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10 Bollywood Movies Based On True Stories

10 Bollywood Movies Based On True Stories

Bollywood movies based on true stories

Bollywood, known for its vibrant and dynamic films, has captivated audiences worldwide with its diverse storytelling. One genre that strikes a chord with viewers is movies based on true stories. These films can stir deep emotions and provide a glimpse into the lives of real people who have faced extraordinary challenges.

Whether it’s biographical dramas celebrating remarkable individuals or historical narratives shedding light on significant events, Bollywood has embraced the art of portraying true stories on the big screen. With their blend of entertainment and inspiration, these movies offer a captivating cinematic experience that resonates with a wide range of audiences.

Here is a list of some of the Bollywood movies based on true stories that you should watch.

1. Padman (2018)

“Padman” is a 2018 Bollywood film directed by R. Balki, inspired by the life of social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham.


  • The movie delves into Muruganantham’s incredible journey as he revolutionizes menstrual hygiene by inventing low-cost sanitary pads for women.

  • Akshay Kumar delivers a stellar performance in the lead role, bringing both humor and depth to the character. The film’s thought-provoking narrative sheds light on the taboo subject of menstrual health and the challenges faced by women in accessing affordable hygiene products.

  • “Padman” received critical acclaim for its impactful storytelling, powerful performances, and its contribution to breaking societal taboos and creating awareness about menstrual hygiene.

2. Dangal (2016) -

“Dangal” is a compelling Bollywood film from 2016, helmed by director Nitesh Tiwari. It portrays the inspiring true story of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat. Aamir Khan delivers a remarkable performance in the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat, portraying his determination and passion with great conviction.


  • The movie showcases the inspiring journey of Mahavir Singh Phogat, who defied societal norms to train his daughters in the male-dominated sport of wrestling.

  • “Dangal” received widespread critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling, showcasing the challenges faced by the Phogat family and their ultimate triumph in the world of wrestling.

  • The film’s inspiring narrative, stellar performances, and impactful message of gender equality struck a chord with audiences, making it one of the most celebrated Bollywood movies based on true stories.

3. Airlift (2016)

“Airlift” is a 2016 Bollywood film directed by Raja Krishna Menon, inspired by the true story of the largest human evacuation in history. The movie revolves around the character of Ranjit Katyal, played by Akshay Kumar, a wealthy Indian businessman living in Kuwait during the Gulf War.


  • When war breaks out, he takes it upon himself to lead the mission of evacuating stranded Indians and providing them with safe passage back to their homeland.

  • “Airlift” highlights the incredible courage and resilience of both Ranjit Katyal and the evacuees as they navigate dangerous situations and bureaucratic challenges.

  • The film received critical acclaim for its gripping storytelling, realistic portrayal, and Akshay Kumar’s stellar performance. “Airlift” stands as a compelling Bollywood movie based on a true story, shedding light on a remarkable humanitarian mission that showcased the power of unity and compassion.

4. Uri: The Surgical Strike

“Uri: The Surgical Strike” is a Bollywood movie based on the true events of the Indian response to the 2016 Uri attacks. Directed by Aditya Dhar, the film garnered critical acclaim and won multiple National Film Awards for its brilliant portrayal of the events.


  • It features a talented cast including Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam, who delivered exceptional performances that were widely appreciated by the audience.

  • Released in 2019, “Uri: The Surgical Strike” stands as a significant Bollywood movie based on true events, highlighting the bravery and determination of the Indian armed forces in their mission to protect the nation.

5. Rustam

“Rustom” is a Bollywood movie based on true events, released in 2016. Directed by Tinu Suresh Desai, the film stars Akshay Kumar in the lead role.


  • It is inspired by the infamous Nanavati case, a real-life incident that took place in 1959. The movie highlights the trial and subsequent events surrounding a naval officer who is accused of murdering his wife’s lover.

  • “Rustom” received positive reviews for its performances, gripping storyline, and portrayal of the legal proceedings and societal dynamics of the era.

6. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

“Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” is a 2013 Bollywood film based on the true story of Indian athlete Milkha Singh. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the movie showcases Milkha Singh’s inspiring journey of overcoming adversity and becoming a celebrated sports icon.


  • Farhan Akhtar’s portrayal of Milkha Singh is remarkable, capturing the athlete’s determination and resilience.

  • The film’s engaging storytelling, coupled with powerful performances and the depiction of Milkha Singh’s struggles and triumphs, earned it widespread acclaim and numerous awards, establishing it as one of the top Bollywood movies based on true stories.

7. Merry Com

“Mary Kom” is a 2014 Bollywood biographical sports film directed by Omung Kumar. The movie is based on the true story of Indian boxer Mary Kom and depicts her journey from becoming a boxer to winning the 2008 World Boxing Championships.


  • Priyanka Chopra stars in the lead role, supported by Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa. The film showcases Kom’s struggles, achievements, and distinct boxing styles.

  • “Mary Kom” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and received positive reviews for Chopra’s performance and the inspiring storyline.

  • It was a commercial success, becoming one of the highest-grossing Indian films led by a female actor.

8. Paan Singh Tomar (2012)

“Paan Singh Tomar” is a 2012 Bollywood film directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, based on the true story of Paan Singh Tomar. The film showcases the remarkable journey of Tomar, played by Irrfan Khan, who starts as a national-level athlete and later becomes a notorious bandit.


  • The movie delves into Tomar’s life, highlighting his struggle against the system and the circumstances that led him to take up a life of crime.

  • “Paan Singh Tomar” received widespread acclaim for its gritty and realistic portrayal of Tomar’s life, showcasing the complexities of his character and the challenges he faced.

  • Irrfan Khan delivers a powerful performance, capturing the essence of Tomar’s transformation from an athlete to a bandit. With its compelling storytelling and remarkable performances, “Paan Singh Tomar” stands as an impactful Bollywood film based on a true story, shedding light on the complex realities of life and the choices one makes.

9. Shakuntala

Shakuntala’s story, as described in the Mahabharata and adapted by Kalidasa in the play “Abhijñānaśākuntala,” is a popular tale from ancient Indian mythology.


  • It revolves around the life of Shakuntala, the wife of Dushyanta and the mother of Emperor Bharata. Shakuntala was born when the sage Vishvamitra’s penance was disrupted by the celestial nymph Menaka.

  • After their union, Menaka left the baby near Rishi Kanva’s hermitage. Rishi Kanva found the baby girl surrounded by Shakunta birds and named her Shakuntala. Shakuntala later fell in love with King Dushyanta, and they got married according to the Gandharva marriage system. Dushyanta gave Shakuntala his royal ring as a promise to bring her to his palace as queen before returning to his kingdom.

  • This story of Shakuntala has been immortalized in Indian literature and plays, showcasing her journey and the legends surrounding her life. However, there is no specific Bollywood movie based on Shakuntala’s story as of now.

10. No One Killed Jessica

“No One Killed Jessica” is a Bollywood movie based on the true story of the murder of Jessica Lal. Directed by Rajkumar Gupta, the film revolves around the challenging task of proving a crime when there are numerous eyewitnesses, yet the murderer happens to be the son of a powerful politician.


  • The movie highlights the struggle and helplessness of the victim’s family as they seek justice in a system riddled with corruption and political influence.

  • Starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan in pivotal roles, “No One Killed Jessica” delivers gripping performances that draw the audience into the intensity of the narrative.

  • Released in 2011, the film garnered critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling, impactful performances, and its portrayal of the flaws in the Indian justice system.


In conclusion, Bollywood has produced a range of compelling movies based on true stories that captivate audiences with their powerful narratives. These films delve into real-life events and individuals, shedding light on their struggles, triumphs, and the complexities of their journeys.

From biographical dramas like “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” and “Paan Singh Tomar” to historical dramas like “Airlift” and “Uri: The Surgical Strike,” these movies offer a glimpse into remarkable moments in history. With stellar performances by talented actors such as Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, and Irrfan Khan, these Bollywood films successfully bring these stories to life.

By combining entertainment and education, these movies not only entertain but also inspire, leaving a lasting impact on the audience. Bollywood’s exploration of true stories continues to provide a platform to celebrate the human spirit, resilience, and the pursuit of justice.


Question: Which Bollywood movie is based on a true incident?

Answer: “Uri: The Surgical Strike” is a Bollywood movie that is based on a true incident. It dramatizes the events of the Indian response to the 2016 Uri attacks. The film received critical acclaim and won several National Film Awards for its outstanding execution. The performances of the talented cast, including Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam, were highly praised by the audience.

Question: Are movies based on true stories accurate?

Answer: Movies based on true stories are often not completely accurate in portraying real-life events. Filmmakers may take creative liberties to enhance the story’s cinematic appeal. While some embellishments can be effective in making a movie more engaging, there are instances where staying true to the facts would have been preferable.

Question: What are movies based on true stories called?

Answer: Biopics, which focus on historical figures, are inherently based on true stories as they depict the lives and experiences of real individuals. However, the extensive number of biopics in Hollywood makes it difficult to include them all in a comprehensive list due to their abundance and popularity in the industry.

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