Everyday Musings, Listicles, Movies with M, Reviews

5 Bollywood Biopics I Highly Recommend

I recently watched the movie, Udham Singh, on Prime Video. The movie has definitely changed the way future biopics from Bollywood will be adjudged. Sure, Bollywood still lacks in terms of content creation and more so in terms of mass acceptance and understanding of good content. But, in recent years, we have (thankfully!) seen progress in both these areas.

As a kid who grew up in the 90s, I watched and got inspired by all kinds of wrong movies and lead protagonists. But as an adult, I have grown to understand the value of good cinema. Though a lot needs to change still, I’m glad there’s an improvement.

Biopics, as a genre, have always been underwhelming for me; especially if they happen to be about a personality I admire. There’s always an anxiety in my mind that the movie will tarnish the value of its source form in reality. Most end results, especially from Bollywood, have failed to impress. But the ones that have delivered, have generally left me speechless.

I’m gonna list my top 5 picks out of these. If you’re a movie buff like me, I highly recommend these. Even if you’re averse to biopics, these might just change your viewpoint.

1. Sardar Udham

Why watch it:

  • It is about an ideology, not a revenge.
  •  The depiction of the Jallianwala Baug tragedy. We must have read about and seen this event many times before, but nothing matches what has been done here. It shakes you to the core and is a heart wrenching watch sure to move you to tears.
  • Brilliantly sends across the message that we’re all ultimately fighting the same war; the war for ‘freedom’.

2. Paan Singh Tomar

Why watch it:

  • It depicts the story of a man who has never had it easy in his life but nonetheless keeps his heart. 
  • Thanks to the powerful narrative, you end up feeling ashamed about the bitter truth of our Indian social system.
  • Most people might not have known about this man before this movie. So it serves the purpose of immortalizing a man who did not get his due recognition. (Not to mention it now stands as an immortal performance from the late brilliant actor Irrfan Khan)

3. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Why watch it:

  • It is almost flawless because of two basic reasons. One: it is based on the story of an inspiring sports person and second it is played by Farhan Akhtar who does complete justice to the role. It is as if he is really Milkha Singh himself.
  • It’s not just about Milka Singh’s atheletic achievements. The movie talks about the Indo-Pak partition and how it affected Milkha’s personal and later even his professional journey as an athelete.
  • The depiction of Milkha’s relationship with his sister.

4. Shershaah

Why watch it:

  •  Sidharth (finally!) proves his mettle as an actor who can shine if the script is good and there’s a competent director helming the project.
  • Unlike its predecessors in the same genre (Border, LOC Kargil,etc), Shershaah is comparatively more grounded, believable and respectful of the source material.
  • It does justice to being called a ‘Vikram Batra’ movie because NO character, except the protagonist ,not even his love interest (played by Kiara Advani), is given any extra screen time.

5. Neerja

Why watch it:

  •  It is an essential tale of courage displayed by a simple woman trying to do her duty in time of ultimate crisis, showing us that greatness is often found in the ordinary.
  • Shabhana Azmi’s knock-out performance as Neerja Bhanot’s mother.
  • The attack scenes are natural, convincing and terrorisizing. You feel like living that hijack, as if you are a part of the passengers or crew stuck on the flight.

Did I miss out on any good biopics? Tell me in the comments.


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