India is a country that found its identity through a disperse sense of oneness. It still sometimes slips and forgets the struggles it went through to find its identity. Bollywood takes the initiative time and again to remind us and reawaken that feeling, the feeling of patriotism. So, here are the top patriotic movies of Bollywood which we think are a must watch for all of us, to instil a sense of patriotism.
Uri The Surgical Strike
This is a recent film, released on 11th January 2019. The movie revolves around the secret attack conducted by India on a terrorist residing in Pakistan. This movie represents the strategy of the new India which does not put forth another cheek forward after getting slapped. This movie in my perspective, coincides with the current feeling of the Indian masses, especially after the Pulwama attack which took place on 14th February. This movie is written and directed by Aditya Dhar, produced by Ronnie Screwvala, and Vicky Kaushal is seen playing the protagonist. This film generates a feeling of revenge on terrorist groups that harm and kill innocent people and soldiers. Furthermore, this movie is sure to provide some means of venting for the feeling of hurt and hate that we feel towards the terrorists. This movie not only evokes revenge on the terrorist but also voices our current feelings, on that basis we would say that this movie is a patriotically themed must-watch movie, especially at this point in time.
Starring Shah Rukh Khan and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, Swades was released back in 2004 but remains a good watch till date. Inspired by a true life story of Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi, this film is set in the independent India where we see it still suffering from the clenches of the caste system. Shah Rukh’s character Mohan Bhargava (a NRI) who works for the NASA, USA tries to find some relief for the people affected by the caste system through the use of technology, his wealth and this skills. He sets up a hydroelectric power generation facility from a nearby water source to help them.
This movie brings out a sharp contrast between a developed nation and a developing nation thus, reminding us that we Indians still have a long way to go before we can acclaim ourselves to be all powerful. Further, this movie awakens us to the current state of the new India/modern India that still hasn’t got rid of the seed which, in the first place, had made easy for the Britishers to conquer India, the sense of division. If we can find any reason for this movie to be unsuccessful in the box office is that it somewhere subtly questions the intellectual resources and patriotic feels of the Indians. For instance, this movie ends up depicting that Indians who are living in India are not strong enough to handle their issues and we need people who are Indians but have had a strong backing from other nations to help India. Though this movie does raise the issue of division by showing the caste system, it does fail to define that distinct quality that makes us all Indians. In fact, it goes in the typical direction, a brown-skinned person is an Indian, or basing it on the protagonist’s nostalgic feelings. However, in reality, is distant from the truth. All brown-colored people are not Indians, but India accommodates many brown-coloured people. Furthermore, yes I agree that NRIs are more prone to feeling nostalgic, but that is not how the people living in India feel. The Indians living in India cannot feel nostalgic or empathetic about feeling distant from India like NRI's. Thus, that is not a surprise that this movie struggled in the box office.
However, we feel that this movie, as a whole, brings out some critical perspective through the lens of which we, the modern Indians/the independent Indians, should judge our current state. Additionally, the songs by A.R.Rahman such as Yun Hi Chala and Yeh Taara Woh Taara of this movie, still echoes in the hearts of people. Thus, this movie finds its place on this list.
Rang De Basanti
Rang De Basanti is the most patriotic and emotional movie that resonated with the youth of India when it was released in 2006. Written by Kamlesh Pandey and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the movie also has many famous and acclaimed actors such as Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Atul Kulkarni, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Alice Patten, Soha Ali Khan, and Waheeda Rehman. This movie revolves around a group of teenagers whose mission to change the justice/military system after one of their group members gets killed by a plane crash due to some casualties caused by the ill-equipped plane. Furthermore, through this movie the writer, Kamlesh Pandey seemed like he was making a sharp comment on the youth of India. It seemed that he was showing the youth of India a reflection of what it takes to change a system. Here, the roles of Amir Khan as Daljit Singh (aka DJ) and Siddharth Narayan as Karan Singhania were shown to parallel the revolutionary leaders of pre-independent India Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh respectively. This movie is sure to make people cry, and also evoke the feeling of patriotism.
Chak De! India
More than the theme of sports and women, the story of the coach Kabir Khan played by Shah Rukh Khan and inspired by true events, grips the essence of patriotism in this film. Like, who wouldn't feel patriotic after the Vidhya Sharma played by Vidhya Malvade blocked the last tricky shot by the Australians? Adding to the patriotic feeling, this movie also deals with the identity of women within India amongst various social and economic background. Thus, making this movie one of the most relatable movies of all time. Directed by Shimit Amin and inspired by the win of Indian women's international field hockey team at 2002 Commonwealth Game, this movie is sure to awaken the patriot in you.
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
Based on the much loved game of cricket, this movie, which was released in 2001, depicts the story of pre-independent India where a small village in Indians takes the challenge of playing cricket against the Britishers, and if the Indians win the game, they wouldn't have to pay taxes to the British government for three years. Thus, saving themselves from unnecessary poverty. This movie does not only evoke a feeling of patriotism but it also cleverly and humorously combines India's pre-independence struggle with one of the most loved games in India - Cricket. The story for this film is written by K.P.Saxena and starring the infamous Amir Khan along with Gracy Singh.
Released last year, this movie too revolves around sports. It is based on the creation of India's first hockey team that played 1948, summer Olympics, right after India's independence and partition. In this film, Akshay Kumar's character Tapan Das tries to get together a hockey team to represent India at the Olympics, but he faces many challenges due to the political and religious unrest. This movie truly evoke the sense of patriotism, as when Tapan tries to form the team, the problem that he faces is not only externally, like with the political and religious reason, but also because of the internal distinction between us. So in this movie, the writers Reema Kagti and Rajesh Devraj explicate the intricate details through which Tapan Das fights to raise the people in his team look beyond such petty distinctions and aim higher, that is India and getting it recognised as a country in the world. So, this movie is sure to instil a love for your country.
This is one of those films that is sure to be in a list such as this one. This movie was released in 1997, and it revolves around the Indo-Pak battle of 1971, the Battle of Longewala. This movie’s screenplay, direction, and production are handled by J.P Dutta. This film evokes the love for our soldiers who go through extreme training and struggles to protect our borders. This movie also aims at promoting peace rather than war. Many famous actors such as Sunny Deol, Sunil Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Raakhee, Jackie Shroff, Tabu, Sudesh Berry, Pooja Bhatt, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Puneet Issar performed in this film. It’s not just the storyline which appeal to the Indian side in us but songs like Sandese Aate Hain also play a huge part.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh
As the name suggests, this movie is about a socialist revolutionary from the time of the pre-independent era, Bhagat Singh played by Ajay Devgn. This movie is directed and written by Rajkumar Santoshi. This film makes us thank us earlier leaders who have sacrificed their lives to see a change in this land and this country. Furthermore, this movie motivates us to also take part in and be responsible for certain things that are happening in our nation. Released in 2002, this movie still creates an impact on the minds of people.
Now, that you know our list of the best Bollywood patriotic movies, go ahead and give these movies a watch. Here are some other honourable mentions: Mulk (2018), Nayak (2001), Sarfarosh (1985), Raazi (2018), Chittagong (2012) and Mangal Pandey (2005). Jai Hind!
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