Indian Independence Day is coming up on Thursday, 15th August 2019, and is an opportunity to celebrate freedom and being Indian. Hindi cinema has produced many patriotic movies over the years, highlighting why you should be proud to be an Indian and also commenting on the social and political changes that need to take place so that this country of more than one billion people can grow and prosper. Top Bollywood stars have been seen in inspiring roles in these films, influencing the masses with their messages of maintaining peace and harmony, rooting out corruption and working hard towards achieving goals in order to make the country proud.
Here’s a roundup of some of the movies you can rewatch during the Independence Day weekend:
Shah Rukh Khan plays the role of Mohan Bhargava, a Non-Resident Indian and a Project Manager on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) programme at NASA in the United States, in this film directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. Mohan returns to his homeland to meet his old nanny, Kaveri Amma (Kishori Ballal), in a village called Charanpur. While living there, Mohan falls in love with his childhood friend Gita (Gayatri Joshi) and also witnesses the poverty-stricken conditions of the villagers, which propels him to do something for their welfare.
Nayak: The Real Hero (2001)
This political-action thriller by S. Shankar stars Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Amrish Puri, Paresh Rawal and Johnny Lever in the lead roles. Anil Kapoor plays Shivaji Rao, an ambitious television reporter, who interviews Indian Chief Minister Balraj Chauhan (Amrish Puri) and questions him over the government’s mismanagement during communal riots. During the live interview, Balraj challenges Shivaji to be the CM for a day in order to understand the red tape and bureaucracy that makes his job difficult. Shivaji hesitates but accepts this challenge in order to expose the CM’s corruption and wrongdoings.
Rang De Basanti (2006)
This film by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra features an ensemble cast comprising Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni and British actress Alice Patten in the lead roles. It is the story of five young men from Delhi, who are disengaged from the country’s politics, until they start acting in a documentary film on five revolutionary Indian freedom fighters, and are also impacted by the death of their friend, an Indian Air Force pilot. It explored the themes of political corruption, the Indian youth’s apathy and the need for a revolution.
Chak de! India (2007)
Directed by Shimit Amin, this film follows the story of Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), Captain of the Men’s Hockey Team who is blamed for his team’s loss in an important match and fired. Kabir is later offered a chance to redeem his reputation and takes up the position to coach the Women’s Hockey Team, where he becomes the guide of 15 girls from different parts of India. Though this is a sports film, Chak de! India also explore the legacy of the partition of India and other themes including racial and religious bigotry, ethnic and regional prejudice, and feminism and sexism.
This is an action-drama film, written and directed by John Matthew Matthan, which explores the themes of patriotism, espionage and communal prejudices. It stars Aamir Khan as ACP Ajay Singh Rathod, whose brother is killed and father is disabled by terrorists, before he becomes a cop. Ajay decides to join the force so that he can fight against the smuggling of guns and drugs in India. The movie also stars Sonali Bendre, Mukesh Rishi and Naseeruddin Shah in vital roles.
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)
Lagaan is a sports film, based in the era of the British Raj in India. Written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, it is the story of a cricket match between some arrogant British officers and the inhabitants of a small village, led by Aamir Khan (Bhuvan). The outcome of the cricket match is to determine whether the poor villagers have to pay tax to the British or not. The film is a portrayal of the everyday struggles of the common Indian man and their fight for justice against the British.
Here’s wishing you a happy day of binge-watching!