Bollywood's most fascinating biopicsBiopic movies are motion films with an element of drama, all along narrating a story of a famous person, usually someone who has impacted the society in a certain way. From freedom fighters to politicians, sports stars to businessmen, Bollywood has churned out some spectacular biopics over the last couple of years. Recently, it has steered towards bringing to life extraordinary stories of ordinary people.

With a wide variety of biopics releasing in 2020, we take a look at some fascinating real-life tales that will be retold by Bollywood in near future, along with the ones that have won hearts in the recent past.

Here is the complete list of the biopic of Bollywood.

Shakuntala Devi (2020)

Directed by Anu Menon, Shakuntala Devi is a biopic based on the life of mathematics genius Shakuntala Devi. Vidya Balan will be seen playing the protagonist in the film. The film is set to release in the summer of 2020.

Shabaash Mithu (2020)

‘Shabaash Mithu’ will be backed by Viacom18 Studios and directed by ‘Raees’ helmer Rahul Dholakia. Taapsee Pannu will be playing as an Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj.

Thalaivi (2020)

“Thalaivi” is a biopic on legendary politician J Jayalalithaa. Kangana Ranaut will be playing the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu. She has already started preparing for the role. 

The film will be released in Hindi and Tamil. 

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019)

An ambitious project, this biopic saw actress Kangana Ranaut bringing Jhansi’s Rani Laxmibai, one of the leaders of the first war of Independence in 1857, alive on celluloid. The film’s story has been penned down by KV Vijyendra Prasad, who also wrote “Baahubali” and “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. 

Super 30 (2019)

The film is based on the life of mathematician Anand Kumar and his educational program Super 30. The film stars Hrithik as the main lead.

The Accidental Prime Minister (2019)

That’s another biographical film directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte and written by Hansal Mehta. The political drama featured Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh, the economist-politician, who served as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014.

Untitled biopic on Saina Nehwal (2019)

This yet-to-be-titled film will see actor Parineeti Chopra step into the shows of Padma Bhushan awardee badminton player Saina Nehwal. This is slated for a 2019 release.

Shakeela (2019)

Actress Richa Chaddha will be seen playing 90’s Malayalee actress Shakeela, in the biopic.


Actor Boman Irani will be playing the role of Kailash Satyarthi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries. 

Sanju (2018)

Based on the life of actor Sanjay Dutt, Sanju was a blockbuster. Ranbir won many awards for portraying Sanjay Dutt on-screen. The film is written and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. 

Daddy (2017)

Actor Arjun Rampal played the role of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli in this crime drama. The film was directed by Ashim Ahluwalia.

Haseena Parker (2017)

Directed by Apoorva Lakhia, this film is based on Dawood Ibrahim’s sister Haseena Parkar. The film had Shraddha Kapoor as the main lead. Her real-life brother Siddhanth Kapoor played the part of Dawood Ibrahim. 

Sarbjit (2016)

Helmed by “Mary Kom” director Omung Kumar, “Sarbjit” is based on the life and struggle of Indian farmer Sarabjit Singh (played by Randeep Hooda) and his family. Sarabjit was convicted of spying and terrorism by Pakistan. The story is narrated from his sister’s (played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) perspective. 

Dangal (2016)

One of Bollywood’s most sought-after biopics, “Dangal” saw Aamir Khan play Indian professional wrestler and Olympic coach Mahavir Singh Phogat. The film was a super-hit.

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)

Another sports biopic that hit the screens in 2016 was “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story”, based on the life of Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Directed by Neeraj Pandey, the film features the talented Sushant Singh Rajput in the title role.

Raees (2017)

Starring Shahrukh Khan, “Raees” is a biopic loosely based on the life of Gujarati gangster Abdul Latif Shaikh. Directed by Rahul Dholakia, known for his critically-acclaimed “Parzania,” “Raees” released in early 2017 and received rave reviews.

Azhar (2016)

Based on the life of former Indian international cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, ‘Azhar’ opened to a mixed response in 2016. It stars Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, and Nargis Fakhri.

The much talked about biopic recounted important events in Azharuddin’s life who was banned from the sport for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Airlift (2016)

“Airlift” follows an event in the life of Indian businessman Ranjit Katyal, who helped evacuate Indians from Kuwait when it was invaded by Iraq. The film courted much controversy over the veracity of its lead character (played by Akshay Kumar). Nevertheless, it was well executed, acted and the first big hit of 2016. 

Neerja (2016)

“Neerja” narrates the story of young flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life to save passengers of the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in 1986. Starring Sonam Kapoor and directed by Ram Madhvani, “Neerja” was a huge critical and commercial success.

Aligarh (2016)

The man who gave us “Shahid” in 2013 brought another powerful biopic early in 2016. Starring Manoj Bajpai and Rajkummar Rao, “Aligarh” is based on the life of a Muslim professor who was sacked on charges of homosexuality. The film was a roaring success among critics and audiences.

Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015)

This biopic is based on the life and struggle of a man who literally paved his own path. It trails the remarkable journey of Dashrath Manjhi (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who spent 23 years single-handedly chiseling a path through a mountain. The story was equally well told.

Main Aur Charles (2015)

“Main Aur Charles” is based on real-life serial killer Charles Sobhraj. Backed by an intelligent script and in-depth research, it was an interesting attempt to look into the mind of a hardcore criminal.

Mary Kom (2014)

Starring Priyanka Chopra, the sports biopic recounts the journey of Indian boxing champion Mary Kom. The film, directed by Omung Kumar, was widely appreciated by critics and audiences.

Manjunath (2014)

“Manjunath” is based on the true story of an IIM Lucknow graduate, who was killed in 2005 for fighting against corruption and taking on the fuel mafia.

Shahid (2013)

Starring Rajkummar Rao, “Shahid” takes from the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in 2010.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

“Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” is based on the life of Indian athlete Milkha Singh, popularly known as ‘The Flying Sikh.’ Backed by commendable performances, the film was both a commercial and critical success.

Paan Singh Tomar (2012)

“Paan Singh Tomar” is a story of an accomplished Indian athlete who is forced to become a bandit, when the system fails him. A well-executed script and Irrfan Khan’s powerhouse performance make it a compelling watch.

The Dirty Picture (2011)

Based on the life of south Indian actress Silk Smitha, “The Dirty Picture” is a rare, bold biopic that found favor with audience and critics alike.

Rang Rasiya (2008)

“Rang Rasiya” recounts the life of well-known Indian painter Raja Ravi Verma. The film was as controversial as the life of the painter it depicted.

Guru (2007)

“Guru” was loosely based on the life of Indian industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani. The Mani Ratnam-film had Abhishek Bachchan essay the lead role and Aishwarya Rai play his love interest.

Chak De! India (2007)

Inspired by the life of Indian hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi, “Chak De! India” depicts how a disgraced hockey player coaches a women’s hockey team to win the world championship.

Gandhi, My Father (2007)

The film explored the strained relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his son Harilal Gandhi.

Company (2005)

Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, “Company” was based on India’s infamous underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim (played by Ajay Devgn) and Chotta Rajan (played by Vivek Oberoi). 

Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005)

Starring Aamir Khan, “Mangal Pandey: The Rising” is based on the life of Indian soldier Mangal Pandey, one of the key revolutionaries who initiated the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2004)

Based on the life of Subhash Chandra Bose, “Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero” is one of the rare films on the Indian freedom fighter.

Ab Tak Chhappan (2004)

“Ab Tak Chhappan” is inspired by the life of encounter specialist Daya Nayak. The film, starring Nana Patekar, was directed by Shimit Amin.

The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

This is one of the many biopics made on the life of Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. The film saw Ajay Devgn in a titular role.

Zubeidaa (2001)

“Zubeidaa” is based on the life of ill-fated actress Zubeidaa Begum (played by Karisma Kapoor), who married Hanwant Singh of Jodhpur.

Bandit Queen (1994)

“Bandit Queen” is a biopic on the life of Phoolan Devi, a woman torn by the patriarchal society, who becomes a bandit, and later a politician. Directed by Shekhar Kapur, the film is one of the most well-crafted and controversial biopics to have come out of the Hindi cinema.

Dayavan (1988)

Loosely based on the life of Bombay’s underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar and his muscleman Matunga, “Dayavan” saw Vinod Khanna in the title role.

Gandhi (1982)

Directed by British actor-director Richard Attenborough, “Gandhi” is, unarguably, one of the most accomplished biopics on Mahatma Gandhi. It’s not a Hindi film but certainly deserves an honorary mention.

(With inputs from msn)