Bollywood’s rooted deeply into Indian culture, even through changing times, and with Independence Day around the corner, here’s shuffling through some of the most patriotic films!
Films about the struggle for independence include those made about the young revolutionary- Shahid Bhagat Singh. Catch up with any of those- from the 1954 flick Shaheed-e-Azad Bhagat Singh to the strong reference in the 2006 blockbuster Rang De Basanti. The period circa 2002-2003 saw as many as 4 Bhagat Singh-centred movies release- the most popular of them being Ajay Devgn’s Legend of Bhagat Singh. Rang De Basanti was an immediate hit and to this day, this Aamir Khan-starrer still has some of the best moments that every patriot weeps at.
Indo-Pak films have always touched a nerve in the audience thanks to the great exodus of 1947- watch Gaddar and Border for the heartfelt drama that touches your heart. In Gaddar, Sunny Deol played the role of a Sikh married to a Pakistani girl (Amisha Patel), and their separation due to the Partition. Border was one of the most emotional, dramatic war films made in the JP Dutta camp. With an ensemble star-cast that included Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Rakhi, Pooja Bhatt- it is played many times a day on many TV channels during holidays of national importance.
Even the Goan liberation struggle has been portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan’s debut film- Saat Hindustani! The Civil Disobedience Movement was reflected upon by the gentle story of 1942- A love story, starring Anil Kapoor and Manisha Koirala! This movie also marked one of the last projects of music Maestro Rahul Dev Burman.
Younger filmmakers like Ashutosh Gowariker and Farhan Akhtar made a million eyes well up with their films Swades, Lagaan and Lakshya respectively. While Swades spoke of an NRI Shah Rukh Khan who returns to his motherland and realises that he belongs here, Lagaan was Indian’s Oscar nomination. It was the story of a village that stood up to the tax-impositions of the reckless British officers in their state. Lakshya on the other hand, was the contemporary story of a young, aimless man who finds his calling int the Indian army. It stars Hrithik Roshan, Boman Irani, Preity Zinta and Amitabh Bachchan.
You watch these flicks and know that times may have changed, but the patriot in every Indian still comes alive at the mere hint of the sentiment!