9. Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Starring – Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel, Amrish Puri, Lilette Dubey
Director – Anil Sharma
Producer – Nitin Keni
Music – Uttam Singh
Release Date – 15 June 2001
Gross – Rs 75,50,00,000
Set in 1947, Gadar tells the story of truck driver, Tara Singh (Sunny Deol), a Sikh, who falls in love with Sakina (Amisha Patel), a Muslim girl who belongs to an aristocratic family. During the Hindu-Muslim riots that erupted soon after the partition, Tara saves Sakina from a murderous mob chasing her. Subsequently, Sakina starts living in Tara’s house and the respect she has for him culminates into love. Simple enough.
Wrong. Released in the same year as Aamir Khan’s Lagaan it may come as a surprise that this film is featured instead of Khan’s first production. I mean Lagaan also went to the Oscars so why isn’t it featured in the list instead? After much thinking I couldn’t come up with a reason. Maybe it was the simplicity of the film that appealed to the audience; maybe it was the outstanding dramatic and confrontation sequences, impressive performances and touching moments that won audiences over. I don’t have the answers for this question. All I do know is that it was appreciated by one and all despite complaints regarding the films
Taran Adarsh gave the film 3/5 saying Gadar belonged to Deol. ‘It’s difficult to imagine any other actor essaying this role with precision. The actor takes to the character like a fish takes to water and emerges triumphant.’ A feeling that was echoed by many film goers across the globe in 2001 when the film was first released and now when it is aired on 15th August – India’s Independence Day.
The 2001 underdog comes in at number 9.