A simple Google search on âbiopicâ would tell you that a biographical film is a dramatic representation of the life of a non-fictional or historical person through a motion picture. Bollywood has a fair share of biopics to its name, be it The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Sarbjit, or more recently, Dangal.
Â© Tips Industries Ltd
With more than a few dozen highly successful biopics in its kitty, one would come to think that the Hindi film industry must be getting something right, but alas, how wrong we are to pin our hopes like so.
Because turns out, Bollywood has been taking a bit too much of creative liberty in creating these biopics and distorting facts in the process. The exploitation serves the purpose of not only cashing in on the star status of these historical protagonists, but also to feed a gullible, public curiosity with a dash of masala that sells.
Here are 5 such instances when Bollywood messed up important facts in biopics and made a fool of us:
1. Mangal Pandey: The Rising
Â© Yash Raj Films
The visual personification of Mangal Pandey by Aamir Khan in the 2005 biopic was historically inaccurate. If historical facts are to be believed, Aamirâs long, ishevelled hair look goes against the code of conduct for anyone serving in the military in the East India Company, that prescribed a specific uniform and prohibited religious markings.
Â© Yash Raj Films
Additionally, unlike what the film shows, history has no mention of Mangal Pandey being romantically involved and later marrying a prostitute named Heera. These are reportedly the directorâs creation.
Â© Balaji Motion Pictures
Based on the life of one of Indiaâs most iconic cricketing figures from the 80s and 90s, the film showed Emraan Hashmi trying hard to whitewash Mohammad Azharuddinâs ruined public image.
The film presented Azharuddin as a victim of circumstances, though the explosive CBI report would tell you otherwise. Even though Azharuddin eventually confesses to having been involved in major match-fixing incidents during his tenure, the film tries to evoke empathy from the audience
Â© Rajkumar Hirani Film
This movie was yet another attempt of the creators trying to resurrect the lost glory of a fallen angel. The film tries to redeem Sanjay Dutt of every allegation and controversy that surrounded this star kid.
Apart from presenting Sanjay Dutt as a victim of circumstances, he is also shown to be a devoted son who did a lot of things for his familyâs good.
Â© Rajkumar Hirani Films
For instance, when he was accused of carrying arms, he said it was to protect his family who was receiving threats due to his father Sunil Duttâs political journey. Or when the film tries to put the onus of Sanjay getting into drugs on a fictional character played by Jim Sarbh, however, during a candid interview Sanjay not only confessed to loving guns, but also that he started getting high as a boarding school student at The Lawrence School, Sanawar.
4. The Accidental Prime Minister
Â© Rudra Productions
Based on the memoir penned by Sanjaya Baru, who was former Indian PM Manmohan Singhâs chief media advisor and spokesperson from 2004 to 2008. One of the biggest follies the film commits is to misrepresent the associations between Baru and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel. While the film shows Patel to be constantly plotting against Baru, the memoir states nothing of the sort.
Â© Rudra Productions
Instead, the only mention of Ahmed Patel in the memoir comes in Pg. 72 where Baru says, âI had very little to do with Patel and during the few times we interacted, he was always warm and friendly. I had only two substantive conversations with him during my time at the PMO.â
5. PM Narendra Modi
Â© Legend Global Studio
One of 2019âs most controversial releases, this one had many flaws of its own. The film claims PM Modiâs sudden rise to fame to be the reason behind the Indian Emergency in 1975, though we know that isnât just why.
Additionally, it is also shown that PM Modi unfurled the national flag standing in the line of fire, whereas in reality, it was Murli Manohar Joshi who did so at Lal Chowk.