Real to Reel Stories
Every now and then, amidst its chaotic litany of fiction and plagiarised-fiction, Hindi cinema comes up with films that are inspired by true events, (often striking gold in the process.) Some filmmakers have avoided scripts that were served on a platter to them. They have instead opted to invest time in research of true events and churned cinematic experiences out of them.
Raja Menon’s Airlift, which is all set to hit theatres is one such film inspired from one such real incident. Based on the evacuation of Indians based in Kuwait during the Iraq – Kuwait war, where one Indian stood brave and helped his fellow countrymen, this Akshay Kumar starrer has already garnered the interest of people.
Let us have a look at some of the other well- made films based on true incidents in recent times:
Using the Sri Lankan Civil War as a backdrop, Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Cafe is a hard-hitting thriller about the Indo-Lankan tension, fueled by politics and espionage. A plot to assassinate one of India’s most beloved leaders forms a major crux of the story line. Also, some brilliant editing and nuanced performances make this a highly underrated film.
Special 26 is a comic heist thriller, inspired by the 1987 Opera House heist in Mumbai. It narrates the story of four con artists who pose as CBI agents and conduct fake income tax raids at high profile places, while always being a step ahead of the police. Neeraj Pandey, the director, is eccentrically famous for writing scripts out of newspaper articles.
No One Killed Jessica
This movie sheds light on the sensational Jessica Lal murder case, with Vidya Balan playing the protagonist as Jessica’s sister, Sabrina. It is a passionate pursuit of justice while unceremoniously dealing with people who make a mockery of the legal system. This was Rajkumar Gupta’s successive crime thriller, after Aamir, which established him as a master of the genre.
Talvar was based on the Arushi Talvar – Hemraj murders which gripped the entire nation with shock. Officially, the ruling court passed its verdict and convicted Arushi’s parents, but this movie dwells into some alternate theories about the murders as well. Irrfan plays a no-nonsense cop who will go to any lengths to find the truth and expose the flaws in the handling of this particular case. Talvar by Meghna Gulzar was one of Bollywood’s crowning glories of 2015.
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai
Milan Luthria tells us the classic tale of the two men who ruled Mumbai in the 70s and 80, Sultan Mirza and Shoaib Khan, inspired by Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim, respectively. The flawless portrayal of undying ambition for power and control, made Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai acquire a cult status. Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Randeep Hooda pack in some powerful acts.
Rahul Dholakia’s Parzania is the stuff underrated gems are made of. Using the backdrop of the 2002 Gujrat riots, it narrates the story of a parents’ quest for their missing son. A must watch for the stellar performances by Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika. It is based on the true story of Rupa Mody and her son Azhar Mody.
Shahid was perhaps the most important film of 2013. It explores the life and struggles of the slain human rights activist and lawyer, Shahid Azmi. Rajkummar Rao gave a career defining performance, as Shahid went to on to be hailed by critics and the masses alike. It also did rounds of all the major film festivals around the world.
Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!
After the overwhelming reception for Khosla Ka Ghosla, Dibakar Banerjee hit the bull’s eye again with his black comedy, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! The film was based on the real-life shenanigans of Devinder Singh aka Bunty “super-chor.” Manjot Singh, Paresh Rawal, Archana Puran Singh and Abhay Deol have packed in some really interesting performances.
After braving a lot of controversy from the Supreme Court and the Censor Board, this film based on the true story of the 1993 Bombay Bomb Blasts finally released in 2007. Anurag Kashyap used an ensemble cast to make this gripping crime drama, which went on to become one of his finest works ever.
Mani Ratnam’s Guru was an unofficial biography on Dhirubhai Ambani. Abhishek Bachchan, as the protagonist, gave perhaps the best performance of his career, while he was supported by Aishwarya Rai, Mithun and R. Madhavan in pivotal roles. A.R Rahman’s soulful soundtrack for the film can be justifiably called a masterpiece.
Shootout at Lokhandwala
Another cult film, Shootout at Lokhandwala narrates the events leading to the 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout in Mumbai. Maya Dolas, played by Vivek Oberoi leads a group of ruthless gangsters, who are hunted by Inspector A. A Khan (played by Sanjay Dutt) and his group of committed police officers. It is a fast paced thriller with impressive performances by the cast.
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