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12 Bollywood movies based on true stories which prove reality is greater than fiction

Bollywood movies inspired by real events go back a long way. These films based on true stories are gripping, riveting and make for an excellent watch.

Growing up in India, Bollywood movies have had an immense impact on our lives. The audience adulation is a testimony to the justice done to these movies inspired by real-life events. In this list, we are charting out all the Bollywood movies based on true stories. Let’s find out more.

Bollywood movies based on true stories


The story of India’s historic win of the Cricket World Cup in 1983 was a story that needed to be known and told, especially to the generation that never got to witness that moment and the madness. This Bollywood movie is based on a true story and it features an ensemble of the entire Indian cricket team of 1983. Ranveer Singh plays the role of ace cricketer Kapil Dev and Deepika Padukone plays his wife, Romi Dev.


Raazi by Meghna Gulzar is about the life of an Indian spy, Sehmat Khan, played by Alia Bhatt, who is married to a Pakistani officer and saves India from an upcoming war. Reportedly, the movie is based on the novel Calling Sehmat by Harinder Sikka which unravels the greatness of Sehmat, a real-life spy. Even though this Bollywood movie is based on a true story, Sikka changed the name of the characters in his novel to protect the identity of the real-life Sehmat.

Gully Boy

2019’s Gully Boy, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, was a huge blockbuster. But did you know that the story of Gully Boy was based on the lives of two Indian rappers, Vivian Fernandes aka Divine and Naved Shaikh aka Naezy? Gully Boy chronicles their journey from Mumbai’s slum to the Indian music industry. While Ranveer Singh played the role of Naezy, Divine’s role was played by Siddhant Chaturvedi.

The Sky Is Pink

Back when the movie released, The Sky Is Pink generated a lot of buzz for its star cast and its music album. If you have watched the film already, you know that it’s based on a true story. But for those of you who haven’t watched it yet, this is the real-life story of Aisha Chaudhary and her parents who spent their lives battling her unusual medical disorder, pulmonary fibrosis. The real-life Aisha even published a book titled My Little Epiphanies and was an inspiration to millions of youngsters, before she finally passed away in 2015.

Super 30

The next on the list of Bollywood movies based on true stories is the real-life story of Anand Kumar, as told in Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30. The movie tells the story of Super 30, an Indian instructive program initiated in Patna, India that was established by Anand Kumar, a science instructor, and Abhayanand, the previous D.G.P of Bihar. Under this program, 30 capable competitors are chosen every year from financially oppressed areas and are then prepared for All India Engineering test known as JEE.


This Amitabh Bachchan-starrer is another Bollywood movie based on a true story. This sports drama is based on Vijay Barse, the man who received the Real Hero Award from none other than Sachin Tendulkar. He dedicated his life to sportsmanship and creating athletes out of kids that the society had renounced. Barse worked as a sports professor at Hislop College in Nagpur. It was one rainy afternoon in July 2001, when he spotted a group of slum kids playing with a makeshift football and that was became Barse’s Eureka moment! He then started coaching underprivileged kids in sports.


One of Rajkummar Rao’s career-best performances, Omerta is based on Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who is linked to some of the world’s most dreaded terrorist organisations, including Jaish-e-Mohammed and Al Qaeda. Directed by Hansal Mehta, the film narrates the abduction of Western tourists in India in late 1994, Omerta’s arrest and imprisonment in Delhi, his release in exchange for the IC-814 hostages in 1999, the kidnapping and killing of American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 and his trial and conviction in Pakistan, where he is still in prison awaiting judicial review.

Special 26

This 2013-film directed by Neeraj Pandey is based on the real story of a daring heist of a jewellery showroom in Mumbai decades ago by men posing as CBI officers. Based on the Opera House heist in 1987, Special 26 was both critically acclaimed and loved by the audience.

No One Killed Jessica

The murder of the young girl that shook the entire nation, No One Killed Jessica was based on the premise of the murder of Jessica Lal. The film of course uses the premise to build on a fictional plot, but the fact remains that even with hundreds of eye witnesses to the open murder, nobody recorded any statement against the killer. And the murderer is still on the loose.

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha

This Akshay Kumar-starrer social drama was an instant hit for its relatable content and the social message it had. This is the story of Anita Narre who was married into a family hailing from a village in Madhya Pradesh. Once married, she found out that her in-laws do not have a toilet at home and defecate in the open. That is when she left her husband’s home and came back eight days later, only after he had built a toilet for her.


This is the story of India’s top secret operation which was used to carry out nuclear tests. The mission was top secret as there was massive international pressure on the then-Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to not carry out the tests. In this movie, John Abraham plays an army officer named Ashwat Rana, in charge of the entire operation.


Another Akshay Kumar-starrer patriotic film, Airlift is a Bollywood movie based on a true story. The story follows the evacuation of over 1,50,000 Indians working in Kuwait and Iraq in 1990 after Saddam Hussein invaded Iraq. Kuwait’s richest Indian businessman, the late KTB Menon, played by Akshay Kumar, arranged for the evacuation of all the Indians.

Hero Image Credit: Screenshot from trailer; Featured Image Credit: Instagram

12 Bollywood movies based on true stories which prove reality is greater than fiction

A journalism student who studied the subject only to meet SRK in person, she settled for the best way to meet him. Covering Entertainment throughout her career, and now Food, Health and Lifestyle as well, Sreetama is also a self-proclaimed plant mom. In love with all things slow and quiet, she can often be found hunting for quiet corners with a glass of wine in hand. Other loves include little, inconsequential things, like neatly tucked-in bedsheets and big, significant things, like whole cheesecakes. She dreams of being a baker and writing about food someday.


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