Real life events have always been an inspiration for a lot of movies. Be it Hollywood, Bollywood, or any other film industry, movies based on real events are proven to be a successful formula to attract crowds. In this blog, we’ll talk about some of the noteworthy movies from Bollywood that were based on real-life events or stories. Enjoy the read.
Padman is a socially driven film, bringing to light the plight of women who still use unhygienic products during their menstrual cycle. Based on the life of Laxmikant, the film encapsulates his struggle as he attempts at making a machine which provides women with affordable and cheap sanitary products. His attention is drawn to this issue due to the love for his wife and her health. In pursuit of this goal, Laxmikant faces numerous conflicts and taboos not only with society at large but also in his private life.
Based on the traumatic events of 1990 in Kuwait, of a shrewd & successful NRI businessman, Ranjit Katyal. After Iraq invades Kuwait in August, the businessman singlehandedly saves the lives of 1.7 lakh stranded Indians. In spite of always considering himself as a Kuwaitian, he puts his life after the lives of his fellow countrymen so they can reach back home safely.
20.NOT A LOVE STORY
Inspired by the case of the brutal murder of Neeraj Grover, “Not a Love Story” portrays the tale of Anusha and Robin, two lovers for whom one impulsive act shatters their lives forever. A jealous Robin murders Anusha’s friend in a fit of rage, and the couple is left to deal with the aftermath.
19.THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH
A martyr to the Indian Freedom Movement, Bhagat Singh pursued justice relentlessly, forever scarred by the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Teaming up with more famous revolutionaries like Chandrashekhar Azad, Sukhdev, and Rajguru, he fought for freedom by looting the British and holding protests. “The Legend of Bhagat Singh” is a biographical film of this brave hero.
18.MAIN AUR CHARLES
Charles Sobhraj is charming and extremely clever. But underneath he is a criminal, through and through. Starting with petty theft and fraud and moving onto the ranks of murder, he catches the attention of Officer Amod Kanth, who wants to bring him down. His suave and cunning nature is eerie and completely true of his real-life counterpart.
17.THE DIRTY PICTURE
Based on the life of erotic actor Silk Smitha and derived from the lives of other like Disco Shanti and Marilyn Monroe, “The Dirty Picture” portrays the world of cinema for a woman who is seen only as a sex object and appears only for the male gaze. Silk enters the film industry only to be spurned for being unattractive and unskilled. Her spontaneous sexy dance performance earns her a role as a dancer in a movie, and her sultry moves lead her to be typecast as such. It’s touching to watch the transformation and you do root for the actor going from small roles to being the star.
Mary Kom faced many hardships before rising as a boxing champion. Her father disapproved of her tomboyish hobby, many mocked her dreams and she had to undergo strict training. Her passion and determination lead her to win many matches, but hardship was never over for this woman. A truly moving tale of a fighter who overcame so many adversities to become the icon she is now, “Mary Kom” is a biopic of the renowned boxer starring Priyanka Chopra in the lead role.
15.NO ONE KILLED JESSICA
Jessica Lal, a bartender, is murdered and no one seems to know who did it. Her sister Sabrina is determined to find the killer. Reporter Meera teams up with Sabrina after realizing that despite being at a crowded party, none of the 300 witnesses to Jessica’s murder saw anything. In a heated pursuit for justice, two women stand together against political pressure and police coercion. Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherji portray Sabrina Lal and Meera as strong women in their own right.
Bajirao is the Peshwa(minister) to King Chhatrapati Shahu. He is living a content life with his wife Kashibai when he meets Mastani, a Rajput princess who requests his help to defeat invaders on her father’s lands. Bajirao agrees and is drawn to Mastani’s courage and fighting prowess. They fall in love with each other, much to the chagrin of Bajirao’s wife and mother. Their love must overcome religious and cultural hurdles if they are ever to unite. “Bajirao Mastani” creates a fictional love story between historical figures Bajirao and Mastani.
13.ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI
Loosely derived from the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim, Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi play their movie counterparts in “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai”. Sultan(Devgn) is the smuggling overlord of Mumbai, though he is known for his kind heart and principles. He encounters Shoaib(Hashmi), a young rogue with a lot of potentials, and takes him under his wing. Their bond creates a stronger empire, one that is under constant attack by police and rival gangs.
Ayesha Mahajan is murdered in her own bedroom. Her parents, who were in the same apartment, never knew. Initial investigators, in an attempt to close the case quickly, arrest Sachin, Ayesha’s father, for the murder as he claimed to have been drunk with no recollection of the night before. CBI Officer Sunil Paraskar arrives on the scene, dissatisfied with the shabby police work. His investigation provides many leads, and his inferential skills bring to light many secrets that the Mahajan family tried to bury. Very loosely based on the Noida double murder case, “Rahasya” manages to provide twists and turns you never see coming.
Phoolan is a lower caste girl who is married off to an older Puttilal. He physically and sexually abuses her to the point that she runs away back to her home. Even there she is not as safe as the high caste men of her village frequently sexually assault her for they consider her to be below them. She is kidnapped by bandits to again be put through torture until a kind soul saves her and gives her a role by his side as his equal. Thus begins Phoolan’s ascent to Bandit Queen. The atrocities committed against her are not slight, but her grit and will get her through and make for a truly gripping movie.
Young Neerja is a flight attendant with a happy life and a loving family. Her life takes a drastic turn for the worst when the flight she is on is hijacked by terrorists. Neerja is forced to make choices that will either save the flight or doom them all. This movie is based on the story of Neerja Bhanot, who managed to save 359 people in the terrorist attack.
Sarkar is a don of the Mumbai underworld who acts on his principles rather than on prewritten law. His son Vishnu is reckless and hot-headed, while his other son Shankar worships his father. Sarkar is suddenly framed for the murder of a politician and Shankar must protect his father and his empire while being assaulted from every side. “Sarkar” is very loosely based on Bal Thackeray.
Set in the thick of the Sri Lankan Civil War, Major Vikram Singh is sent to Sri Lanka by RAW to find a way to defuse the situation and end the war. War correspondent Jaya Sahni provides information on the rebels and advice. A gritty and realistic version of the war, “Madras Cafe” is based on many real-life events and people.
Conmen Ajay Singh and P.K. Sharma pose as government officials to steal black money from corrupt politicians and businessmen. CBI officer Waseem Khan is determined to take down the duo. Ajay and Sharma plan their final heist, the biggest they’ve ever planned, to settle down with their earnings and family. This movie is based on the 1987 opera heist and takes us deep into the mind of these conmen as they thug people.
6.BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG
Milkha Singh, known as “The Flying Sikh”, came from humble beginnings. Living in refugee camps after the death of his parents, Milkha’s athleticism is noticed by a havildar, and he is selected for a service commission. He trains long and hard to be selected for the Indian Olympics team. “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” takes you on a journey through India’s Partition riots through the eyes of a man who came from nothing and fought to have everything.
5.CHAK DE INDIA
There is no hope for the Indian Women’s Hockey Team as Indian women are expected to settle down, marry and create a family, whatever their athletic skills may be. Kabir Khan, a disgraced former hockey player, volunteers to coach the Indian women’s team and change this notion. The team consists of 16 women, all from different states and backgrounds, but with great potential. Initial training is difficult, as the women constantly clash with each other over cultural differences. It is up to Kabir to get them to work together and bring glory to the Indian women’s hockey team.
4.PAAN SINGH TOMAR
Paan Singh Tomar is renowned for his athletic skills while working in the army. He wins a gold medal for steeplechase in the Indian National Games 7 years in a row. When his family encounters some problems in his village, he leaves the army and turns into one of the most feared dacoits in Chambal. The story of a man who is forced to abandon his future for his family, “Paan Singh Tomar” is an intriguing film.
Another movie based on the Noida double murder, “Talvar” stars Irrfan Khan as officer Ashwin Kumar. Teenage Shruti Tandon is found dead in her home and the missing servant Khempal is suspected of the murder until his body is discovered from the house. The incompetent police officers accuse Ramesh, Shruti’s father, of the murder and arrest him. Ashwin Kumar from the CDI(Central Department of Investigation) realizes the failure of the initial investigation and begins one of his own. The movie focuses on the parents’ experience of losing their daughter in their own home and then being accused of committing the murder themselves.
Mahavir Phogat longed to win a gold medal for his country in wrestling, but circumstances forced him to give up his dream. He hoped his son would fulfil his desire, but fate decreed that he be blessed with four daughters. Mahavir gives up all hope but one day his daughters are accused of beating up two boys for making derogatory remarks which makes him see their potential and thus begins a gruelling training for his daughters, cutting off their hair and restricting anything that would distract them. A truly inspiring tale based on the real-life Phogat sisters, “Dangal” is heart-warming and compelling.
Based on the real-life events of the Bombay Bomb Blasts, “Black Friday” chronicles both sides of the attacks. Communal riots in Bombay instigate extreme and panicked assaults and revenge from all sides. This story is told from the perspective of all the parties involved – police, victims and the men behind the conspiracy.