Biopic seems to the new successful formula to guarantee a hit for Bollywood filmmakers. Just pick any real incident from history and turn it to a motion picture to let the world know the story. The new motion picture – Sarbjit is an emotional journey of a sister to free her brother who was accused of being a terrorist.
Inspired by the real life story of Sarabjit Singh, the movie highlights the pain Sarbjit underwent in jail and how his sister Dalbir Kaur begged for justice for 23 years. Sadly, Sarbjit was killed in the jail and the struggle of his sister went unnoticed. The team involved in making this movie will earn lots of profits, awards and appreciation but the true story will get lost somewhere in pages of history. Later no one will be bothered to know who really Sarbjit was. Even the movie ‘Ek ThaTiger’ was loosely inspired by life of late Raw agent Ravindra Kaushik who was known as ‘Tiger’ in world of espionage.
No one knew about air hostess Neerja Bhanot who sacrificed her life, taking the bullets which were aimed at three children. After the release of movie – Neerja, everyone was keen to know who really Neerja was. For movie audience, it was just a biopic on a slain air hostess, but for the family of Neerja, it was a tragic loss than cannot be compensated even with money. I really liked the biopic on Neerja Bhanot and had written two articles in memory of her sacrifice at such a young age.
The 2011 movie – The dirty picture was loosely based on Silk Smita, the sex siren of South Indian movies. Vidya Balan portrayed the role of a struggling actress who rises to become the overnight star of soft porn South Indian movies. Dirty picture showcased the dirty face of cinema and compromise that actresses make to gain success and how they fall victim to stardom and money. Though world may label them as slut starlets, but the actresses are after all human who crave for success, fame and wealthy gains. We as audience see the bright lights and cameras surrounding the actresses, but don’t notice the dark story behind their struggle which is full of tears, pain and compromise.
Hollywood recently came up with a biopic – The man who knew infinity which was based on Ramanujan, the great Indian mathematician whose brilliance even won the hearts of people in foreign nations. Ironically, audiences were more interested in watching the biopic ‘Azhar’. It is sad to know that the inspiring story of Srinivas Ramanujan is lost in pages of history while people fantasize to watch biopics on gangsters, match-fixing cricketers and sexy sirens.
Among the movies inspired by real life, ‘A beautiful mind’ is one of the best realistic movies showcasing the life of John Forbes Nash Jr who won Nobel Prize for his equilibrium theory. People knew him as a recognized professor in economics, but no one knew the pain he underwent while suffering from schizophrenia – a mental disorder. He emerged from the metal disorder later to bag the Nobel Prize.
The recent movie ‘Steve Jobs’ based on Jobs was a stunning tribute to the great genius who changed the face of technology through his hard work, dedication and knowledge. I really wonder why this movie wasn’t released in India. For the world, Steve Jobs was an innovator, but for his friends and family, Steve was a stone-hearted, mood-shifting psychotic person who would break relationships for no reasons. At one point, Steve Jobs even abandoned his own daughter. Whatever personally he was, but the world will always know him as the genius who faced countless obstacles to make Apple a global success in world of technology.
When it comes to biopic, Hollywood has told great stories of Charles Ray, Lincoln, Erin Brokovich, Howard Hughes (Aviator), Stephen Hawking (The theory of everything), Frida, Bruce Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee story), Chaplin, Muhammad Ali and Gandhi. Even Bollywood has come up with biopics on Bhagat Singh, Milkha Singh; Mary Kom, Neerja Bhanot, Paan Singh Tomar and Painter Raja Ravi Verma.
The biopics are a fine blend of reality and fiction which come together to tell a memorable story of a personality or an incident connected to it. Some people applaud the story while some forget. Hope someday Hollywood comes up with a biopic on George Mallory, the mountaineer who lost his life while climbing Mount Everest. According to sources and reports, George Mallory was the first person to reach Mount Everest. Will the world ever know the story of George Mallory? Only time will tell the story to the world someday in form of a movie.