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14 Best Biographical Indian Films based on Women

Updated on July 8, 2016
Anamika S profile image

Anamika S Jain is a Social Media Consultant who handles the FaceBook, Twitter and Blog of a top Bollywood Actress.

Biopic Indian Movies on Women

Majority of Biographical Movies provide inspiration to the viewers as they are based on extra ordinary people. People find such movies motivating. There are many Biopic Indian Films made on Women achievers. For instance, the Movie on Sudha Chandran inspires you not to give up on your dreams. Despite of losing one leg in an accident, she fought her way to become a renowned dancer. Now she is not only known as a dancer, she is a popular actress on Bollywood and Indian Television too! Another example is social activist Sampat Pal Devi from Uttar Pradesh. When people like her prefer to devote themselves to their families, she made a difference in the lives of people around her. If you are looking for the Best Biopic Movies on Indian Women, this list of 14 women-centric films would not disappoint you. However, I would not want anyone to be motivated by Phoolan Devi, Silk Smita or Santokben Jadeja for obvious reasons.

Biographical Movies based on Indian Women
Biographical Movies based on Indian Women

14 Bollywood/Regional Indian Movies on Women

Here is a list of 14 Bollywood/Indian Language Films based on Women.

  1. 'Ashwini' is a 1991 Telugu biographical sports drama film based on the life of Ashwini Nachappa, an Indian athlete who was a national champion sprinter. Aswini Nachappa portrayed the role of herself in this film that bagged several Awards including the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film and Nandi Award for Best Debut Actress.
  2. 'Yellow' is an 2014 Marathi film directed by Mahesh Limaye based on a true story of Gauri Gadgil, a special needs child, who also plays herself in the film. The Movie won Special Jury Award at the 61st National Film Awards.
  3. 'Zubeidaa' is a 2001 Indian film directed by Shyam Benegal loosely based on the life of Actress Zubeida Begum. The film garnered the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and won Karisma Kapoor a Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics).
  4. 'Jodhaa Akbar' is an Indian epic historical drama film directed and produced by Ashutosh Gowariker. The Film is based on the 16th century love story about a political marriage of convenience between the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the Rajput Princess Jodhaa. Despite of criticism regarding the accuracy of historical facts shown in the movie, this film was a super hit and won several awards.
  5. 'Gulabi Gang' is a Documentary made on the life of Uttar Pradesh-based social activist Sampat Pal Devi who started an extraordinary women’s movement by name Gulabi Gang ,a group of rural women in pink saris who fight social injustice in Uttar Pradesh. This documentary written and directed by Nishtha Jain won several awards. The 2014 Bollywood film Gulab Gang is also loosely based on Sampat Pal's life but the documentary can be called ‘the Original’ as Sampat Pal herself is there in the film.
  6. 'Bandit Queen' is a 1994 Indian biographical film directed by Shekhar Kapur based on the life of Phoolan Devi. Seema Biswas portrayed the title character in this film that won several Awards.
  7. 'The Dirty Picture' is a 2011 Indian biographical drama film directed by Milan Luthria inspired by the life of Silk Smitha, a South Indian actress noted for her erotic roles. Actress Vidya Balan portrayed the role of Silk Smita in the Film. This film was a commercial success and won several awards.
  8. 'Razia Sultan' is 1983 Hindi film written and directed by Kamal Amrohi based on the life of Razia Sultan (1205–1240), the only female Sultan of Delhi (1236–1240) with Hema Malini playing the title role. Though the Movie was not much of a commercial success, it was widely appreciated.
  9. 'Bhumika' is a 1977 Indian film directed by Shyam Benegal broadly based on the Marathi-language memoirs Sangtye Aika of the well-known Marathi stage and screen actress Hansa Wadkar. Smita Patil played the lead role in this film that won several Awards.
  10. 'No One Killed Jessica' is a 2011 Indian drama thriller film directed by Rajkumar Gupta based on the true story of Jessica Lall, a Delhi-based Model who was shot in 1999 at a New Delhi restaurant by Siddharth Vashisht aka Manu Sharma. The movie was instrumental in the culprit being punished in the Jessica Lall murder case. This film is about the fight of two women for justice. This movie starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan in the main roles was a success at the Box Office and also won several awards.
  11. ‘Mary Kom’ is a 2014 Indian biographical sports drama film directed by Omung Kumar based on the real life of Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom , a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion. Priyanka Chopra played the lead role in this film that was a commercial success and won several Awards.
  12. ‘Mayuri’ is a 1984 Telugu biographical, dance film directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao based on the real life story of Sudha Chandran, a classical dancer who lost her leg in an accident and fights her way back as a dancer. Sudha Chandran played herself in the movie that was dubbed into Malayalam and Tamil. This Movie was remade as Naache Mayuri in 1986 in Hindi.
  13. ‘God Mother’ is a 1999 Hindi biographical drama film directed by Vinay Shukla inspired by the life of Santokben Jadeja, who ran the Mafia operations of Porbandar and later turned politician. Shabana Azmi portrays the role of Santokben in the film.
  14. 'Amrapali' is a 1966 historical Hindi film directed by Lekh Tandon based on the life of the royal courtesan Amrapali aka Ambapali and the Magadha Empire King Ajatashatru who falls in love with her. Vyjayanthimala and Sunil Dutt play the leads in this film.

Which is your favorite Biographical/Historical Indian Movie based on Woman? Have I missed any films? Feel free to share through comments!

Biographical Movies on Indian Women

(click column header to sort results)
Based on  
Movie Name  
Year of Release  
Ashwini Nachappa
Ashwini
1991
Gauri Gadgil
Yellow
2014
Zubeida Begum
Zubeidaa
2001
Jodha
Jodhaa Akbar
2008
Sampat Pal Devi
Gulab Gang
2014
Phoolan Devi
Bandit Queen
1994
Silk Smita
The Dirty Picture
2011
Razia Sultan
Razia Sultan
1983
Hansa Wadkar
Bhumika
1977
Jessica Lall
No One Killed Jessica
2011
M C Mary Kom
Mary Kom
2014
Sudha Chandran
Mayuri
1984
Santokben Jadeja
God Mother
1999
Ambapali
Amrapali
1966
List of Biopic Films based on Indian Women

Biographical Movies based on Indian Women

Whom do you find the most Inspiring?

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© 2016 Anamika S Jain

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Indian Chef profile image

    Indian Chef 

    2 years ago from New Delhi India

    I have seen phoolan devi, Jessica lall and razia sultan. Thanks for publishing. I would check if others are available dubbed in Hindi or not.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    New to me! I lack Indian viewing will have to make an effort. Best wishes!

  • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

    Jyoti Kothari 

    2 years ago from Jaipur

    Thanks Anamika for a good article. You have chosen very good ones.

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 

    2 years ago from Georgia

    Wow, a very comprehensive rundown of movies. Thanks for your hard work on this hub.

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