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.
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.
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.