India is a country where legends are born. We feel proud for their courage and salute them. The film industry has helped us a lot to know these legends personally and understand their struggle. Biopics based on these legends motivate and inspires us. Let us look at some of the great biopic on these legends made over the years.
1. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. (2013)
Directed by:- Rakesh Omprakash Mehra
Stars: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Art Malik.
Biopic on Milkha Singh who is famously known as “The Flying Sikh” is a former Indian track and field sprinter. While serving in the army he was introduced to the sports. He became a world champion, Olympian and one of India’s most iconic athletes. Mehra is brilliant at his craft. He has perfectly infused the reality into drama which sparks an emotional deluge. Farhan Akhtar with his awe- inspiring body has given his blood and sweat into Milkha. The writing, cinematography and powerful music everything is bang on. The movie keeps you hooked to your chairs till the end.
2. Gandhi (1982)
Directed by:- Richard Attenbourough
Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen, Edward fox.
Biopic on Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi also known as The Father of Our Nation was a freedom fighter. His policies like non-violence and non-cooperation movements helped India to get freedom from the British rule. Playing Gandhi an actor must be concerned with spiritual presence, and here Kingsley is nothing short of astonishing. Ben Kingsley’s performance as Gandhi, ageing 50 years in three hours, from dapper, status-conscious lawyer to emaciated ascetic in a loin-cloth, is certainly as fine as anything.
3. The legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
Directed by:- Rajkumar Santoshi
Stars: Ajay Devgan, Sushant Singh, D. Santosh, Akhilendra Mishra.
Biopic on Bhagat Singh, who was a freedom fighter. He revolutionised the Indian independence movement. He was one of the young and fearless freedom fighters in India who was executed at the age of 23. The movie reminds you of all the sacrifices, losses, courage and selflessness that went to win our freedom. That year, five Bhagat Singh movies came out, but only one of them stood out – Rajkumar Santoshi’s The Legend of Bhagat Singh. The movie was well written and did not thrust emotions down audience’s throat.
4. Sardar (1993)
Directed by:- Ketan Mehta
Stars: Paresh Rawal, Tom Alter, Riju Bajaj, Eliza D’Souza
Biopic of Vallabhai Patel, who was one of the leaders of Indian National Congress. He was born in a wealthy family and became an Indian barrister and statesman who was not interested in the freedom fight at first. But when he heard Gandhi’s speech he changed his mind and became one of the founding fathers of the republic of India. Sardar is a very fascinating film which focuses mostly on Patel and gives us a clear difference between Nehru and Patel especially over Kashmir. Paresh Rawal, with his piercing eyes, towers over the others as Sardar Patel in the movie.
5. Neerja (2016)
Directed by:- Ram Madhvani
Stars: Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tikku, Abrar Zahoor.
Biopic of Neerja Bhanot who was a courageous young girl, a purser for the airline Pan American World Airways, based in Mumbai, India. Pan am flight 73 was hijacked by terrorists on 5th September 1986 and Neerja was shot and killed while saving hundreds of passengers on board. She was the India’s youngest recipient of the Ashoka Chakra Award, India’s highest peacetime award for bravery. The story was narrated in such a brilliant way that it makes you rise and salute Neerja, an extra ordinary human. He script was very effectively written and crafted Neerja in such a way that most of her personality traits become visible. Sonam Kapoor gave a stellar performance.
6. Dangal (2016)
Directed by:- Nitesh Tiwari
Stars: Amir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra
Bipopic of India’s former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trained his young daughters Geeta and Babita to follow his footsteps. His efforts and dedication made his daughters struggle towards the glory at Commonwealth Games despite the societal oppression. Dangal was a crowd pleaser with an engaging story and stellar performances. The movie has a strong nationalism angle mixed with its feminist message, peppered with rustic humour and tears, if one is easily moved. The story telling is very unique and sends out a strong message but in a very entertaining manner. Amir gave a terrific performance as always. From a 20 year old young wrestler version to 60 year old wrestler as Mahavir, Amir went through dramatic body transformation. The dialogues make you cry and laugh both at the same time.
7. Guru (2007)
Directed by:- Mani Ratnam
Stars: Abhishek Bacchan, Aishwarya Rai, Mithun Chakraborty.
Biopic of Dirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries. He rose from the streets to become the biggest business tycoon in Indian history. Mani Ratnam’s absorbing screenplay ensures that Guru rises above the usual rags to riches story, by weaving in meaty subplots involving the protagonist’s complex relationships with his loyal wife (Aishwarya Rai), friends and foes. Abhishek excelled in the character and totally convinced us as a young enterprenuer by looks and acting.
8. Mary Kom (2014)
Directed by:- Omung Kumar
Stars: Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Kumar, Sunil Thapa.
Biopic of Mary Kom, an Indian female Boxer who went through various hardships to ultimately achieve her dream. The film showed Kom’s journey from her childhood to a champion and won Bronze Medal in 2012 Summer Olympics. Priyanka Chopra who plays Mary Kom underwent extensive physical training for three months to attain a muscular physique and learned Kom’s distinct boxing style. The film was premiered at the Toronto international film festival. Upon its release, the film recorded the highest opening weekend of all time for a female-led Indian film. The film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film and was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Actress for Chopra. Additionally, Chopra won the Screen Award and the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
9. Manjhi- The Mountain Man (2015)
Directed by:- Ketan Mehta
Stars: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Ashutosh Acharya, Shahzad Ahmad.
Based on a true story about Dashrath Manjhi famously known as The Mountain Man. He was a poor labourer who lived in a small village Gehlaur in Gaya Bihar. He carved a path through a hill that was 9.1 meters wide and 110 meters long using just a chisel and a hammer. Nawaz’s potrayal as Manjhi is brilliant. He took this challenging role with guns fully loaded. Radhika Apte shines throughout the movie. Ketan Mehta’s direction leaves you teary eyes and scarred in most of the scenes.
10. M.S. DHONI (2016)
Directed by:– Neeraj pandey
Stars: Shushant Singh Rajput, Disha Patani, Anupam Kher
Biopic based on the Indian cricketer M.S.Dhoni. He gave up his government job in Railways and went on to become World Cup winning Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. Shushant played Dhoni brilliantly and he was the backbone of the movie. His body language, walk, helicopter shot, everything matches the India Captain. The film was a critical and commercial success. It was also released in Tamil and Telugu language.