Best Bollywood movies based on true stories
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26 Best Bollywood Movies Based on True Stories

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Do you love watching movies that tell a true story? Bollywood movies don’t always just about drama, music, and dance. There are several movies in Bollywood that are inspired by the true stories of personalities that motivate us.

Filmmakers are showing interest in making autobiographical movies, fact base murder mystery, or on the life of a sportsperson.

In this blog post, I will be sharing a long list of best Bollywood movies based on true stories. These are some amazing movies that you must watch them all.

Best Bollywood Movies Based on True Stories

Poorna

IMDB Rating: 7.8

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Rahul Bose directorial film ‘Poorna’ is a motivational biographical adventure film about the struggle of young Malavath Poorna, who is the youngest to climb the Mount Everest.

The film got positive reviews and is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video. The story narrates how Poorna, a Telegu speaking tribal girl who lives in a village of Telangana state, prepares for climbing the summit.

Rahul Bose himself has also acted in the film as a secretary of the society Dr. R.S. Praveen Kumar, who notices the ability and determination of young Poorna and helps her achieve her dream.

Poorna

Manjhi: The Mountain man

IMDB Rating: 8.0

Streaming on: YouTube

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Dashrath Manjhi, a poor laborer in Gehlaur village near Gaya in Bihar, who engraved a road of 9.1 meters wide and 110 meters long through a hill by using only a hammer and chisel.

He spent 22 years in carving the path after his wife (Radhika Apte) died while crossing the mountain. Dashrath Manjhi fought silently with the Indian government to provide the basic amenities like road and hospital in his village.

The movie is an incredibly touching and inspirational tale of a common man whose love for his untimely dead wife makes him do the path-breaking laboring.

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Manjhi - The Mountain Man

No One Killed Jessica

IMDB Rating: 7.2

Streaming on: Netflix

The 2011 Bollywood biographical thriller movie ‘No One Killed Jessica’ is a Bollywood movie based on a true story of Jessica Lal murder case that took place in Delhi at an elite event.

Vidya Balan played the role of Jessica’s sister and rani Mukherji as a news reporter. The movie was widely appreciated and liked by the critics and the audience.

No One Killed Jessica is a movie that no one should miss for its brilliant performance and screenplay adaptation.

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 No One Killed Jessica

Talvar

IMDB Rating: 8.2

Streaming on: Netflix

Bollywood thriller-drama film ‘Talvar’ directed by Meghna Gulzar is based on the 2008 Noida’s Arushi Talvar’s murder case. The film follows the investigation process of the Noida police and CBI from a different perspective.

The movie received the Best Adapted Screenplay Award at the National Film Awards. The narrative of the film is so gripping and intense that it will make you wonder how horrible could it be in reality.

The combination of both the talent Vishal Bhardwaj and Meghna Gulzar makes ‘Talvar’ the best Bollywood movies of the era. The entire cast of the film has performed their best.

The movie has splendidly portrayed the role of media, the limitations of the Indian judicial system, and the negligence of the investigation process.

Talvar

Neerja

IMDB Rating: 7.7

Streaming on: Disney + Hotstar

Neerja is perhaps the only film of Sonam Kapoor that I have actually liked.

The story of the film is based on the real-life event that where back in 1986 Pan Am air hostess Neerja Bhanot sacrificed her life while saving the innocent passengers from the hijacking attack.

The movie is a tribute and salutes to the late Neerja Bhanot. Sonam Kapoor has performed the titular role of Neerja with utmost respect and dedication.

The movie won the National Film Awards for Best Feature Film and won several other awards too that year.

The movie represents the bravery of a woman, and it became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood movies in the box office.

 Neerja

URI: The Surgical Strike

IMDB Rating: 8.3

Streaming on: Zee5

Adding next to my list of best Bollywood movies based on true stories is the 2019 Vicky Kaushal starring in the lead film ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike.’

The plot of the film is based on the true events of the 2016 Uri attack. The film became a huge hit in the box office and received countrywide accolades and appreciation for executing the story so perfectly.

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Vicky Kaushal, as Major Vihaan Singh Shergill, is too impressive and perfect for watching onscreen. URI is extremely effective, touching, and evokes a sense of patriotism. Major Vihaan leading an operation that requires high tactical skills and bravery represents to all the Indian soldiers.

There is no space left for a mistake in the narration and screenplay of the film URI. It has a great intense action sequence and background score.

Aditya Dhar’s ‘URI: The Surgical Strike’ has all the reason to be called as the best Bollywood film.

Uri: The Surgical Strike

Batla House

IMDB Rating: 7.2

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Nikhil Advani’s ‘Batla House’ is among the next best Bollywood movies based on true stories.

The storyline of the film is inspired by the Batla House encounter case that took place in 2008, where police officer Sanjeev Kumar Yadav has played an important role.

John Abraham played the role of police officer Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, his struggle to prove the board that the operation was a genuine plan.

Though the movie couldn’t impress the critics and the audience that much, but it is a great attempt to shine a light on a fact base incident.

If you look at the career graph of John Abraham, you can say that his ‘Batla House’ is one of his best performances.

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Batla House

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story

IMDB Rating: 7.7

Streaming on: Disney + Hotstar

Late Sushant Singh Rajput, as Dhoni in the film’ M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story’, is one of the best biographical Bollywood drama films.

The story narrates the chronicles of the life of former Indian Cricket captain Dhoni from a young age till he played for the national.

The movie became not only a massive commercial success but also this was Late Sushant Singh Rajput’s best performance of his career.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has millions of fans across the nation, and through the movie, it allowed them to get a glimpse of his earlier life.

How he shaped his life and for the love of cricket what all risks has he taken, the movie has it all.

It is an inspiring, motivational, feel-good Bollywood movie that I guess everyone has watched. But if you haven’t, then you can stream it on Amazon Prime Videos.

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

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

IMDB Rating: 8.2

Streaming on: Disney + Hotstar

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s biographical sports film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ featuring Farhan Akhtar in the titular role is based on the life of an Indian athlete Milkha Singh.

The movie pens the life of Milkha Singh, his horrifying childhood pre-Independence experience, and his struggle as an athlete at securing a medal during the Rome Olympics in 1960.

‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is a highly motivating film where Farhan Akhtar has nailed the character through his terrific performance. He is said to have trained extensively to perfect the role.

Mehra has explored the character deeply and executed it sensitively with emotional notes to connect the audience with its character.

Indeed, it is one of the best Bollywood movies based on true stories to watch even today.

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Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

The Dirty Picture

Streaming on: YouTube

Though the movie got only a 6.6 IMDB rating, I wonder why because Milan Luthria’s ‘The Dirty Picture’ is an amazing film.

The story revolves around the character Reshma played by Vidya Balan, who has performed outstandingly. She went deep into the skin of the character of Silk Smitha.

The movie is inspired by the life of Silk Smitha, a notable South Indian actress who was quite a popular face for her erotic roles.  

The movie depicts her journey in the male-dominated film industry where she was being treated like trash.

Vidya Balan received the highest accolades and praises for her acting and precision to capture the body language of the character. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress along with other notable awards too.

The Dirty Picture (2011)

Paan Singh Tomar

IMDB Rating: 8.2

Streaming on: Netflix

Late Irrfan Khan’s portrayal of an athlete turned dacoit Paan Singh Tomar will always be one of his stellar performances.

The movie is based on the true stories of Paan Singh Tomar, an Indian soldier, and an athlete who turned into an outlaw when the situation provoked him to take the law into his hands.

With an outstanding performance by Irrfan Khan, it fetched him a National award. The story refers to class inequality and injustice towards the poor.

The movie shows how Paan Singh Tomar, despite having so many qualities, never got any recognition from the government that she deserved.

It is a well-written story that took the life of Tomar as an inspiration.

paan singh tomar

Guru

IMDB Rating: 7.7

Streaming on: Netflix

Mani Ratnam’s ‘GURU’ is yet another Bollywood movie of 2007 that is loosely based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani.

Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai played in the lead role with Vidya Balan, Madhavan, and Mithun Chakraborty in the supporting role.

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The story follows a young man Guru who dreams of doing great business. How he grows his business and pursues success is the story.

Abhishek Bachchan received accolades for his praise-worthy performance throughout the film. It is gripping, character-driven, and stood out only because of the performances and amazing songs composed by Rahman.

Guru

Special 26

IMDB Rating: 8.0

Streaming on: YouTube

Neeraj Pandey’s directorial Bollywood film is based on the 1987 Opera House heist, where a group of fake CBI officers did an Income Tax raid and looted all the money.

There are several cast involved in making the film widely successful. Akshay Kumar in this film played the role of a con man Aju with Sharma Ji (Anupam Kher), who planed their last heist. It is a perfect shot, detailed and well-acted film that is enjoyable to watch.

From the beginning of the movie, there is a balanced momentum that keeps the interest intact.

So, if you love movies that are based on true stories or events, ‘Special 26’ is a good film to add on your list of watches.

Special 26

Super 30

IMDB Rating: 8.0

Streaming on: Disney + Hotstar

A few weeks back, amidst the lockdown, I watched the Vikas Bahl directorial film ‘Super 30’ the second time. The film features Hrithik Roshan in the lead as mathematician Anand Kumar.

The movies narrate the life of well-known Indian mathematician Anand Kumar and his ‘Super 30’ educational program where he provides tuition to the poor kids for the IIT exam.

The movie demonstrates his practical teaching methods in an easy and fun way.

Though if you read the critics’ review, you will find the movie is a bit dramatic and unnecessarily lengthy. Still, with an outstanding performance by Hrithik Roshan, he pulled the movie up to the expectation.

 Super 30

Sarbjit

IMDB Rating: 7.3

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Sarbjit is yet another Bollywood movie based on a true story of Sarabjit Singh, played by Randeep Hooda, an Indian farmer who crossed the border unintentionally when he was drunk.

He spent 22 years in the prison of Pakistan for alleged terrorism, which never got proven.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played the role of his sister Dalbir Kaur who fought till the end for justice.

For the role of Sarbjit, Randeep Hooda went into a massive transformation by shedding 18kg in just 28 days to perfect the character.

The storyline is heartbreaking, and if you read the stories of Sarbjit over the internet, the way he was brutally killed inside the prison is horrifying.

Sarbjit (2016)

Mary Kom

IMDB Rating: 6.8

Streaming on: YouTube

Mary Kom is now a well-known sports personality who has a record of winning seven World Championships in boxing.

Not only that, but she is also the first Indian woman boxer who won a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014. Her achievements are paramount now, but what’s her story?

Director Omung Kumar presented the movie Mary Kom in 2014, starring Priyanka Chopra in the lead that narrates the life of Mary Kom.

Her early life in Manipur, her struggle, her journey from being a farmer’s daughter to a World Champion boxer.

The movie also won National Film Award, and Priyanka Chopra received all the support and accolades from the audience and the critics for her hard-hitting performance as a boxer.

Mary Kom (film)

Airlift

IMDB Rating: 8.0

Streaming on: Voot

Akshay Kumar has given his career-best performance in the 2016 historical drama film ‘Airlift.’ The movie has a brilliant script, performances, and direction.

It’s great to see the talented Nimrat Kaur to act naturally in the film after her much-acclaimed movie ‘The Lunchbox.’

The story follows in 1990, a Kuwait-based businessman Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar) who is rich and calls himself Kuwaiti after the negotiation failed between the two nations Iraq and Kuwait, the Iraqi forces began the invasion of Kuwait.

Ranjit Katyal stepped in and helped 1.7 lakhs Indians to evacuate from the land of Kuwait to India with the help of the Indian embassy. The movie shows in detail all the tensions and chaos that took place during that period.

People loved the patriotism and nationalism in the film.

 Airlift

Shahid

IMDB Rating: 8.2

Streaming on: YouTube

Hansal Mehta’s ‘Shahid’ is one of the most underrated Bollywood films. The story is inspired by the life of Shahid Azmi, lawyer and human rights activist who was assassinated in 2010.

The movie got premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and also got screened at several other film festivals too, like the New York Indian Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, etc.

The magnificent talented actor Rajkumar Rao and Director Hansal Mehta won the National Film Award for the category of Best Actor and Best Director.

Talking about the movie, it is a heart-wrenching story that both Hansal Mehta and Rajkumar Rao has directed and performed with utmost sincerity to the subject.

If you have missed the movie, do watch it on Youtube.

Shahid - best Bollywood movie based on true stories

Dangal

IMDB Rating: 8.4

Streaming on: Netflix

Aamir Khan’s 2016 biographical sports drama film ‘Dangal’ became the highest-grossing Indian film ever. As per the report in Wikipedia, the film grossed close to 2000 crore worldwide, which is massive.

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The plot is loosely based on the Phogat family, Aamir Khan plays Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler who trains his two young daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat to be the country’s best woman wrestler.

Both the sisters represent India in the World Wrestler Championship and Olympics.

The movie received innumerable awards and accolades across the globe for its finest direction, powerpack performances by the entire cast, and compelling biographical narration.

Aamir Khan has proved not once, but at several of his movies that he indeed is a perfectionist.

Dangal (film)- best Bollywood movie based on true stories

Gully Boy

IMDB Rating: 8.1

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’ is a musical drama film that is inspired by the lives of rappers Divine and Naezy living in the world’s largest slum ‘Dharavi.’

The film narrates the tale of Murad, a wannabe rapper who works part-time as a chauffeur and got inspired by the local rapper MC Sher; his interest grows to perform onstage.

The movie is about the journey of Murad from living in the slum to dream big and achieve that.

Both the actors Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt have performed well as Murad and Safeena. The movie got several appreciations for its gripping story and brilliant acting.

Gully Boy - Best Bollywood movies based on true stories

PadMan

IMDB Rating: 7.9

Streaming on: Netflix

Akshay Kumar, starring in the film ‘PadMan,’ is inspired by the life of a social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham. R.Balki’s directorial film became a high commercial success and highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2018.

Akshay Kumar played the role of Lakshmikant Chauhan, who loves his wife deeply and wants to do anything for her comfort.

The movie shows how Lakshmikant tries to make a sanitary pad at a cheaper cost that every girl and woman can use. He faces criticism and troubles but never gives up.

Akshay Kumar’s performance got hugely appreciated, and the movie also received National Award for the category of Best Film on social issues.

Indeed, it is one of the best Bollywood movies based on true stories that you should watch.

Pad Man (film)

Madras Café

IMDB Rating: 7.7

Streaming on: YouTube

Shoojit Sircar directorial film ‘Madras Café’ is a political drama film. It is set in the late 1980s’ during the Sri Lanka civil war and the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

In the film, John Abraham plays an Indian Army Special Force officer who is heading an operation in Jaffna.

The movie impressed a majority of the movie critics for the screenplay and performances.

You can always expect a good movie from the director Shoojit Sircar.

Madras Cafe

Chhapaak

IMDB Rating: 5.0

Streaming on: Disney + Hotstar

Bollywood 2020 drama ‘Chhapaak’ is a Meghna Gulzar directorial film that is inspired by the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Deepika Padukone played the character Malti who is attacked by Babbu, a family friend of Malti.

It is heartbreaking to see the journey of Malti as an acid survivor. The movie pays respect and tribute to all the acid attackers in India.

Both Deepika Padukone and Vikrant Massey delivered compelling performances.

Though the movie got mixed reviews, if you are looking for a better and truly emotional story, you can watch ‘Chhapaak.’

Chhapaak (2020)

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran

IMDB Rating: 7.7

Streaming on: Netflix

John Abraham’s production film ‘Parmanu’ is a movie inspired by the nuclear bomb test explosion conducted at Pokhran in 1998. The movie narrates the success of India’s nuclear program.

Abraham plays an IAS officer from the Research and analysis wing, Ashwat Raina suggests the minister conduct a nuclear bomb test to retaliate China.

How Ashwat and his skilled team performed the nuclear bomb test at Pokhran while distracting the Lacrosse satellite is the climax of the story.

It is a great film to watch, though not a hit in the box office but worthy of a watch.

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran

Soorma

IMDB Rating: 7.4

Streaming on: Netflix

The Indian biographical sports drama film ‘Soorma’ is based on the life of hockey player Sandeep Singh.

Diljit Dosanjh played the lead role of Sandeep Singh, and the plot revolves around his character, like how he joined the hockey team, his love interest, his selection for the Indian Hockey Team, and his suffering after been accidentally shot in the lower back.

It is an inspiring film of an inspiring sportsperson of India who is the pride of the Indian Hockey team.

Soorma

Firaaq

IMDB Rating: 7.4

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Nandita Das directorial debut film ‘Firaaq’ is a critically acclaimed Hindi cinema that is based on the 2002 violence in Gujrat. The plot of the film depicts the aftermath effect in the lives of everyday people.

The movie received numerous prestigious awards. It won three awards at the Asian Festival of First Films in Singapore, won the International Thessaloniki Film Festival. Also, it won two National Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Editing.

Firaaq Movie (2009)

Conclusion:

There are several upcoming Bollywood movies too that are based on true stories. Above are the best Bollywood movies that tell a true and inspiring story that you should watch.

Hello, I am Paulomi Dutta, a passionate blogger, content creator, a travel enthusiast, and a hard-core movie-lover from Pune, India. I am happily married for 4 years now and like to help other couples by providing them relationship advice to attain happiness in marriage. I am the author and founder of Worldupclose.in

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