New Delhi: In Indian cinema, real life incidents portrayed on 60mm screens have time and again fascinated the Bollywood audience. Whether these incidents originate from one event or any person doesn't matter as long as the film shows them in a pleasing manner.
In a bid to glorify real-life events of those, especially, whose stories haven't lived in public's mind for long, a good mix of fiction and reality has come a long way before us.
Omprakash Mehra's ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', Omung Kumar's ‘Mary Kom' or Tigmanshu Dhulia's ‘Pan Singh Tomar' were splashed on the silver screens where they reaped in major appreciation nationally, and even internationally.
However, these films were still of relatively known people from the past. The trend is now of picking up an aam aadmi's life story.
Director Ram Madhvani's ‘Neerja', which hit the box office this week, is one such example of a common-woman's tragic-turned-heroic tale.
The biopic, which depicts the brave-hearted airhostess Neerja Bhanot who laid down her life saving over 360 passengers on the ill-fated Pan Am Flight 73, has managed to receive applause on its first day itself.
Another upcoming biopic ‘Sarbjit', a story about an Indian famer Sarbjit Singh who was arrested on the charge of espionage when he unknowingly strayed across the Indian-Pakistan border, too waits in the line for similar response.
In the case of these two films, both the real life characters have been picked up in a bid to touch upon the audience's emotions and give them something to remember.
These characters have shown heroic qualities which they have been admired for and are inspired from by portraying a plot where an ordinary person gets tangled up in extraordinary events.
Another such film ‘Aligarh', which is set to release in the coming week, is a story of an ordinary teacher who faces tribulations daily owing to his sexual orientation.
‘Aligarh' becomes relevant, here, because it talks of an issue that is extensively prevalent in our culturally-regulated society.
Meghna Gulzar's several award-winning ‘Talvar' stands out among other films based on real-life events. The film straightforwardly showed the aftermath of Noida's infamous double-murder case of, then, 14-year old Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj Banjade.
‘Talvar' avoided putting any morale behind its projection of the murder incident and the investigation that followed, but in doing so it very subtly did just that. Broadly, the film only showed what went down on the doomed night of 2008.
However, a previous release ‘Airlift' which, despite making a huge impact on the box office, roped in enough flak for its skewered vision of the events of 1990.
The film, which depicts the pivotal rescue operation that underwent in Kuwait during Iraq's invasion of 1990, had the fictitious character Ranjit Katyal (played by Akshay Kumar) shown to be the man of the mission.
Here, the plot of the film was the ship being sailed by Akshay Kumar's character. In such films, the story needs a ‘star' to carry the film's events and bring it before the audience.
All the criticism that ‘Airlift' received suggests that mixing parts of truth with some fiction isn't as easily taken in by audience as a purely fictitious or a real-life based film is.
Therefore, when it comes to picturing reality, creatively tweaking it, but not disfiguring it is important to maintain the relevance of the events while at the same time match the audience's preferences and existing knowledge on those topics.
The upcoming biopics Dhoni, Dangal and Azhar, too will be attempting to offer reality with squirts of creative additions for the audiences to remember the stories by.