Irrespective of the film, Bollywood never fails to add a sense of patriotism in their films. Not only do film makers go ahead to churn out entire movies dedicated to India or characters within their script who represents the loyal Indian. Interestingly, Hindi films have only gone from strength to strength especially in more recent times where the scripts have become unique and empathetic towards the Indian audiences. However, that said, the script writers and directors have collectively continued to keep the patriotic theme alive in their films which attract the senior audiences and instill national values into the younger watchers. And as India walks into its 62nd year of Independence BollySpice takes a look at the most popular patriotic films and characters that have become iconic in Hindi cinema.
The oldest film dedicated solely to India was dates back to 1948, a year before India received its Independence from the British. Dilip Kumar starred in Shaheed, a film that depicted the struggle during the Independence movement. Needless to say, the film is viewed as a pioneer in nationalistic films. It was from then that films including Mother India and Haqeeqat became the norm and premise, “seeking independence” was seen as a novel idea. Of course, from then there was no looking back and one of the most popular patriotic films to ever become a national craze was J.P. Dutta’s Border which not only featured an array of actors but a distinctive storyline which was critically and publically acclaimed. Later on it was Aamir Khan’s Lagaan, which went on to add a keen sense of patriotism into the minds of the Indians. Likewise, keeping with the sport perspective, Chak De India! used hockey to bind Indians from all over India together.
The above films are just a few that talk about the idea of fighting for Independence from various enemies. But there have been a number of films that do not necessarily depict stories of India’s external struggles but with the internal strife it constantly faces on a regular basis within the country. Rang De Basanti was rage in India because it simply spoke volumes regarding the need for a youth that would stand up to any non-justice. Similarly, Lakshya portrayed the character of an everyday lazy lad who is finally awakened when he put in the army; yet again youth oriented. Swades is not only a film which pulled out Shah Rukh Khan’s best performance till date but also caused every N.R.I. around the world to shed a tear. As the foreign return, SRK portrays a man who sees the many faults in India but also recognizes that “the country works.” However, this is not a new phenomenon. Purab Aur Paschim directed, produced and starring the great Manoj Kumar is one such movie that not only talks about life before India’s Independence but the effect of the British Raj in India. Interestingly, the love story in the film shows a young Saira Banu who finally realizes the need to stay true to her roots and yet never “loses the miniskirt.” Clearly, the film was ahead of its time but is still relatable from every angle.
Filmmakers never fail to also cash in on their Freedom Fighters. Everyone from Gandhi to Bhagat Singh and Mangal Pandey have been taken off the history books and put onto celluloid not only to help tell a must-tell story but help rake in audiences of a different kind.
Besides our Freedom Fighters who have been portrayed by some of the greats in the industry, some of the most popular characters that represent the patriotic Indian have actually been fiction. Sanjay Dutt in his Munnabhai avatar has popularized the “Gandhigiri” attitude, which not only became a fad in the country but in fact, became a way of life. Previously, Anil Kapoor has portrayed a variety of roles as the patriot in Pukar, which won him the National Award, and then later the journalist turned politician for a day in Nayak. The same goes for Hrithik Roshan who also played the role of a young soldier in the self-finding film Lakshya.
Kajol is the eternal patriotic sweetheart. Be it her role in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum as the young Delhi girl who loves her country immensely or in Fanaa as the blind loyalist, she continues to play the favorite female patriotic lead.
We probably missed out on a whole range of favorite patriotic films. However, the sentiments remain the same. After 62 years of Independence, one can only hope and pray India goes through another 62 with the same courage and determination. In the meantime, if you’re looking to watch a good patriotic film after you’ve watched the tri-color being hoisted, BollySpice sure hopes we’ve given you much to choose from.
Happy Independence Day!