The History of India is a rich and interesting topic. The freedom struggle, British rule, and the Mughal invasions. All these were part of Indian History. But some may say that they are aware of the facts they heard. Some may even learn from what was taught in schools.
But you know the best source where we can learn and remember what we learned? Bollywood movies! Yes, many historical dramas made in Bollywood have helped us understand the different sides of History. Individual biopics on freedom fighters were of great help too.
The films are mainly made based on facts and not myths. A good research team is hired, which includes historians and scholars. The history of India is a vast topic. There are many proofs and evidence that point in various directions.
Why are Indian Historical films made?
There are many Bollywood movies made on the Indian Freedom Struggle against the British Raj. Many freedom fighters and historical heroes lost their lives for us, and we may not be aware of it. Before we got complete independence from the British, the sacrifices made before we got complete independence, the Mughals, or the Portuguese, must not be forgotten.
With the same thinking, many filmmakers like Ashutosh Gowariker and Sanjay Leela Bhansali came with historical dramas. They are not the first ones to come up with the idea. Over the years, many historical movies based on Indian history came up.
In 1960, Mughal-e-Azam was released, and it became very popular. It was one of the earliest Indian historical dramas and was directed by K Asif.
In Bollywood, these movies are referred to as period dramas. Youngsters who have little or no idea about the rich Indian history must know our ancestors’ struggles.
Knowledge of history is precious. It has to be perfectly executed. Good costumes, accents, and cultures are shown in the period dramas. This helps us know how a particular community used to dress or speak.
Which are some of the best Bollywood Historical dramas to date?
If you still haven’t watched how well Indian History was portrayed in the best films, do not worry. You can still watch them. Here is a list of the best Indian Historical dramas that you need to watch:
- Lagaan (2001)
- Cast: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Paul Blackthorne, Rachel Shelley, Raghubir Yadav
- Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, this film was India’s official entry to the 2002 Oscars and even got nominated. Unfortunately, the film did not win the Best Foreign Film category.
- Plot: Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) is a farmer residing in a small village. He is challenged by Captain Russell (Russell Blackthorne) to play a game of cricket. If the villagers win the game, they do not have to pay taxes for three years. But if the British win, the villagers have to give three times the tax they already pay. It is followed by how both sides compete in this game.
- Who will win the game? Do the villagers pay three times tax? Watch the movie to see this interesting concept of cricket intertwined with the rich Indian culture.
- The various characters played by every actor give you the essence of India. The film shows how Indians were enslaved by the British and how the game was their only way towards freedom. It portrayed the freedom struggle and the British Raj over Indian kingdoms.
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2004)
- Cast: Sachin Khedekar, Pankaj Berry, Divya Dutta, Rajit Kapur, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
- “Tum Mujhe Khoon Do, Main Tumhe Azaadi Doonga”
When we hear this slogan, it gives us chills. It depicted the dedication of the man who said it, that is, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
- Sachin Khedekar beautifully portrayed this 2004 biopic of Subhas Chandra Bose. The director Shyam Benegal is one of the best directors in India.
- Plot: The film revolves around the contribution of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the Indian freedom struggle. During the second world war, Netaji had a crucial role in the battle against the British. It portrays the last few years of Bose and his journey.
- The film gives how intense the freedom struggle was and the aspects that led to India’s independence. Netaji Bose was a true leader, and the film is a good tribute to his sacrifices.
- The film received a lot of positive reviews and did well at the box office. It is a must-watch for those who are not aware of the Indian Freedom Movement’s real heroes.
- Jodha Akbar (2008)
- Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Sonu Sood, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Ila Arun, Suhasini Mulay
- Here is another historical movie directed by Ashutosh Gowariker that set a new level in the category. This movie had the perfect casting, engaging soundtrack, and a beautiful storyline.
- Plot: The film shows us one of the most famous love stories. It portrays the relationship between a brave Rajput princess Jodhaa bai and Mughal emperor Akbar. Their marriage was a part of a political alliance between their kingdoms. It shows an affectionate bond between the two and their respect for each other.
- This 2008 historical movie was a great hit at the box office. The background music gives you an authentic feel of that particular era. The audience received well because of the good acting, historical sets used in the film, and a smooth storyline.
- Even after being a movie of around three and a half hours, it did not bore the audience. It is widely recommended to watch this cinematic piece of beauty.
- The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
- Cast: Ajay Devgan, Sushant Singh, D Santosh, Akhilendra Mishra, Amrita Rao, Raj Babbar
- With a talented cast and engaging storyline, this 2002 film gives us a good historical film experience. Rajkumar Santoshi directed this historical movie.
- Plot: The entire life of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh is shown. Growing up in a British ruled India, this young patriot went on to be one of the greatest freedom fighters. The dedication and love for freedom were consistent even after being arrested.
- The film has a patriotic flavor with good acting and character portrayal. With appealing visuals and an engaging story, it shows the sacrifice of Bhagat Singh and his associates.
- Bajirao Mastani (2015)
- Cast: Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Milind Soman, Tanvi Azmi
- This Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie is a masterpiece in the historical drama genre. There are many aspects of the film that give goosebumps to the audience.
- Plot: The film shows the love triangle and struggle of Peshwa Bajirao and his two wives Kashi bai and Mastani. The conservative family is against the second wife, Mastani, due to her family background.
- Some historians believe that this historical drama is a work of fiction since there is very little evidence of the love saga.
- The strong emotions and acting by the main actors kept the viewers glued to their seats. It is one of the best historical works by Bhansali.
Every culture and tradition has its own richness. The amount of dedication put by the filmmakers to recreate the olden times determines the box office success.
The beautiful courts and costumes in period dramas are made after studying well about the story. Accuracy and authenticity are very important to get the audience to engage in the films.
With better filming techniques and graphics, making Indian historical films has become easier. The actors playing the role of the characters have to dress and adopt the behavior of the historical figure. Matching the accents, studying the behavior, and having the character’s attitude will help them convince the viewers.
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