13 Bollywood Movies Based on Politics
In the world of Bollywood, where drama and intrigue take center stage, the lives of Indian politicians have become a captivating subject for filmmakers. While Bollywood celebrities often steer clear of real-life politics, they have embraced the opportunity to portray the complexities and charisma of political figures on the silver screen. These movies offer an enthralling glimpse into the world of power, ambition, and the relentless pursuit of change. From portraying legendary leaders to delving into the intricacies of political machinations, these films based on Indian politicians have sparked conversations and left audiences mesmerized with their compelling narratives.
List of Top 13 Bollywood Movies Based on Politics
Bollywood psychological thriller movies form a distinct genre in Indian cinema, captivating audiences with their intricate and suspenseful plots, exploring the complexities of human psychology and emotions. These films are known for their unpredictable twists, psychological mind games, and deep character development, creating an engrossing and thrilling movie-watching experience.
“Sardar” (2022) is an intense Indian Tamil-language spy action-thriller film directed by P. S. Mithran. It follows Inspector Vijay Prakash, played by Karthi, on a quest to clear his father’s tainted legacy as a former RAW spy branded a traitor.
- The gripping plot revolves around Vijay’s investigation into the mysterious death of social activist Sameera Thomas, leading him to uncover political conspiracies linked to the One India One Pipeline project.
- The film received widespread acclaim for its thrilling storyline and stellar performances, establishing itself as a critical and commercial success.
- On a separate note, the Bollywood film “Sardar” (1994) featured Paresh Rawal in the lead role, delving into the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a prominent freedom fighter and India’s first Deputy Prime Minister. Both “Sardar” films offer captivating portrayals of influential figures in India’s political and historical landscape.
“Thalaivii” is a 2021 Indian biographical drama film based on the life of Indian actress-politician J. Jayalalithaa. Directed by A. L. Vijay and produced by Vishnu Vardhan Induri and Shailesh R Singh, the film stars Kangana Ranaut as Jayalalithaa, Arvind Swamy as M. G. Ramachandran, and Raj Arjun as R. M. Veerappan.
- The film explores Jayalalithaa’s journey from a young actress to becoming a prominent political leader in Tamil Nadu. It was shot simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi and received mixed reviews upon release, with praise for Ranaut and Swamy’s performances but criticism of the screenplay.
- Initially titled “Thalaivi” in Tamil and “Jaya” in Hindi, the film’s shooting began in November 2019 and was completed in December 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release was postponed and later scheduled for 10 September 2021 with the new title “Thalaivii.”
- Despite its high budget of ₹100 crore, the film did not perform well at the box office, being considered a disaster. Nevertheless, “Thalaivii” shed light on the life of a significant political figure and added to Bollywood’s collection of movies based on politics.
“Thackeray” is a remarkable 2019 Indian biographical film that illuminates the life and legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray, the influential leader who founded the Shiv Sena political party.
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s compelling portrayal of Thackeray and Amrita Rao’s role as his wife added emotional depth to the narrative.
- The film delves into key moments of his political career, showcasing his rise as a powerful figure in Indian politics and his unwavering commitment to his principles.
- Released on Bal Thackeray’s 93rd birthday, “Thackeray” garnered attention for its honest depiction of the influential political figure and sparked conversations about power and ideology in Indian politics, making it a notable addition to Bollywood movies based on politics.
“Sarkar” is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language political action film directed by A. R. Murugadoss and produced by Kalanithi Maran of Sun Pictures. The movie stars Vijay, Keerthy Suresh, and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in lead roles, with Yogi Babu, Tulasi, Radha Ravi, and Pala. Karuppiah in supporting roles.
- It follows Sundar Ramaswamy, an NRI corporate raider who discovers electoral fraud and raises awareness against it during the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election.
- The film faced controversies and protests post-release, with references to J. Jayalalithaa leading to legal issues. Despite the challenges, “Sarkar” became a commercial success, grossing over ₹243.90–260 crore worldwide. It marked Vijay’s third film to cross $1 million at the US box office.
- The movie’s impact was recognized as the Election Commission of India created awareness about voting rights. “Sarkar” received a mixed to positive reception from critics and was screened internationally, including in France and Japan.
5. The Accidental Prime Minister
“The Accidental Prime Minister” is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language film based on the memoir of Sanjaya Baru, directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte and written by Mayank Tewari.Anupam Kher stars as Dr. Manmohan Singh, offering a compelling portrayal of the complexities of his term in office.
- It delves into the tenure of Dr. Manmohan Singh as India’s 13th Prime Minister from 2004 to 2014 under the United Progressive Alliance.
- The film portrays the challenges faced by Singh as he navigates his role while dealing with the interference of the Congress Party, particularly in the context of dynastic politics.
- The movie sheds light on the political dynamics within the Congress Party and the personal struggles of the accidental prime minister.
6. An Insignificant Man
“An Insignificant Man” is a compelling 2016 Hindi/English Indian documentary co-produced and directed by Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla, with filmmaker Anand Gandhi as a co-producer.
- It delves into the rise of anti-corruption protests in India and the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The film highlights the party’s journey from 2012 to 2013, leading up to the Delhi elections.
- It received critical acclaim, won awards at prestigious film festivals, and had a successful theatrical run. The documentary’s impact led to the creation of the board game “Shasn,” drawing inspiration from its themes.
- “An Insignificant Man” stands as a significant contribution to Bollywood movies based on politics, shedding light on crucial socio-political movements.
7. 'PM Narendra Modi'
Narendra Modi is the 14th Prime Minister of India since May 2014. Before that, he served as Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014. He belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization.
- Modi’s political journey began with the RSS, and he later joined the BJP in 1985. He rose through the party ranks and became Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001.
- His tenure faced both praise and controversy, with economic growth credited but criticism for handling the 2002 Gujarat riots. As Prime Minister, he implemented various policies and reforms, earning approval and criticism for his leadership.
“Aarakshan” is a 2011 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Prakash Jha. It delves into the controversial policy of caste-based reservations in Indian government jobs and educational institutions.
- The story follows Deepak Kumar, an MSc topper facing discrimination due to his low-caste background. He finds support from his mentor, Dr. Prabhakar Anand, the principal of STM College.
- Dr. Anand offers him a teaching job at STM, where conflicts arise when a state minister tries to enroll an undeserving nephew. Dr. Anand’s support for reservations leads to his resignation, and Dr. Mithilesh becomes the new principal.
- Deepak, realizing his mistakes, starts a tabela school for needy students, leading to tension with Mithilesh’s coaching classes. The film explores the consequences of the reservation system and its impact on society. Despite mixed reviews, it remains an example of Bollywood movies dealing with politics and social issues.
9. Peepli live
“Peepli Live” is a 2010 Indian satirical black comedy film that delves into the sensitive issue of farmer suicides, media sensationalism, and political opportunism.
- The story follows Natha, a poverty-stricken farmer contemplating suicide, whose situation attracts media attention and becomes a political tool.
- The film cleverly portrays the struggles of farmers against poverty while exposing the manipulative behavior of politicians and sensationalism by the media.
- With its thought-provoking narrative and stellar performances, “Peepli Live” serves as a powerful commentary on the intersection of politics and media in society, sparking conversations about social and political issues in India, and making it a noteworthy Bollywood movie based on politics.
“Raajneeti” is a 2010 Indian Hindi-language political thriller film directed and produced by Prakash Jha.
- It revolves around power struggles and conflicts within a political family, drawing inspiration from the Mahabharata.
- The movie features an ensemble cast and portrays a complex web of betrayals and revenge in a high-stakes political battle. Despite mixed reviews from critics, it was a commercial success and appreciated for its acting performances and direction.
- The film’s plot intricacies, inspired by the epic, added to its appeal among audiences, making it a notable Bollywood movie based on politics.
11. 'Gandhi, My Father
“Gandhi, My Father” is a 2007 Indian biographical drama film directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and produced by Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor. The film, released on 3rd August 2007, stars Darshan Jariwala, Akshaye Khanna, and Bhumika Chawla.
- The movie delves into the troubled relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his son, Harilal Gandhi.
- It portrays Harilal’s aspirations to study abroad, which clash with Gandhi’s wishes for him to join the fight for his ideals in India. The film explores the complexities of their bond, leading to a rift and Harilal’s struggles with alcohol and identity.
- “Gandhi, My Father” presents a poignant exploration of the Gandhi family’s conflicts and adds to Bollywood’s movies based on historical and political themes. Praised for its performances, the film offers a compelling portrayal of the father-son dynamics.
“Satta” is a 2003 Indian Hindi-language political drama film directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. Raveena Tandon plays Anuradha Sehgal, who becomes a powerful politician after her husband, played by Sameer Dharmadhikari, is arrested for murder.
- The film explores her journey from a persecuted wife to a political leader and sheds light on the dark nexus in politics.
- The film stars Raveena Tandon in the lead role as Anuradha Sehgal, who marries Mumbai’s aspiring Chief Minister, Vivek Chauhan, played by Sameer Dharmadhikari.
- Released on 7th February 2003, “Satta” received critical acclaim, especially for Raveena Tandon’s performance, and is considered one of the notable Bollywood movies based on politics.
“The Real Hero” (Nayak) is a 2001 Indian Hindi-language political action film directed by S. Shankar and produced by A. M. Rathnam. It is a remake of Shankar’s Tamil film “Mudhalvan” and stars Anil Kapoor as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, a television cameraman who accidentally records a conversation between Chief Minister Balraj Chauhan (Amrish Puri) and the police during riots.
- Shivaji became the Chief Minister for a day after challenging Chauhan during a live interview. He uses his newfound power to address issues affecting the public but faces opposition from Chauhan and his henchmen. As Shivaji’s popularity grows, Chauhan resorts to drastic measures to eliminate him. The film explores themes of governance, corruption, and public service.
- The film’s soundtrack, composed by A. R. Rahman, received praise, and Anil Kapoor’s performance was well-received. However, the film was a commercial failure at the box office, though it gained a cult following through television airings.
- Critics praised the storyline and social message but criticized its lengthy duration and special effects. “The Real Hero” remains a notable example of Bollywood movies based on politics.
Bollywood movies based on politics have been instrumental in unveiling the complexities of Indian politics. They address power struggles, corruption, and societal issues, leaving a lasting impact on audiences. Through compelling storytelling and powerful performances, these films engage viewers in critical conversations about governance and ethics. Despite varied reviews and box office outcomes, they have educated and inspired audiences to be more informed and engaged citizens. As Bollywood evolves, we can anticipate more socially relevant films delving into politics, fostering a deeper understanding of governance, and encouraging active participation in shaping a better nation.
“Newton” is a 2017 Indian Hindi-language black comedy-drama film directed by Amit V. Masurkar. It features Rajkummar Rao as the titular character, a government servant assigned to election duty in a politically sensitive area of central India.
“PM Narendra Modi” is a 2019 Hindi-language biographical drama film directed by Omung Kumar and written by Anirudh Chawla and Vivek Oberoi. The film portrays the life and journey of Narendra Modi, who served as the Prime Minister of India.
Bollywood political-based movies are films centered around politics, political figures, or events in India. They explore themes like power struggles, corruption, and social issues impacted by political decisions.