is to explore life as it follows. An appreciator of whimsical humor.

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