10 Stirring Biopics About Important Indians

Mary Kom | © Viacom 18 Motion Pictures/Sanjay Bhansali
Mary Kom | © Viacom 18 Motion Pictures/Sanjay Bhansali
Photo of Riddhi Sheth
19 December 2016

One way of getting to know a country is through it’s movers, shakers, and mythic heroes and villains. Here are 10 biographical films that open windows into the Indian subcontinent.


Kadambari is a Bengali film directed by Suman Ghosh. The movie depicts the life of Kadambari Devi, who was the sister-in-law of Rabindranath Tagore. It is said that Kadambari Devi and Rabindranath Tagore had an unbreakable bond of friendship that blossomed into romance. The biopic is rationally made and gives you an insight to the hardly known fact about Rabindranath Tagore. It stars actors Konkana Sen Sharma and Parambrata Chattopadhyay in the lead roles.

Kadambari | © Rakesh Singh

Bandit Queen

Bandit Queen is a biopic based on the life of Phoolan Devi. The movie met with a lot of controversy because of its glaring content. Nevertheless, the film has made a special impact on the minds of the audience because of its strong plot and realistic performances. Directed by Shekhar Kapur, the biopic stars Seema Biswas in the lead role and explores the issues of sexual humiliation by upper caste men, child marriage, and orthodox society. It is a must-watch for its daring images and incomparable performances.

Bandit Queen | © Bobby Bedi

Paan Singh Tomar

Paan Singh Tomar stars Irrfan Khan in the lead role. Helmed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, the biopic is based on true events wherein an athlete who was a gold medal winner at the Indian National Games turns into a dacoit. It explores the transition of this phase in a beautiful manner and triggers the mind by all means.

Paan Singh Tomar | © Ronnie Screwvala

The Legend of Bhagat Singh

Ajay Devgn with his intense charm steals the show in the biopic The Legend of Bhagat Singh. The movie not only gives the history of the freedom struggle but also makes you emotional to the fullest with high performances. It is based on the life of Bhagat Singh who sacrificed his life for the freedom of the nation and is directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and stars Ajay Devgn in a lead character apart from others. The film keeps you hooked till the end with its flawless execution.

The Legend Of Bhagat Singh | © Kumar Taurani, Ramesh Taurani

Dr. Prakash Baba Amte – The Real Hero

Dr. Prakash Baba Amte – The Real Hero is a Marathi film that explores the life of Prakash Baba Amte who devoted his life to the welfare of the people. The biopic brings into light the selfless actions taken by him to improve the quality of life of the people who had no means. It is directed by Samruddhi Porey and stars Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni and others. The movie not only concentrates on his services toward the people but also explores his mind-blowing affection toward his wife Mandakini. The plot of the movie is a treat to the eyes with highly convincing performances.

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Mary Kom

With a commercial touch, Mary Kom won the hearts for its concept and making and was a hit at the box office. The film stars actress Priyanka Chopra in a lead role, and there is no doubting her acting skills. The film is a biopic on boxer Mary Kom who has won several titles for the nation. It not only concentrates on her achievements but also brings to light the hardships faced by her in her career. The biopic makes you feel motivated and emotional. Directed by Omung Kumar, it is considered to be Priyanka Chopra’s best performance to date.

Gandhi My Father

The biopic Gandhi My Father is a never-seen-before account of Gandhi’s life. The man who taught the nation the principles of nonviolence has always been depicted for his movements and political ideologies; however, this biopic explores the life of Harilal who was Mahatma Gandhi’s eldest son. It explores the tricky relationship of Harilal and his father. While the biopic has minute glitches, it is worth a watch for its never-explored-before concept. It is directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and features actors Akshaye Khanna and Darshan Jariwala in principal roles.

Gandhi My Father | © Anil Kapoor

Harishchandrachi Factory

Harishchandrachi Factory is a biopic on Dadasaheb Phalke, a pioneer who introduced cinema to the Indian masses with his first movie Raja Harishchandra. The biopic is a must-watch for all, but especially those who do not know much about the advent of cinema in the nation. It explores the journey of how the first-ever film was made and gives insight into how things worked in the past without the sophisticated technology of today. The film is well known worldwide for its wonderful depiction. Harishchandrachi Factory is directed by Paresh Mokashi and stars Nandu Madhav and Vibhawari Deshpande in the lead roles.

Harishchandrachi Factory | © Ronnie Screwvala / Smiti Kanodia / Paresh Mokashi

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

The film is inspired by Indian athlete Milkha Singh. The biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag traces the massive partition and, at the same time, gives a glimpse of Milkha Singh’s childhood. The biopic not only takes you toward history but also awakens your mind in terms of victory and defeat. Starring Farhan Akhtar in the lead role, each character in the film is promising by all means. With convincing performances, it makes you relive those moments of the past. The film truly conveys the passion behind its execution. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and is one of the best biopics to date.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag | © Viacom 18

Bose the Forgotten Hero

Directed by Shyam Benegal, Bose The Forgotten Hero gives a complete account of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The biopic is an enchanting watch and an absolute travel back in time. It stars actor Sachin Khedekar who effortlessly fits into the role and convinces you of his presence. From the ideological conflicts to the troubled political ties, everything is explored amazingly in this biopic. It not only garnered applause on the Indian front but also received several accolades from around the world.

Bose The Forgotten Hero | © Sahara India Pariwar

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