Women-Centric Biopics That Erupted Controversy


What does it take to spark uproar? Just a tweet. Now that we have numerous social media platforms at our disposal, anything and everything holds the power to erupt controversy. The entertainment industry and the ones associated with it are seldom spared for a minute error. Although, films have an artistic license, they often come under the fire. One genre that attracts the most criticism is biographical films, which can hardly reach the release date without facing a few hiccups on the road.

Over the years, the Hindi film industry has released a great deal of women-centric biopics which landed in trouble. The portrayal of characters, acknowledgement of due credit or alteration of storylines, various factors have been condemned of this projects.

Here are some of the women-centric biographical films which embroiled in controversy:


The much-anticipated biographical sports film based on the life of Badminton player Saina Nehwal, stirred the pot with a mere poster release. The Amol Gupte directorial got the netizens talking about the introductory poster. One of the social media users claimed that probably made ‘Sania Mirza’ fan designed the film poster, which depicted the badminton serve wrongly.

Responding to the remarks flooding on social media platforms the director of the Parineeti Chopra starrer took to Facebook and wrote, “Too much speculation in the digital media about the poster… “looks like a tennis serve… Saina doing a Sania” etc etc… If Saina is the flying shuttle, then clearly, the girl’s hand with the National colours wristband is the hand of the Indian Girl Child aspiring to reach Saina’s height!!!”.

Gangubai Kathiawadi

The upcoming women-centric film is based on a story of book Mafia Queens of Mumbai written Hussain Zaidi’s will narrate the story of Gangubai Kothewali, the madam of a brothel in Kamathipura. After the release of the first trailer, the star of the film, Alia Bhatt, was showered with praises for her gripping portrayal of Gangubai.

However, soon an alleged flaw was found in the project, the name Kathaiwadi in the title. According to Congress MLA Amin Patel, it’s an attempt to discredit Kamathipura. Also, he demanded a disclaimer informing the viewers that the film Kamathipura’s scenario isn’t the same in the present days.


In 2019, the biopic based on the life of J Jayalalithaa, the former actor and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, faced legal trouble when Deepa Jayakumar decided to sue the director AL Vijay. Deepa, the former Chief Minister’s niece, filed a petition filed the film. She claimed that the makers should seek permission and consent of her family before portraying Jayalalithaa’s private life on screen.

Next time, the film director of Thalaivi was hit with a ‘betrayal’ allegation. Kollywood film writer Ajayan Bala claimed that he didn’t get the due credit for the project. “This backstabbing is the result of the one-and-a-half years I spent on the film, from research to script discussions,” an excerpt of his deleted post on social media read.

Gunjan Saxena

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, helmed by Sharan Sharma and starring Janhvi Kapoor, was accused of  “peddling lies”. Flt Lt Sreevidya Rajan, who raised objections about biopic and alleged factual inaccuracies. She claimed that Gunjan Saxena, who was considered the first lady pilot who flew to Kargil, wasn’t actually the first to do so. In fact, Retired Wing Commander Namrita Chandi, named Sreevidya Rajan as the first female pilot to have flown for the IAF in a combat zone. “Sreevidya Rajan was the first lady pilot who flew to Kargil – not Gunjan. Though, I am certain that Srividya has no complaints about this credit being taken away from her,” she wrote in an open letter.

Following the allegations, Saxena dismissed the claim and told NDTV, “From July 1999 till today, my name has featured in a number of headlines, in a number of articles, and in the Limca Book of Records, and in one of the promotion exams taken by the air force.”


Acid attack victim Laxmi Agarwal’s ordeal was brought to the screen in this biopic, which featured Deepika Padukone as the female lead. Advocate Aparna Bhat, who represented Laxmi in court and played a pivotal role in getting justice for the victim, accused the makers of the film of overseeing her efforts and not providing due credit.

In a social media post, she wrote: “Have never been the one to demand attention to my work. Deeply disturbed by the turn of events post watching Chhapaak. Compelled to take legal action to protect my identity and preserve my integrity. I represented Lakshmi in her criminal trial in Patiala House Courts… tomorrow someone will represent me in my cause…Ironies of life”.

Mary Kom 

Ace Boxer Mary Kom was irked by her portrayal on screen in the Priyanka Chopra starrer. During an interview with Republic TV, the Padma Vibhushan awardee said that the film did not depict the ‘unfair’ decisions taken against during a boxing championship finale.

“There have been a lot of unfair decisions (during selections). Even the movie makes me angry. It did not show what really happened,” she said.