As we gear up for the upcoming Independence Day and look back at our own I-Day editions of the past several years, some of our team at Indian Link got understandably nostalgic about the motherland. A coffee-break conversation at our office turned into a discussion about the increasing number of patriotic movies that Bollywood has been churning out, especially over the past few years. Inevitably, lists were made. Here are a few patriotic Indian movies we’ll be watching and rewatching to get into the spirit.
Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (May 2018)
Directed by Abhishek Sharma, starring John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani in lead roles.
Loosely based on the nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran in 1998, Parmanu offered a fictional version of these events in India’s recent history. The on-field team shows fantastic teamwork and skill when it comes to evading the spying eyes of American satellites. This
Raazi (May 2018)
Directed by Meghna Gulzar, starring Alia Bhatt.
With an instant super hit song (Dilbaro) and an Alia Bhatt dialogue that tugs right at your patriotic core (Vatan ke aage kuch nahin…Khud bhi nahin), Raazi was an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s 2008 novel Calling Sehmat, which itself was a true account of a RAW agent married into a Pakistani family of military officials to essentially spy on Pakistan, prior to the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
Gold (August 2018)
Directed by Reema Kagti, starring Akshay Kumar, Mouni Roy, Kunal Kapoor, Vineet Kumar Singh, Amit Sadh, and Sunny Kaushal.
The first Bollywood film ever to release in Saudi Arabia, Gold is about the journey of a man who was instrumental in India winning its first Olympic gold medal (in hockey) post-independence. Arjuna Award winner and former Indian national hockey team captain, Sandeep Singh, trained the actors to improve their hockey skills.
Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi (January 2019)
Directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, starring Kangana Ranaut.
Who doesn’t love the story of Rani Lakshmibai, India’s own Joan of Arc? One of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British Rule, Ranaut portrayed the fierce Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi who refused to cede Jhansi to the British. Strength, valour, bravery – this movie had patriotism (and a pinch of kickass feminism) in heaps. It also represents an incredible fight for Independence and should be added to your list of favourite patriotic Indian movies.
Uri: The Surgical Strike (January 2019)
Directed by Aditya Dhar, starring Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal, Mohit Raina, and Yami Gautam in lead roles.
Over five chapters, the movie is a dramatised account that follows Major Vihaan Singh Shergill (Vicky Kaushal) of the Indian Army. It chronicles the events of the surgical strike that the Indian military carried out against suspected militants in PoK after the 2016 Uri strike. “How’s the josh? High sir!” is a dialogue that’s not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.
Kesari (March 2019)
Directed by Anurag Singh, starring Akshay Kumar with Parineeti Chopra.
This period drama is based on an inspiring true story of the Battle of Saragarhi in 1897 – where an army of 21 Sikhs fought to defend the North-West Frontier Province against a 10,000-strong invading Afghan army.
Rang De Basanti (2006)
Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Sharma, starring Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor and Siddharth.
A film that awakens the freedom fighter in all of us. When the film first released, every student and young person felt empowered and capable of changing the country! Now, 14 years later, nothing has changed, every time we watch this film, we get goosebumps. How these good-for-nothing loafers turned into passionate and patriotic Indians is a journey we all might find ourselves on. Definitely one of the better patriotic Indian movies.
Chak De India (2007)
Directed by Shimit Amin, starring Shahrukh Khan, Vidya Malwade and Sagarika Ghatge.
An absolute classic! An epic tale of teamwork to win The Women’s Hockey World Cup. It is also an excellent exhibition of female empowerment. From allowing the
Indian women’s hockey team to qualify for the world cup to asserting their own individual characters throughout the film. We also get to watch SRK constantly say “India first, state later!” and what could be more patriotic than that?
Directed by Farhaan Akhtar, starring Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta and Amitabh Bachchan.
When a privileged boy who lives off his father’s money has no real aim (lakshya) in life. After watching an action film, he decides to join the army. After passing sometime living a soldier’s life, he finds it too strenuous and gives up. His family and girlfriend are disappointed with him and his decisions, and so he gives it a second chance. Upon his return, we see that serving his country was one of the greatest aims Karan could ever have!
Directed by Anurag Singh, starring Amit Sadh, Madhurima Tuli with Neeraj Kabi.
Avrodh is a TV series that released only this year on Sony Liv. It is revisits the Uri surgical strike and is set in Kashmir. Madhurima Tuli plays a journalist and Vikram Ghokhale plays the Prime Minister of India. The series critically comments on the dynamics of media, politics and soldiers in face of danger. Roles played by the government, the fourth wall of democracy and an ordinary foot soldier are effortlessly nuanced. Not a film but definitely a bonus watch!
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