There is something special about real life that makes it much more fascinating than a fictional story! Biopics have always been that ever-popular film genre that has charmed both movie makers and the audience alike. Movies based on real life personalities have been dominating film festivals, award nights and collection records for quite a while now. But, it is of late that Bollywood and the Indian audience has given its nod to this popular film genre admired all over the world.
And now, with the large number of biopics released in India and a lot more in the pipeline, fact is set to beat fiction to rake in some real Bollywood cash. Here is a list of five great Indian personalities who wrote pages for themselves in the history of our country – only to come back and rewrite the history of the Bollywood Box Office as well.
MAHAVIR SINGH PHOGAT, GEETHA PHOGAT AND BABITA KUMARI (DANGAL)
Well, this should rest the case for the popularity of biopics in Bollywood. Dangal isn’t just the highest grossing biopic in Bollywood, it is in fact the second highest grossing Bollywood movie of all time. This splendid movie, based on the real life story of a former Indian wrester and his daughters, has managed to wrestle its way into the Bollywood record books. A stellar performance from Aamir Khan and his co-actors turned this movie into a critical and commercial success.
M.S.DHONI (M.S.DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY)
The name Mahendra Singh Dhoni has turned into a bankable brand across our country. Everything he endorses meets with considerable success – right from the Indian Cricket Team to a tiny product he advertises. And a movie that chronicles his eventful life was no exception to this. This Sushant Singh Rajput movie ended its theatrical run as the fifth highest grossing Bollywood film of 2016.
MILKHA SINGH (BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG)
Indians worship sports and sportspersons! It should be one reason why the first three movies in this list happen to be sports biopics. Milkha Singh, a famous Indian athlete, came back in 2013 with his biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and ran away with most Bollywood records of that time. It remained as the highest grossing biopic in Bollywood until M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story was released in 2016.
NEERJA BHANOT (NEERJA)
This 2016 film was based on the courageous flight attendant Neerja Bhanot who gave up her life to thwart a hijack attempt on her plane. She was awarded the coveted Ashoka Chakra posthumously and she was in fact the youngest person to receive it. Sonam Kapoor excelled in her role as Neerja and the movie opened to positive critical reception. Despite a slow start, the movie ended up as one of the biggest hits of the year.
MARY KOM (MARY KOM)
A movie on a female boxer isn’t anything like a traditional recipe for a successful Bollywood movie. But with its excellent narrative and right mix of sports and patriotism, the Mary Kom movie managed to be a big hit. Getting a popular actress like Priyanka Chopra to play the lead role worked in the movie’s favor.
Dirty Picture wasn’t considered in the list as it can’t be termed as a biopic. Though more successful than Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, it was a movie loosely based on the life of actress Silk Smitha.