Saina, PM Modi, Shakeela- It’s Raining Biopics in Bollywood!

Recently, two biopics were announced on PM Narendra Modi, one starring Vivek Oberoi(for the film it has suddenly become Vivekanand) and one starring Paresh Rawal. These announcements don’t come as a surprise of course because of the upcoming elections, but also because biopics have been the flavour of the season for a while now.

There have been multiple announcements of biopics over the last few months like Janhvi Kapoor’s biopic on fighter pilot Gunjan Saxena, Sidharth Malhotra’s film on Kargil martyr Vikram Batra and Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.

I suspect the trend began with Vidya Balan’s The Dirty Picture, which was loosely based on the life of Silk Smitha. The thundering success of that film, probably prompted filmmakers to jump onto the bandwagon and ever since there have been numerous biopics. Nothing succeeds like success in Bollywood, so if one thing works a dozen others crop up. The formula of the underdog in a biopic then tends to get boring and becomes like a wikipedia entry. Omung Kumar’s Mary Kom was one such film, not to forget other disasters like Haseena-The Queen of Mumbai, Main aur Charles, Azhar and many more.

The other problem is glorification- glossing over someone’s flaws and their grey areas. Sushant Singh Rajput’s Dhoni and Ranbir Kapoor’s Sanju were criticised for the same. What’s the point of making a biopic if you can’t give us a flesh and blood person? There have been some good ones like Neerja, Dangal and Aligarh, that give us an insight into those people and not just a surface level observation. There are more than a dozen biopics in the pipeline, here we list some of the most exciting and awaited ones:

1. Super 30

Hrithik Roshan will play mathematician Anand Kumar in Super 30.

This film starring Hrithik Roshan is based on the life of mathematician Anand Kumar, and his educational program Super 30. The film has been marred by controversies, ranging from the #MeToo allegations on director Vikas Bahl, and the allegations of Anand Kumar being a fraud. Due to the latter, the makers have decided to not call Super 30 a biopic anymore. Hopefully, after all this we still get an engaging film!

2. Gunjan Saxena Biopic

Janhvi Kapoor will play IAF chopper pilot Gunjan Saxena (left) in the upcoming biopic.

After her big splash into Bollywood with Dhadak, Janhvi Kapoor is all set to star in her next, a biopic on India’s first female chopper pilot. This is being produced by Karan Johar and will be directed by debutant Sharan Sharma. Pankaj Tripathi will be playing her father in the film.

3. Saina

Shraddha Kapoor in the Saina Nehwal biopic. 

Amole Gupte’s film starring Shraddha Kapoor based on the life of ace badminton player Saina Nehwal had been announced over two years ago, but multiple delays stalled the film. The first look of the film though was out in September last year, and Shraddha was said to be going through intensive training in badminton. There is no release date yet though for the film as yet.

4. Vikram Batra Biopic

A picture of Captain Vikram Batra during Kargil War, provided by his family.
Karan Johar will be producing the Sidharth Malhotra starrer.

Sidharth Malhotra will star in the biopic based on the life of Captain Vikram Batra, who died in the Kargil War, fought between India and Pakistan. He has described the role as the ‘toughest’ of his career, and considers it to be a huge responsibility. The film is bankrolled by Karan Johar and is slated to release sometime this year.

5. Rakesh Sharma Biopic

Shah Rukh Khan will probably be replaced by Vicky Kaushal.

Tentatively titled Saare Jahaan Se Accha, the film was supposed to go on floors with Shah Rukh Khan in the lead, before he dropped out of the film recently. The film is about Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut to travel to space. Vicky Kaushal is now said to be doing the film now, but there is no confirmation about the same. The biopic is produced is by Siddharth Roy Kapur and Ronnie Screwvala and directed by ad filmmaker Mahesh Mathai.

Astronaut Rakesh Sharma.

6. Shakeela Biopic

Richa Chadha meets Shakeela in Bangalore. 

This Richa Chadha starrer is based on the life of Malayalam soft porn actor Shakeela, who was a huge draw at the box-office. Shakeela is believed to have given even the biggest male stars in Kerala a run for their money. The film’s poster was released with the tagline ‘Not a porn star’. It is directed by Indrajit Lankesh and is slated to release this year.

7. ‘83 -Kapil Dev Biopic

Actor Ranveer Singh along with former cricketer Kapil Dev during a programme to announce the making of upcoming sports drama on the1983 World Cup in Mumbai on Sept 27, 2017. 
Ranveer Singh preps for ‘ 83

Kapil Dev also known as the Haryana Hurricane, will soon be immortalised in his biopic with Ranveer Singh playing him. Ranveer has often described the film as a ‘dream come true’ and has been training in cricket for the past few months. Director Kabir Khan will be helming the film and ‘83 will chronicle the Indian Cricket Team’s first World Cup win against West Indies in 1983 under the captainship of Kapil Dev. Singh is being trained by Kapil Dev himself.

8. Chhapaak

Deepika Padukone will play acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal in Chhapaak.

Deepika Padukone’s next will based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal. The film is going to be directed by Meghna Gulzar, and will also star Vikrant Massey who will play her partner in the film. Deepika has also turned producer with Chhapaak.

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