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Netflix's Bhakshak gears up for release; from headlines to films, real stories that gripped the nation - Chhapaak, Shahid and more

As Bhakshak is based on a true crime story, let's revisit some that you should watch ASAP.

Netflix's Bhakshak gears up for release; from headlines to films, real stories that gripped the nation - Chhapaak, Shahid and more
Films Based On True Crime Stories

Last Updated: 09.48 PM, Feb 07, 2024


Cinema reflects life and life reflects cinema; the barter is one of the most important ones in a time when potent conversations around some of the most sensitive issues are started through films (Mr. Vanga, please hold your Animal and DO NOT feel validated). Movies have always been a gateway and an alarm equally, and films based on some very serious subjects have proved that over the years. Be it Meghna Gulzar giving the Double Murder Case a noir touch but still being respectful about the material, or Raj Kumar Gupta showing the world the seriousness of the Jessica Lal murder. They triggered a dialogue in a healthy direction.

Netflix, with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, now brings to us Bhakshak starring Bhumi Pednekar in the center of it. The movie, based on the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case, has impressed the viewers with the trailer. Directed by Pulkit, the movie follows the 2018 tragic case where 30 minor girls in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home were sexually abused. The investigation led to Brajesh Thakur (former Bihar People’s Party MLA) and 18 others being convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

So now, as a movie about this very serious incident makes its way to Netflix, we at OTTplay thought of curating a list of films based on real-life cases that started a healthy conversation and need to be watched by many. Here’s a list you must watch. If you have already and understand the crux, congratulations, you are on the right track.

Talvar (2015)


Cast: Neeraj Kabi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, and an ensemble. 

Director: Meghna Gulzar. 

Available On: Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar.

Two people were killed. One teenage girl, another a house help. The parents, both doctors, were the prime suspects. What exactly happened in the Talvar house that tragic day? Meghna Gulzar, with Vishal Bhardwaj’s writing, explores that very day from all possible directions. Through the eyes of the stellar Irrfan Khan, we explore every single possibility like we are investigating. It is not just an alarming movie but also a very amazing example of nuanced filmmaking.

No One Killed Jessica (2011)

Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan, Neil Bhoopalam, and an ensemble. 

Director: Raj Kumar Gupta. 

Available On: Netflix.

Before Raj Kumar Gupta took the turn towards Raid and India’s Most Wanted, he was making No One Killed Jessica and we hope he periodically returns to make such films. Based on the Jessica Lal murder, the movie that starred Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan is definitely one of the best in the genre. It explored this case through a journalist and the victim’s sister and showed us the state of media, law, and society that is quick to judge a woman regardless of her status in the situation.

Shahid (2012)

Shahid Poster
Shahid Poster

Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Prabhleen Sandhu, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Kay Kay Menon, and an ensemble. 

Director: Hansal Mehta.

Available On: NA.

With Shahid followed by Omerta, Hansal Mehta made a very interesting account of two figures that have been the most headline-making ones of their times. Shahid, that talks about Shahid Azmi, a human rights lawyer who goes through hell just because he chose to be on the humanitarian side, is a movie that spoke to the masses and gradually found an audience. Today it is considered one of Rajkummar Rao’s best works.

Not A Love Story (2011) 

Not A Love Story Poster
Not A Love Story Poster

Cast: Deepak Dobriyal, Mahie Gill, and an ensemble. 

Director: Ram Gopal Varma. 

Available On: NA. 

Based on the Neeraj Grover murder case, an aspiring actor and her boyfriend are both arrested for homicide. The mention of Ram Gopal Varma is enough to tell you that the filmmaker would take a gory route to tell his story. The movie at the time of release was praised by most critics. It was a dramatized version of what happened and one that will leave you shocked.

Firaaq (2008) 

Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shana Goswami, Paresh Rawal, Nassar, Inaamulhaq, and an ensemble. 

Director: Nandita Das. 

Available On: Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, and YouTube.

The Gujarat riots have to be one of the most haunting episodes of modern history. Nandita Das decided to tap into the territory and make a movie about the aftermath of the same. Firaaq featured a bunch of characters who have survived the tragic period and are now living with PTSD of the same. The movie captures the pain and trauma that is in the minds of the people who had to see hell while living.

Chhapaak (2020)

Cast: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey, and an ensemble. 

Director: Meghna Gulzar. 

Available On: Disney+ Hotstar.

With Chhapaak, Meghna Gulzar made a movie about probably the biggest and the most heinous crime against women, acid attack. Chhapaak followed the life of Laxmi Agarwal, named changed to Malti in the movie, and showed us her story. The movie was not a sympathetic ode but a homage to the unbreakable dedication and strength of Laxmi and that is what stood out in Meghna Gulzar’s telling of her story. With a star as massive as Deepika Padukone in the center, the movie only became stronger.

Black Friday (2004) 

Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Pawan Malhotra, Aditya Srivastava, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and an ensemble.

Director: Anurag Kashyap. 

Available On: Google Play and YouTube (on rent)

Trust Anurag Kashyap to give you an entertaining, political, and thrilling movie at the same time. Black Friday was a film that in a way showed the new generation how it is done. A movie that followed the 1993 serial bomb blasts and the investigation that broke to catch the culprits is now a cult one. Anurag chose to go unfiltered and that worked wonders for a movie that ended up educating many about the seriousness of the subject. Just like Talvar, this was a movie that saw the case from all possible directions and had multiple perspectives about the tragedy.

Stay tuned to OTTplay for more on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.