Mughal-E-Azam is one of the best Period films. Till date this no other epic could match its scale, popularity and class. Although the existence of Anarkali is not fully historical yet there is historical fact that there were tensions between Akbar and his son Jahangir. Prithviraj Kapoormade the role of Akbar memorable. Asoka is another period film by Santosh Shivan that traces the root cause of Kalinga war and the resultant effects of the same.
Shyam Benegal is one prolific pole star who ventured amidst the genre of Period Films. Zubeidaa (2001) with top Hindi film star Karishma Kapoor had its brief moments of its poise and cinematic grandeur. It delineates the story of a woman who led life on her own terms and through the lucid yet placid cinematic moments; the film captures the timeless frames of hope, of rejuvenation and pain languishment. The material that Benegal had to start with had all the elements required to make an extremely engaging film - romance, passion and drama, all reminiscent of his central character in Bhumika but the end result this time was a film that is oddly flat, clinical and mostly boring, a problem that also befell his following biopic 'Netaji Subash Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero' (2005).
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas is yet another Period film that traces the love -lorn saga of Devdas by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhay. His is the third Hindi version that incorporates Madhuri Dixit, Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai. Subhash Ghai in Kisna and Kashmakash (Noukadubi in Bengali) made a route to the roots as he captured in reel the feel of the bygone era.
Pradeep Sarkar made his directorial debut with the film Parineeta which earned him the national film award for best Director (first film). The film was based on Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's Novel Parineeta that had been a critical and commercial success at box office as well.
Umrao Jaan directed by Muzaffar Ali and later by J. P. Dutta, who is known for directing many patriotic war films and action films. These things have always got enough importance in his films. He always takes a collection of stars to create an impact over the audience. Ashutosh Gowariker directed Jodha Akbar, lagaan whose works thrived to portray the Indian classical panorama. Lagaan received critical acclaim and also nomination for an Oscar Academy Award in USA for Best Foreign Language Film. It ranked third among 2001 Indian movies in terms of gross revenue.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra an academy award- nominated Indian producer and filmmaker who makes a combination of commercial and parallel films has created films like 1942, A love Story which can be regarded as a period film. His Eklavya: The Royal Guard can also be regarded as a period film.
Ketan Mehta with his explicit direction of comedy and satire, sylvan romance, violence and rebellion, has created a niche in the hearts of millions. His movie Pinjar had been an apt one in depicting the Partition and the issues related to it. Again Mangal Pandey: The Rising captured the life history of Mangal Pandey, the leader of Revolt of 1857 and the cause pertaining to the evolution of the revolt as well as the uprising of the soldiers who had till then been a loyal comrade of the British rulers.