When Living Stories Charmed Motion Pictures

    • ritika.kumar@timesgroup.com
    • Publish Date: Nov 26 2019 5:19PM
    • |
    • Updated Date: Nov 26 2019 5:20PM
When Living Stories Charmed Motion Pictures

Truth is stranger than fiction. Is that the reason why filmmakers get drawn to real life stories? What we know for sure is that it is a different exhilaration to relive the moment of human triumph on 70mm.  It gives us hope. And as ‘Shawshank Redemption’ quotes, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”. Let us take you through events, movements, personal victories which had to be told on the big screen.


No One Killed Jessica (2011)

Did you know that the title of the movie was inspired from a headline by Times Of India? The murder of Jessica Lal on 30 April, 1999 by Manu Sharma, son of high profile politician shook the nation. Everyone from media to aam junta felt Sabrina Lal’s (Jessica’s sister) struggle to fight against the powerful, system to get justice. Director Raj Kumar Gupta in an interview that at one time, he was too, just like Sabrina had total apathy and hopelessness towards the system, but the story had to be told.


Super 30 (2019)

Mathematician Aanand Kumar and his Super 30 movement which started in 2002 has been applauded across the world. International media, independent documentary filmmakers, world-renowned educational institutes, recognized Kumar’s effort to give economically backward students a chance to fight for their right to get into IITs. It took Bollywood to take notice of this story after 16 yrs but better late than never. Actor Hrithik Roshan plays the role of the educationist and the movie has been directed by Vikas Bahl.  It is a story of underdogs dominating the world. Juicy, right?


’83 (2020)

World Cup in on and home country is a favorite to win. Since, we have put that gospel truth aside, let us rewind you 36 years when it all started. When Indian cricket team wrote one of the juiciest screenplays for a motion picture. The match was a story of grit, passion, fear, and triumph over fear for West Indians then were a menacing lot. Director Kabir Khan took notice, roped in the flavor of the season Ranveer Singh to play sportstar Kapil Dev and weave the epic moment for the silver screen.


Madras Café

Shoojit Sircar’s 2013 action thriller is set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, depicting Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan civil war and assassination of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It was a bold terrain (read politics) which Bollywood rarely touches. The writers of the film Shubhendu Bhattacharya and Somnath Dey, illustrate why there are no winners at the end of a war.


Uri: The Surgical Strike

“How’s the josh?” The dialogue became a part of pop culture especially given the political ambience in the country. Themes of nationalism, patriotism and sacrifice moved the audiences in favour of soldiers during the retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack. The film follows Major Vihaan Singh Shergill, played by Vicky Kaushal, leading the events. Director Aditya Dhar was applauded for impressive combat scenes and absorbing screenplay.



A double murder case in 2008 shocked the nation. 13 year-old Aarushi Talwar and house servant Hemraj were killed in their Noida house and the tragedy became the fodder for everyone from media to filmmakers. We still do not know who killed them but, based on journalist Avirook Sen’s book, Meghna Gulzar and Vishal Bharadwaj decided to recreate the murder mystery for the big screen.  Though the movie might come across as biased towards Talwars, a stunnig performance by Irrfan Khan and a taught screenplay keeps you engaged.


Special 26

Based on unsolved 1987 Opera House heist, ‘Special 26’ is a story about how a group posing as Central Bureau of Investigation officers executed a fake income tax raid on Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri & Sons Jewellers in Mumbai. However, full marks to writer, director Neeraj Pandey for creating a fictional world of Ajay Singh (played by Akashay Kumar) before showing the final heist. Ajay conducts several frauds before the big one and each one of them blow your mind.


Black Friday

It took Anurag Kashyap’s docudrama on 1993 Mumbai bombings three years to see the light of the day. Made in 2004 it got embroiled into political controversy and was finally released in 2007. Critics, both national and international lauded it as of the best films of that times, marveling it at its taut screenplay, journalistic approach and gripping performances.















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