Top 10 Best Bollywood Movies Based on True Stories

We all live in this superficial world of truth, lies and imagination. Previously watching a movie was all about sticking to a chair, enjoying the melodrama along with some popcorn. No sooner did serious and realistic cinemas make a mark and are highly appreciated today. Though bollywood is known for its drama, love triangles, heroes, villains and item numbers in short an entertainer.   The trend has not quite shifted from a Masala film to a real murder story but is thoroughly accepted by the educated and the youth.  True stories make the audiences aware; though heart pounding; movie makers are of the belief why only show an imaginary world when there is unawareness in the real.

A brief about ten brilliant stories that captured the audiences thoroughly; as below.

1. Achanak (1973)

Achanak

Achanak

A film by Gulzar.

This movie is inspired by the real murder case of Mr KM Nanavati. The murder was a sensational case which took place in 1958.

The movie was a huge experiment which earned an award at the end. The lead of the film is played by the handsome Vinod Khanna.

The story ofAchanak is about Major Ranjeet Khanna (Vinod Khanna) who loves his wife tremendously, but soon gets to know about her extra marital affair with another man and kills the two of them.  After which he turns himself into the police, he soon escapes from the real police and drops his wife’s wedding necklace into the Ganges as it was her wish. The police get’s hold of him and shoots him; he is hospitalized where he gets attached to the doctors (Asrani and Om Shiv Puri) and the nurse (Farida Jalal). He is soon sentenced to be hanged.  Mr K.M Nanavati was a naval commander and found out about his wife’s affair with another man and had killed him. A real story of a naval commander; true lover who was betrayed.

2. Abhimaan (1973)

Abhimaan

Abhimaan

A film by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

This movie is based on the real life story of the Singing Legend Kishore Kumar and his first wife Ruma Ghosh.

The movie was best known for its songs composed by S D Burman and sung by Kishore Kumar himself; along with Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.

The movie has Amitabh Bacchan (Subhir) as its lead; who’s a singer by profession. He has no plans to marry; until he falls in love with a village girl called Uma; played by Jaya Bhaduri who sings as well. They get married in the village and soon come to Mumbai. He continues his singing career and establishes his wife too. Soon his career falls and she gets famous.

Subhir has sparks of jealously which result in their marriage life. Soon the couple separate and Uma has a miscarriage. The couple come together yet again and thrive their singing collectively.

Kishore Kumar and Ruma Ghosh separated in 1958 and remarried. Jaya Bhaduri won the best actress for this role. The audiences found similarities in the couples on screen story to be real for them too; as Jaya Bhaduri’s career was stronger than Amitabh Bacchan’s at that point. After this film Jayaji took a long break and was focusing on her family life.

3. Deewar (1975)

Deewar

Deewar

A film by Yash Chopra.

This film is a well acclaimed in the crime genre; based on Haji Mastan’s life; a Bombay based gangster and smuggler. He was the first gangster to be associated with the film industry; he produced couple of films too. He was imprisoned for a span of 18 months. Though he had excellent relations with most of the leading actors of the industry at that time. During the shooting of the film Amitabh Bacchan often visited him to learn about his lifestyle and mannerisms.

The story is about two brothers Amitabh Bacchan (Vijay) who’s a smuggler and Shashi Kapoor (Ravi) who’s an inspector. The boys were young when they came to Bombay and were raised by their mother. Their father had to face humiliation hence he had deserted his family.  Vijay the older son had seen all of this scarcely; he became boot polisher, then began to work at the dockyard; soon became a prominent figure of the underworld.  Whereas his younger brother Ravi was good at studies and grows up to be a police officer. Both of them fall in love with two women.  Soon Vijay decides to leave the crime world and settle with his love and family. Ravi sees Vijay becoming rich overnight and gets to know it’s all earned by crime and leaves home along with his mother. Being with the police his duty is to get hold of gangsters and smugglers. He has to apprehend his brother. The film won the best film awards of 1975 as well as six other awards. A superhit film  at the box office.

4. Bandit Queen (1994)

Bandit Queen

Bandit Queen

A film by Shekhar Kapur.

Bandit Queen is based on the real life story of Phoolan Devi; who was a female dacoit and a politician later. She was gang raped in her village by upper class men. She soon turned into a dacoit and killed twenty two upper class men; including her culprits. She was more of a savior than a killer; as she gave justice to the women and was harsh on men who disrespected women and harassed them.

The story of the movie is about an 11 year old girl (Phoolan Devi) who is married and is soon abandoned by her husband because she refuses to his advances.  She is then gang raped by upper class men at the village; to seek revenge she kills twenty of them. She soon forms a gang of her own and does justice for the lower caste people and women especially who are harassed. In 1983 she is imprisoned. During this time she becomes a hero for the villagers and as well as for the media.

The character of Phoolan Devi is played by Seema Biswas who has done thorough justice to the role.  Phoolan Devi had created a ruckus with the release of this film and had tried her best to get in banned in India. She withdrew her decision after she was pain £40,000. Soon she was recognized internationally as well. She got into politics soon. She was assassinated in 2001. Though she was illiterate, Phoolan composed her autobiography titled The Bandit Queen of India: An Indian Woman’s Amazing Journey from Peasant to International Legend, with the help of two international authors, Marie-Therese Cuny and Paul Rambali.

5.  Vaastav (1999)

Vaastav

Vaastav

A film by Mahesh Manjrekar.

The movie depicts harsh realities of the Mumbai Underworld. The film is closely based on Mumbai gangster Chota Rajan.

Sanjay Dutt (Raghunath Namdev Shivalkar or “Raghu”) plays the lead along with his best friend Dedh Footiya (Sanjay Narvekar). Raghu lives with his parents in Mumbai Suburbs. Both the friends struggle to find work and decide to put up a food stall. Accidently Raghu and Dedh Footiya kill a customer who is the brother of a gangster; they end up killing the gangster’s men as well. The gangster is in search of them; wants to kill the two friends. Scene occur such that the two friends join the underworld. Soon Raghu and Dedh Footiya are offered protection and are hired by the rival gang of Vithal Kaanya. Raghu becomes a respected hit man for Vithal. The gangster with the help of Raghu becomes big in the underworld. Raghu is then approached by the home minister Babban Rao to join him; Raghu agrees but is warned by the assistant inspector who is a good friend of his. Babban Rao is soon under pressure from the public an he issues a shoot warrant against Raghu; Dedh Footiya is killed in an encounter. Raghu gets to know of the shoot warrant and fixes a meeting with Babban Rao and kills him. Raghu could not save himself from the police and asks his mother to save him. He loses his mind and begins to hallucinate while his mother pulls the trigger at him. The film is a big success and Sanjay Dutt’s role is well acclaimed. He won the award for the best actor for this film.

6. Black Friday (2004)

Black Friday

Black Friday

A film by Anuraag Kashyap.

The film is about the 1993 serial bomb blasts that occurred in Mumbai. A series of thirteen blasts that took place back to back. The attacks are remembered as the most disrupted in the history of India. These attacks were coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim; a Bombay based don who runs ‘D-Company’.

A small time thief is behind bars at the Nav Pada police station and informs the police about the bombs spread throughout the city. The police giving him a deaf ear ignore this. In the next three days the ghastly thirteen blasts tear the city apart. The film traces the reason for the blasts as the Mumbai riots between the Hindu and Muslims. The riots brought a lot of violence and hatred among the people. During which an underworld don named Tiger Memon’s (Pawan Malhotra) office was burnt. The Muslim minorities suffered a lot; which called for a meeting of the underworld leaders and Tiger suggested the best way of retaliation is to plant bombs throughout the city. The police one by one began to pick victims and grill them. Soon the CBI takes over the case. After a year Tiger’s brother Yakub Memon confesses on national television the culprits behind the blasts are his brother Tiger and other underworld leaders.  This film was internationally and critically acclaimed by critics all over the globe.

The song ‘Bandeh’ by Indian Ocean is superbly composed and so is the background music of the film. The film won a number of awards for screenplay, editing and performances. The film won a grand jury prize at the Indian film festival at los Angeles in 2004. A true heart touching story.

7.  Guru (2007)

Guru

Guru

A film by Mani Ratnam.

The movie is based on a business tycoon the late Dhirubhai Ambani.

Guru is the story of a young man in a small village of Idhar in Gujarat, who goes from rags to riches due to his sheer determination, despite being faced with many business barriers he makes it big.

Beginning in 1951, a boy who goes to Turkey to work in a petroleum company after failing his school exams back home to his village. With sheer hard work Gurukant Desai (Abhishek Bachchan) rises in ranks and gets promotion. But Guru is a man of big vision. He quits his job in Turkey and comes back to Gujarat to start some business of his own. He marries Sujatha (Aishwarya Rai) a village girl. Soon he along with his wife and brother-in-law go to Mumbai. Manikdas Gupta or Nanaji (Mithun Chakraborty) runs a newspaper called The Independent. He likes Guru’s determination and straightforwardness. He almost begins treating Guru like his own son. But when Guru uses Nanaji’s newspaper to achieve his business motive, Nanaji vows to stop the unstoppable Guru. A Journalist Shyam Saxena (R. Madhavan), who works for Nanaji, uses his power of pen to bring Guru down and expose his truth. The war between Guru and Nanaji heats up as Guru’s public venture company, Shakti Corporation, increases in size and proportion to become one of the best polyester making companies in India.

By far Abhishek Bacchan’s best film and performance. The film won a lot of appreciation and awards for direction, acting, music, choreography, and background score.

8.  No one killed Jessica (2011)

No One Killed Jessica

No One Killed Jessica

A film by Raj Kumar Gupta.

The film is based on a true story of Jessica Lall, a model from Delhi, who was shot dead in 1999 by Manish Bhardwaj; a powerful politician. Jessica was hired as a celebrity bartender at a private party; she refused to serve any more drinks after closing hours to a politician’s son; the guy got highly angry and forced Jessica to serve him some alcohol; on further denial of a menial drink; he pulled the trigger and shot her.

Manish escaped, no one caught hold of him.  Out of hundreds of people present at the party and few witnesses none agreed to give their statements to the police. All the witnesses were scared of the politician’s power. This became difficult for Jessica’s elder sister Sabrina; who was fighting tooth and nail to get justice for her sister. She kept struggling; knocking all doors; all were slammed on her face. Until one day a journalist role played by Rani Mukherjee decided to help Sabrina get justice, which she finally did get.

In reality the case was closed for many years; reopened in 2006, the investigations were found worthy and Manish Bhardwaj was sentenced to life imprisonment. The movie depicted a very serious issue; in which power and money speak for all. A brilliant film with outstanding performances. A message with not to give up on such social issues and fight for the rights of each. The film won awards for its story and performances.

9. Dev D (2009)

Dev D

Dev D

A film by Anuraag Kashyap.

The film is based on modern Devdas and the Delhi Public school MMS scandal.

Dev (Abhay Deol) is the son of a businessman in Punjab; he and Paro (Mahi Gill) are childhood lovers. She does everything possible for him; though he does not appreciate her love and care for him. Dev goes away to London to study; though they are separated; their love only grows despite of distance. Soon Dev comes back to meet Paro and their fantasy to make love is at its peak. Dev soon hears rumors about Paro and ditches her. She is insulted by him and turns her back at him and decides to get married by her parent’s choice.

Chanda (Kalki) a school going Delhi girl who has a boyfriend who is much older to her and traps her in an MMS scandal. Her family is humiliated; after which her father commits suicide. Her family disowns her. She refuses to live life of shame with her family. Hence she leaves home and meets a man who drags her into prostitution as she has no money for living. She continues to study during the day; and takes up prostitution at night. One day a man half conscious is bought to her who coincidently is Dev. Since he was all shattered with Paro’s wedding he took up to alcohol and drugs massively. He gets attracted to Chanda but cannot forget Paro. Once he happens to call Paro on her husband’s phone and she visits him. She shows her love for him by taking care of him and pushes back when he tries to get physical. Paro leaves on a bad note. While Dev gets to know about Chanda’s profession and dumps her too. After living an aimless life he tracks Chanda down and starts a new life with her.

A well made film indeed.  The movie depicts true life incidents of how a girl is treated when she is exposed. The film won awards for its performances, music, direction and background score.

10. The Dirty Picture (2011)

The Dirty Picture

The Dirty Picture – Based on Southern Sex Siren Silk Smitha

A film by Milan Luthria.

The film is based on south sensation Silk Smitha’s life. The filmmakers also proclaim the movie is not only on Silk Smitha but other southern contemporaries like Nylon Nalini and Disco Shanti. The movie was released worldwide on Silk’s birthday. Reshma (Vidya Balan) is from a village and wants to make it to the film industry. She runs away from home one night before her wedding.  She tries her hands on getting a role but is insulted by the casting director. She somehow manages to get a side dancer role. She whips herself and takes to erotic dance moves and expressions. To which the film’s director (Emraan Khan) gets angry and edits the scenes. He believes in art of a film; the movie fails at the box office. It’s when the producer Selva Ganesh re- launches the film with the song. He soon approaches Reshma and suggests her to be called ‘Silk’. Her first shoot is with superstar Suryakanth (Naseeruddin Shah); who she admires since childhood.  She is nervous hence the shoot is spoilt; the superstar gets angry and goes away; while Silk follows him and Woo’s him and offers him a long term sexual relationship.  Abraham has a new script and is keen to cast Suryakant; to which the superstar suggests to add spice and sex to the film which will make it sell. Abraham gets angry and he begins to grow hatred towards Silk. Silk is confident and says films are all about entertainment and she exactly gives her audience that. She climbs the ladde4r the bad way by doing erotic bold scenes; she gains a million male fans who drool over her. Ramakant (Tushhar Kapoor) is the younger brother of Suryakant and admires Silk. She spends more time with Ramakanth and falls in love with him. She encourages him towards his writing. A famous Journalist Naila is at her all the time.  She keeps writing ridiculous things about Silk. Suryakant gets to know about his brothers and Silk’s alleged relation and drops her from his next film. To which she loses interest in her career. A new face called Shakeela enters to replace her; silk’s insecurity made her embarrass Ramakant in front of his family and friends and he eventually breaks up with her too. Her life is all shattered; no roles in hand; she takes up to alcohol and smoking aggressively. The director’s lose interest in casting her as well looking at her disinterest. She is all alone now; wishing for some help and company but no one hears her. Silk’s failure and Abrahams success made him realize that he is falling for her. She is approached by a small time director and called for script reading when she gets to know she is being fleased into pornography, the director spikes her drink. She somehow escapes from there and gets a rare view in front of her eyes of what her life has become. Meanwhile Abraham traces silk’s mother to give her a surprise which turns into a shock they soon get the news she killed herself. Vidya Balan’s performance is outstanding and she won the award for the same. The movie shows the struggle, fame, peak stage, highs and lows of an actress.

Each film has real life based incidents; different concepts; but one thing in common a heart rendering story to all of them. Whether it was the innocent Jessica Lall case or the Sensational Silk Smitha or the thirteen blasts in 1993 that tore Mumbai apart. Unique stories to it all; each film well made in its own genre. A ten must watch true life stories of innocent people, gangsters, brothers, singers and sensational heroines.

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