Movies That Shaped Our Generation – Biographies In Motion

Jaibala/ April 3, 2017/ Musings/ 30 comments

The only scenario in which you would have missed hearing or reading the word biopic is if you were living under a rock, and the rock was in a deep dark cave on a highly inaccessible mountain. What is with the recent bollywood obsession with Biopics.

What is it about a life lived, that keeps us fascinated with Biopics. Read on & find out what I am going to write all April. Read on and find out Join here for the free NewsLetter delivered right into your inbox

The Biopic craze is not new, the first ever biopic was made in 1900 and it subject was Joan of Arc. We have come a long way from there, and our curiosity  about the lives of those before us has only increased. Whether it is to get inspired, to judge, to analyze, whatever the motivation, the truth is Biopics work. Biopics tell the story of a single person. And there in lies the magic.

We have seen some amazing Biopics in Hollywood, Chariots of Fire(1981), Gandhi (1982), Schindler’s List (1993), Ali (2001), Ray (2004), Walk The Line (2005), Social Network (2010) and Imitation game (2014) to name a few off the top of my head. Each movie a classic, each actor a legend and each drawing extreme emotional responses from the audience. They connect with the audience because they are stories of real people, and that is partially the reason why Biopics make such an important part of the industry.

Bollywood has also seen a rise in the number of biopics being made. One of the first biopics I remember seeing was Bandit Queen which released way back in 1994. Thinking about it still gives me the chills. Then I saw the real Phoolan Devi as MP  and my first thought was how do you reconcile the two in your head?The movie was about a phase in her life which was very different from now.

I had the exact opposite experience when I saw Sardar (1993) and Bose, The forgotten hero (2004) Or the very many versions of Bhagat Singh because these were people that I had read about in text books so often, that reconciling the two was very easy the movies brought to life those hours of studying and text books.

Then there are Movies like Guru, Dirty Picture, Neerja which are basically lives that you have heard bits and pieces about, but the movies just complete the picture. The Sports biopics are easier because we have seen the rise of Dhoni, the fall of Azahar, the  of Mary Kom and the legend of Milkha Singh and Mahavir Poghat right in front of our eyes. And those are the ones that inspire the most.

Then there are stories like Gandhi My Father,Manjhi The Mountain Man, and Gulab Gang that tell us about the lesser known stories. They leave us fascinated at the idea that these stories are real and these people truly existed.

There is some fascination with a life lived that we cannot deny. And there are many more Biopics to look forward to. Let me know which are your favourite biopics in the comments below.


I am doing this A to Z Challenge in collaboration with Chandni Moudgil of Life In Third Dimension, where she will be speaking of women in contemporary cinema. Between us we are going to cover Bollywood  movies that were powerful enough to shape our generation.

If you find my theme and collaboration interesting, follow our blogs or follow us on twitter here and here to get the latest updates all April.

Every day I will be sharing other blogs that I find interesting throughout this challenge. Here are today’s recommendations.

Visit Shailaja and learn a few new Oxymorons.

Or you could go and give Vinay recommendations for letter C here.


About Jaibala

Academically a Microbiologist, I am a Web Columnist for popular magazines and websites, Freelance Writer and a Blogger. Words define me and writing and reading compete to be the love of my life. My biggest belief is that there is something good in everything and I always looks to highlight the best in things. Creative writing is my forte.You can reach me by dropping a mail at


  1. Schindler’s List – this is my fav !!
    My fav ever .. !! I have watched it many many a times ..
    & to be honest; it moves me more n more..Each time I see it..

    1. Yes some movies do that to you. The most haunting thing about that movie is the fact that only blood is shown in red.

  2. In recent times i liked Neerja, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, even The Dirty Picture to an extent. But there are tons of bio pics I want to watch
    Tina Basu recently posted…Celebrate Life – Step 3 to a Meaningful Life – A to Z Challenge 2017My Profile

    1. There are so many being made too, the list of to be watched biopics increases daily.

  3. I liked a couple of the Hollywood biopics – Imitation game, Schindler’s List, That’s Danish Girl, Milk. Bollywood, I haven’t seen any of the new crop of biopics. Guru I did see and like doing that a lot. Also Sarkar – very powerful!
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…Brush primer: choose the right brushes for your art projectsMy Profile

    1. Yep, I think Bollywood has yet to learn the finesse with with real life should be treated, not all can do that successfully.

  4. I loved Neerja to bits! Dangal was sheer cinematic brilliance! Dhoni, Mary Kom, Milkha Singh all of them were truly epic!

    I love your theme and watch coming to your blog everyday 🙂

    Geets recently posted…B- Beautiful BrideMy Profile

    1. Thank You so much Geets <3

  5. I love biopics especially when done well. The ones I enjoyed recently were MS Dhoni and Bhaag, Milkha Bhaag. Something about the portrayal of the characters touched a chord. Of course, these days anything can and will be turned into a controversy thanks to social media and we cannot do much about it. I hope film-making continues despite all that.

    Thank you so much for the shout out, Jai 🙂
    Shailaja recently posted…Beautiful- #FlashFiction #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    1. Absolutely, the strength of the biopic lies in how the story is treated. And I am sure despite all the negative hullabaloo the fabulous film making will continue. Thank You so much Shailaja

  6. Hollywood biopics – Ali, Schindler s list (broke my heart at the end), a beautiful mind, the Kings speech, the last emperor, catch me if you can, Erin brockovich, Braveheart, pursuit of happiness, moneyball.
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…‘Bikers Against Child Abuse’ are a Shining Example of Guardian Angels #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    1. And yes all these are my favourites too, but then that isn’t surprising anymore Doc.

  7. Some biopics in Bollywood are really well done and of course, go that extra mile about bringing to light a story of an individual/era. Such a perfect pick for B today, Jaibala. Heading to Chandni’s post now 🙂
    Parul Thakur recently posted…B for Being you #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    1. I agree, it depends upon how the biopic is being made and the way the story is treated. Thank You so Much Parul.

  8. It is strange but Biopics have never fadcinated me.. neither have biographies for that matter…. From all the movies that you mentioned, I have seen probably five. I dunno why but I relate better to personal stories told in first person… and fictional ones dramatised.

    1. Autobiographies are what I love too. And I wouldn’t say its strange, personal stories in first person are always better. But sadly we don’t always get a first person account.

  9. Well written, it brought each of those movies and characters to my mind. I wish the historical characters were taught to us through Biopics, it would have been so much easier to understand and relate to it. Love your theme!!

    I am blogging about various travel destinations and here is my post for B in #AtoZChallenge 2017

    1. Thank You so much Gayatri, and yes the learning process if changed will help so many people.

  10. Okay, now I should watch the biopic of Phoolan Devi. I loved almost all the recent hits – Dhoni, Neerja, Dangal, Mary Kom and Milkha Singh. More biopics should be made. You get to know and learn a lot. Great post, Jai. Some brilliant suggestions there.
    Shalini recently posted…BangkokMy Profile

    1. Shalini I am only increasing movies in your to be watched list. You toh are making me cook and plan a trip to Thailand. hehe. Do watch Bandit Queen, it is a brilliantly made film.

  11. I have to say I’m not a big fan of biopics, though I’ve seen some very good ones. The last I’ve seen must be “Invictus” About Nelson Mandela’s life. One of my favourite films ever.
    JazzFeathers recently posted…Berlin (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)My Profile

    1. Biopics are not an easy watch, they could either get too boring or they might not stay true to the subject.Invictus is one of my favourites too.

  12. Biopics are good to watch, but the Indian versions always add a bit of it here and there for entertainment value. Sometimes I feel it’s not fair to those whose lives are being shown.
    I guess Hollywood does it too. I’ve heard of instances where they showed spouses as nicer than they really were and things like that.
    Sreesha recently posted…Bittersweet Memories | #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    1. A Biopic or even biographies for that matter are always fictionalized. I if they don’t add things they for sure leave somethings out. So yes, if that is done with permission, well we all enjoy a fabulous movie, if not then we still enjoy a movie,the characters though might not feel real.

  13. All my favourite movies! It’s fascinating to see the people who have been immortalized because of their action or virtues through stories that are passed on from a generation to another . But when you see them onscreen – say a Milkha or a Baajirao [ apart from your amazing list ofcourse ] you can see and feel and experience their larger than life persona.
    I am a big biopic fan and I don’t remember coming across a story that I found to be a let down . One of my fav genre’s in moviemaking and yes .
    PS : The daily overlap in content is getting interesting .. I cant wait till tomorrow to see if it happens again ..

    1. Milkha is one really well made biopic. I agree there is some level of relatability with Biopic that can hardly come from fully fictional movies.

      PS: About the daily overlap, I am enjoying it too much.

  14. True….Bollywood in love with Biopics seems to be the trend of the day….A recent biopic i saw was Dhanggal…Now did I spell that right? I read somewhere that Akshay Kumar would be starring in a biopic about a man who made low cost sanitary pads despite facing a lot of ridicule from all directions….Have read about the real life story and have seen videos about it too….Curious about how it would shape up on screen…

    1. Absolutely, we are so curious about the way people lived I guess that is a part of the biopic fascination. The Akshay Kumar one you mentioned is Padman, I am also curious about it. Thank You for visiting.

  15. I remember Bhagat Singh’s biopic, though don’t know which version. It was a school trip to go watch that movie, and I actually quite enjoyed it, though I came to know later that that there was some controversies regarding that. I suppose each biopic might have that attached, given that each person’s view of the person in focus varies.
    Vinay Leo R. recently posted…#AtoZChallenge 2017 – B is for Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the BeholderMy Profile

    1. Yes, extreme reactions could be positive or negative. The controversy surrounding Padmavati is just an example of how extreme it can get. The Bagaht Singh movies also confuse me.

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