Bollywood has a thing for biopics. There is nothing that satiates the audience more than seeing a real-life story on the silver screen. Filmmakers know this and we have a plethora of biopics produced in the film industry.

While a vast majority of biopics turn out to be great hits, there are some which fail to work at the box office despite having good stories. Here are ten biopics, with good story lines, which failed to work in Bollywood.

1. Azhar (2016)
This biopic on the life of Indian cricketer and former national team captain Mohammad Azharuddin flopped at the box office, which is surprising considering how obsessed we are with cricket. Most critics gave the movie 2 out of 5 stars. Starring Emraan Hashmi as Azhar, the movie also talks about the infamous match-fixing scandal, apart from Azhar’s personal life.


2. Hawaizaada (2015)
Based on the life of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, who is said to have constructed and flown an unmanned, heavier-than-air aircraft in 1895 (much before the Wright Brothers), this movie could not fly at the box office. Some claimed that the movie was uneven while others criticized it for focusing more on the drama angle than the actual story. Starring Ayushmann Khurrana in the lead role, the movie makes for an easy watch.

Deccan Chronicle

3. Main Aur Charles (2015)
Charles Sobhraj, known as The Bikini Killer, used his charisma and looks and trapped not only his victims but successfully manipulated even the legal system. Starring Randeep Hooda as Charles, the movie is told from the perspective of the cop who handled the case. Reportedly, the killer has killed 12 confirmed victims but the actual figures sum up to 30. It was his charisma and personality which gave him celebrity status.

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4. Sarbjit (2016)
Sarabjit Singh was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1991. He spent almost 22 years in a Pakistan prison for alleged terrorism and spying. In 2016, Bollywood made a movie about Sarbjit narrating his life and how his family, especially his sister, was determined to get him out and save his life. The movie was premiered at Cannes in 2016. However, back in India, it received mixed reviews.


5. Thackeray (2019)
Based on the life of Balasaheb Thackeray, the founder of Shiv Sena, Thackeray received mixed to negative reviews at the box office. Nawazuddin Siddiqui convincingly played the titular role. The biopic also gives a glimpse into the political scenario of Maharashtra.

Film Companion

6. Daddy (2017)
This movie, while hailed by the critics, failed to strike a chord with the audience. Daddy revolves around the life of Arun Gawli, played by Arjun Rampal. The movie shows Gawli, a textile mill worker, ending up as a local gambler, and then finding himself under the wings of an underground don after committing a murder. Gawli ends up becoming the most feared gangster in the underworld and later makes his way into Indian politics.

Mid Day

7. Veerappan (2016)
Based on the life of the real-life Indian bandit Veerappan, this movie did not do well at the box office. This Hindi movie is a remake of the Kannada film, Killing Veerappan. Surprisingly the Kannada film did well, but not the Bollywood one.

Deccan Chronicle

8. Rakta Charitra (2010)
Starring Vivek Oberoi, the movie revolves around the life of politician Paritala Ravindra. Critics praised Vivek’s performance in the movie. But it failed to resonate with the audience. However, a sequel of the movie was released later in 2010.


9. Haseena Parkar (2017)
Starring Shraddha Kapoor, the movie is based on the life of Haseena Parkar –  Dawood Ibrahim’s sister. The movie narrates the life of the sister who is forced to bear the brunt of his brother’s tryst with crimes and the underworld. However, the movie was declared a disaster at the box office.

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10. Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
The movie revolves around the life of an army subedar who becomes an athlete and wins a gold medal at the Indian National Games. But with a turn of events, Paan Singh Tomar rebels against the system by becoming a dreaded dacoit in the ravines of Chambal. Irrfan played the lead role. Despite having a good story, the movie failed to be a blockbuster at the box office.


Which of these do you plan on watching soon?