2016, the year of biopics With the largest number of films released in a year to its credit, Bollywood has recently seen an increase in the trend of biographical films as they get recognized easily due to their realistic approach. The strong buzz and high box office collections have motivated filmmakers to tell the inside stories of known and lesser known personalities alike. These movies are worthy of all the time and money spent on them as they involve real life stories which deserve to be narrated. With 6 such stories turned into Bollywood movies, this year can rightfully be called “the year of biopics” in Indian Cinema. As the year 2016 is about to end, here’s a look at the biopics released this year:
1. Neerja This biographical thriller was based on the life of Neerja Bhanot, a 23 year old head flight attendant, whose flight from Mumbai to New York was hijacked by Libyan terrorists on 5 September, 1986 in Karachi. Neerja displayed courage while saving the lives of 360 passengers on board on a Pan American flight by her wit and presence of mind. Released on 19th February, 2016, the movie was directed by Ram Madhvani and Sonam Kapoor played the protagonist who was highly acclaimed for her performance. It also starred Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting roles.
2. Aligarh Released on 26th February, 2016, the movie revolved around esteemed professor Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who taught Marathi at the Aligarh Muslim University. Breaking all stereotypes, the movie boldly talked about homosexuality. Dr. Shrinivas was sacked from his position due to his sexual orientation. The film received standing ovation at the 20th Bhushan International Film Festival, and the lead actor Manoj Bajpai won the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for playing Dr. Shrinivas’s role. Rajkummar Rao and Ashish Vidyarthi played pivotal roles in the film.
3. Azhar Directed by Tony D’Souza and produced by Ekta Kapoor, the film was based on the controversial life of former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin. The cricketer was banned from cricket after reported involvement in match-fixing. He was also in the news for multiple affairs and marriages. Emran Hashmi starred in the lead alongside Nargis Fakhri, Prachi Desai and Lara Dutta. The movie released on 13th May, 2016.
4. Sarbjit: Sarbjit Singh was tried and convicted by a Pakistani court for spying and terrorism after he unknowingly crossed the border. His family suffered the brunt of troubled political relations between India and Pakistan. Directed by Omung Kumar (Mary Kom fame) and released on 20th May, 2016, the film starred Randeep Hooda as Sarbjit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as his sister, Dalbir Kaur. She spent 23 years fighting with Pakistan Government for Sarbjit’s innocence. Sarbjit’s case got worldwide recognition and so does the film. It has been recently nominated for Oscar.
5. Dhoni: The Untold Story Both movie buffs and cricket enthusiasts got a treat with this one. The story is based on one of the most revered cricket captains in India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Sushant Singh Rajput played reel-life Dhoni, alongside Disha Patani, Kiara Advani and Anupam Kher. The film has been written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. Released on 30th September 2016, it showcased the journey of M.S. Dhoni from a ticket checker to the most celebrated captain. Loved by millions, the biopic has been selected for Oscars in the best film category.
The year ends with “perfectionist” Aamir Khan’s Christmas release. His much anticipated movie is a biopic on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, a wrestler from a conservative village in Haryana, who taught wrestling to his daughters. The daughters won medals at the Delhi 2010 commonwealth games. The role of one of his daughters is played by Fatima Sana Shaikh who was a child actor in Chachi 420. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari (Bhootnath Returns and Kill Dill fame), the biopic crossed 100 crore within 3 days of its release.
So as we noted, this year was packed with movies based on real life characters. Which biopic released in 2016 has been your favourite and why? Please let us know in our comments section below.