We all love to watch movies of varied genres out of which Biographies play a special role in the hearts and minds of people.In the past few years many Biopics have been made. The success of the films like Dangal,Bhagh Milkha Bhagh,M S Dhoni The Untold Story,Merry Com and others has set a trend in Bollywood to make more such movies.
The initial successful biopics comes in my mind were Sikandar(1941) and Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946) by V Shantaram. In this Blog I am discussing such great films.Let us have a read on some of the greatest biographical movies made of time:
Sikandar -1941 Bollywood film directed by Sohrab Modi and starring Prithviraj Kapoor as Alexander the Great.The battle sequences featuring thousands of extras along with horses, elephants and chariots were picturised in Kolhapur However, its appeal to nationalism was so great and direct, it remained popular for years. It was revived in Delhi in 1961 during the Indian march into Goa. After the movie was a huge box office success.
Tansen - A 1943 Indian Bollywood film directed by Jayant Desai and featuring K. L. Saigal and Khursheed Bano in the lead roles. The film was based on Tansen, the 16th century musician in the court of Mughal emperor, Akbar.The film featured 13 hit songs, performed by the leads, including More Balapan Ke Saathi, Rum Jhum Rum Jhum Chal Tihari, Kahe Guman Kare Gori, Bina Pankh Ka Panchhi, Sapt Suran Teen Gram, Diya Jalao and Baag Laga Doon Sajni. It was the second highest grossing Indian film of 1943
Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani- It is a 1946 Indian film in Hindi-Urdu as well as English, written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and directed by V. Shantaram.The film is based on the life of Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian doctor who worked in China during the Japanese invasion in World War II.The role was played by v Shantaram and the heroine's role played by Jayshree who latter married him.
Shaheed (1948) A Bollywood film, directed by Ramesh Saigal and written by Wajahat Mirza. The film depicts India's struggle for independence. It starred Dilip Kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Chandra Mohan, and Leela Chitnis. It had lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi and music by Ghulam Haider. Songs like "Watan ki Raah Men Watan Ke Naujawan Shaheed Ho" and "Badnaam Na Ho Jaaye Mohabbat Ka Fasana" have not lost their appeal even after 60 years of the film's release.
Another Shaheed in 1965 was made.based on Bhagat Singh's life. One of the most prominent Indian patriotic movies based on the Indian independence movement, it was produced by Kewal Kashyap and directed by S Ram Sharma and stars Manoj Kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Pran, Iftekhar, Nirupa Roy, Prem Chopra, Madan Puri and Anwar Hussain in lead roles.
Mirza Ghalib (1954) -Based on the life of well-known poet Mirza Ghalib, the film was acclaimed upon release. It stars Bharat Bhushan as Ghalib and Suraiya as his courtesan lover. The film won (1) the President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film and (2) the President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi in the 2nd National Film Awards for 1954. Suraiya's singing (of Mirza Ghalib's ghazals) and her acting was specially applauded by the Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru.The film was produced and directed by Sohrab Modi.
Mughal e Azam (1960) -A film directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Durga Khote, it follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (who went on to become Emperor Jahangir) and Anarkali, a court dancer. Salim's father, Emperor Akbar, disapproves of the relationship, which leads to a war between father and son. It broke box office records in India and became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years.
Taj Mahal (1963)- The film based on the historical legend of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. As per the legend, Shah Jahan created the Taj Mahal in fond remembrance and as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It was a commercial hit, but is remembered mostly for its music..Pradeep kumar acted as Shsahjehan and Bina Rai acted as Noorjehan.
Amrapali (1966)- It was based on the life of Amrapali (Ambapali), the nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of Vaishali in present-day Bihar, the capital of the Licchavi republic in ancient India around 500 BC and Ajatashatru, the Haryanka dynasty king of the Magadha empire, who falls in love with her. Though he destroys Vaishali to get her, she in the meantime has been transformed by her encounter with Gautama Buddha, of whom she becomes a disciple and an Arahant herself.The film was directed by Lekh Tandon, starring Vyjayanthimala and Sunil Dutt as leads. Music of the film was by Shankar-Jaikishan.
Bhumika (1977)-The film is broadly based on the Marathi-language memoirs, Sangtye Aika of the well-known Marathi stage and screen actress of the 1940s 'Hansa Wadkar', who led a flamboyant and unconventional life, and focuses on an individual's search for identity and self-fulfilment. The film stars Smita Patil, Amol Palekar, Anant Nag, Naseeruddin Shah and Amrish Puri.Directed by Shyam Benegal.
Meera (1979)-The film is based on the life of Meera, a Hindu saint-poet who renounced princely comforts in pursuit of her love for Lord Krishna. The film portrays the life and times of Meera from a historical perspective rather than a mythological one. Meera role was played by Hema Malini directed by Gulzar.The film did not perform well at the Indian box office, though it received critical acclaim.
Gandhi (1982)- based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United Kingdom's rule of the country during the 20th century. Gandhi was written by John Briley and produced and directed by Richard Attenborough. It stars Ben Kingsley in the title role.It was nominated for Academy Awards in eleven categories, winning eight, including Best Picture and Best Director for Attenborough, Best Actor for Ben Kingsley, and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Briley
Razia Sultan (1983)-The film is based on the life of Razia Sultan (1205–1240), the only female Sultan of Delhi (1236–1240) and her speculated love affair with the Abyssinian slave, Jamal-ud-Din Yakut.written and directed by Kamal Amrohi, and starring Hema Malini, Parveen Babi and Dharmendra in lead roles.
Naache Mayuri (1986)-dance biographical Hindi film directed by T. Rama Rao. It is a remake of the Telugu film, Mayuri (1984), about classical dancer-actress Sudha Chandran who stars as herself in both films.This film was based on Sudha Chandran herself.She lost her leg in an accident on her way to Trichy to Chennai on June 1981. The story depicts how she received an artificial Jaipur Foot and eventually learned to dance again, triumphing over her fate, and ultimately becoming very successful in her life.
Bandit Queen (1994)- Based on the life of Phoolan Devi the decoit. It was directed by Shekhar Kapur and starred Seema Biswas as the title character. The music was composed by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie and Best Direction for that year.
Mangal Pandey (2005)-based on the life of Mangal Pandey, an Indian soldier known for helping to spark the Indian rebellion of 1857(also known as "The First War of Indian Independence"The role was played by Aamir Khan.It is directed by Ketan Mehta, produced by Bobby Bedi, and with a screenplay by Farrukh Dhondy.It was the fourth highest-grossing film of 2005.
Guru (2007)- the film is loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, a business magnate who founded Reliance Industries. The film was co-written and directed by Mani Ratnam. It stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, R. Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Arya Babbar, and Mithun Chakraborty in the leading roles.
The Dirty Picture (2011)-film inspired by the life of Silk Smitha, a South Indian actress noted for her erotic roles. The filmmakers have clarified that the story is not officially or literally based on Smitha alone, but on many of her southern contemporaries such as Disco Shanti.The film was directed by Milan Luthria and co-produced by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor,The heroine was Vidya Balan It won three National Film Awards including Best Actress, three Filmfare Awards and six Screen Awardsincluding Best Picture and Best Director. Box Office India declared the film Super Hit.
Paan singh Tomar (2012)-based on the true story of the athlete of the same name. A soldier in the Indian Army, he won a gold medal at the Indian National Games, but was forced to become a bandit. The film is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by UTV Motion Pictures. Irrfan Khan plays the title role, with Mahie Gill,
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)-The story is based on the life of Milkha Singh, an Indian athlete who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. It stars Farhan Akhtar in the lead role with Pavan Malhotra and Art Malik in supporting roles. Sonam Kapoor makes a cameo appearance. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra from a script written by Prasoon Joshi. . It performed very well at the box office, eventually being declared a "super hit".
Mary Com (2014)-The film stars Priyanka Chopra in the lead role of the eponymous boxer, with Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa in supporting roles of her husband and mentor, respectively. Mary Kom depicts Kom's journey of becoming a boxer to her victory at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in Ningbo. The film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Actress for Chopra.
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is a 2016 Indian biographical sports film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. It is based on the life of former Test, ODI and T20I captain of the Indian national cricket team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The film stars Sushant Singh Rajput as Dhoni.The film was released on 30 September 2016 by Fox Star Studios and received the widest release ever for a Bollywood film across 61 countries..It was the fifth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2016 in India.
Neerja (2016)- The story centers on the Libyan-backed Abu Nidal Organization's hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, on 5 September 1986. The film is shown from the point of view of the flight's head purser, Neerja Bhanot, who thwarted the hijack attempt by alerting the pilots, thus grounding the plane; Bhanot died trying to help save 359 of the 379 passengers and crew on board. The film features Sonam Kapoor as the title character, with Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting roles.
Dangal (2016)- The film is loosely based on the Phogat family, telling the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to become India's first world-class female wrestlers. Aamir Khan stars as Mahavir Singh Phogat, while Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra portray the adult versions of the two Phogat sisters, Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar their younger versions, Sakshi Tanwar their mother, and Aparshakti Khurana their cousin.The film was a record-breaking commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film ever, the fifth highest grossing non-English film ever,