With biopics minting money at box-office, filmmakers dared to explore new subjects that were inspirational, creating social awareness and really hat-ke. Interestingly the actor who showed faith in such unique subjects was Akshay Kumar, who literally brought a revolution in biopics as his biopics told stories that were rousing and really heroic.
Akshay Kumar started with Airlift (2016). The film portrayed the heroic deed of an Indian businessman Mathunny Mathews (Akshay Kumar in the film), who played a key role in the safe airlift evacuation of about 170,000 Indians from Kuwait during the 1990 Invasion of Kuwait. In 2017, Akshay Kumar signed the film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, a truly exceptional movie that highlighted the taboo subject about the ladies toilet issue in the villages of India. The film was based on a real-life story of 19-year-old Anita Narre from Madhya Pradesh, who refused to go back to her husband Shivram’s home because it had no toilet. Akshay Kumar hit a hat trick with the mega success of PadMan (2018) that took an even more taboo issue about the unsafe practice of using unhygienic cloths by the female during the menstrual cycle of ladies. The film, in an entertaining style, highlighted the use of low-cost sanitary napkins manufactured by a Tamil Nadu-based social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham. The film made on shoestring budget of 20 crores minted Rs 216 crore in India!!! Akshay continued the success story with the film Gold highlighting Independent India’s hockey team winning Gold at Olympics in the film (2018) and Kesari highlighting the heroic battle of Saragarhi where a handful of 21 Sikhs of Indian Army fought against 10,000 Afghans in 1897.
Director Meghna Gulzar and scriptwriter Vishal Bhardwaj‘s film Talvar (2015) is perhaps the first movie that created flatters in the judicial system and reopened the debate on Talwars’ conviction in the infamous Aarushi double murder case in New Delhi. The film brilliantly highlighted the loopholes in the investigations conducted by the Noida police and the contradictions in the reports submitted by two teams of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The apparent flaws in investigations led to their conviction of Mr. and Mrs. Talvar in the murder of their daughter, however, after the film was released, the case was re-opened and Mr. and Mrs. Talvar were released from jail!!
Zoya Akhtar directed film starring Ranveer Singh film Gully Boy (2019) based on the lives of rappers Vivian Fernandes aka Divine and Naved Shaikh aka Naezy has inspired many parents to support their children interested in arts and music. Similarly, Aamir Khan‘s Secret Superstar (2017) about young singers urge to become playback singer was inspired by the experiences of Assamese reality show singer Nahid Afrin.
In 2014, Madhuri Dixit in the film Gulaab Gang brought alive the work of a lady social worker Sampat Pal, who formed a gang of ladies to fight injustice and domestic violence ladies in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. The film was an inspiration for several village ladies.
Other movies that deserve mention for spreading a social message through biopics are Alia Bhatt‘s Raazi (2018), Nandita Das‘ Bawandar (2000), Sonam Kapoor‘s Neerja ( 2016), Amitabh Bachchan’s Pink (2016), John Abraham’s Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018), Shahid Kapoor’s Batti Gul Meter Chalu (2018), etc.