26th Jan is celebration time venerating the existence of the Constitution of India which came into effect in 1950. There will be marchpasts, the TV will showcase ceremonial occasions, defence capabilities and rich cultural heritage, and there will definitely be good food and festivities celebrating India’s 69th Republic Day. With the patriotic history at hand, the Bollywood filmmakers created a plethora of patriotic films keeping the same sentiment in spirit. If you’re home and need a break, here is our quick list of films that addressed Desh-bhakti and patriotism with varied hues in the 2000’s. Watch them this Republic Day to get you in the moods.
In order of release date, they are:
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (Translation: Revolt: A Love Story): The 2001 period action film is directed by Anil Sharma and produced by Nitin Keni, starring Sunny Deol, Amisha Patel, and Amrish Puri. The film paints the story of the Partition of India, 1947 and the communal riots between the Hindus and Muslims destroying lives. Amidst all the chaos, blossoms the love story of a Sikh truck driver and a wealthy Muslim girl.
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (English: Taxation): The 2001 sports-drama is written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and is produced by Aamir Khan and Mansoor Khan. This film stars Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh as the lead pair and British actors Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne as the supporting roles. The film set in the British era portrays patriotism through a game of cricket. Lagaan gained critical plaudits and awards at international and national film festivals and it is also the third Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero: This 2004 biographical war film is written and directed by Shyam Benegal and has an ensemble cast of Sachin Khedekar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rajit Kapur, Arif Zakaria, and Divya Dutta. The film, as the name suggests, portrays the life of Subhas Chandra Bose and the events leading to the establishment of Azad Hind Fauj. The film received critical approval and garnered the National Film Awards as well.
Lakshya (English: Aim): The 2004 Indian war drama film stars Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta and Amitabh Bachchan in the lead roles and is directed by Farhan Akhtar and produced by Ritesh Sidhwani. Hrithik Roshan, who is initially clueless about his goals, gets determined to dedicate his life to the Nation. The film advances to a war with the 1999 Kargil War as the fictionalised backdrop of the story. The film is a recipient of a National Award and two Filmfare Awards.
Swades (English: Homeland): The 2004 Indian drama produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and stars Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi and Kishori Ballal. The film is about an Indian NASA scientist settled in the USA who returns to his village to take Kaveri Amma (Kishori Ballal), a maid who brought him to America. During the entire process, he rediscovers his roots. The film earned critical plaudits and is still recognized as a cult classic.
Mangal Pandey: The Rising (also known as The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey): The 2005 biopic of Mangal Pandey is directed by Ketan Mehta and produced by Bobby Bedi, starring Aamir Khan. The portrays Mangal Pandey’s rebellion against the British army during the 1857 revolt.
It film premiered in the Marché du Film section of the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Rang De Basanti (English: Colour it Saffron): Written, produced and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Rang De Basanti is an Indian drama film whose literal meaning of the title can be translated to “Paint me with the colours of spring”. The National Award Winning movie was released globally on 26 January 2006. The film portrays the story of a British documentary filmmaker who on the bases of diary entries by her grandfather who is a former officer of the Indian Imperial Police, intends to make a film on Indian freedom fighters. She finds her group of five young men in India who she casts as lead actors for her film. The events that follow, direct them into reliving the saga of freedom.
Chak De! India (English: Go For it! India): Directed by Shimit Amin and produced by Aditya Chopra, ‘Chak De! India’ is a 2007 Indian sports film, starring Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role. Khan who plays a former captain of the Indian men’s national field-hockey loses disastrously to Pakistan after which he is publicly shamed and ostracized, compelling him and his mother to move out of his native place. Seven years later, Khan makes a conscious decision to redeem himself and becomes the coach of the Indian national women’s hockey team. The film portrays the journey of the Indian women’s national field hockey team, and their victory in the Commonwealth Games. The film was screened in New Delhi, as part of the Independence Day Film Festival.
A Wednesday!: The 2008 Indian crime thriller is written and directed by Neeraj Pandey and stars Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher in the lead roles. Through the narration of a police officer, the film recollects the most astounding day of his career – A Wednesday. The movie portrays corruption and terrorism as the backdrop. It was a sleeper hit at the box office even though it was made on a small budget and was also a recipient of the National Award.
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (English: We Play with our Lives): The 2010 film is directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and stars Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Sikander Kher. Based on Manini Chatterjee’s book, ‘Do And Die’ the film draws the journey of the Chittagong Uprising. It portrays the journey of children who were not given permission to play on the football grounds by the oppressive British colonists, turning the situation into cutting rebellion.
Chittagong: The 2012 Indian historical war drama film is directed by Bedabrata Pain and stars Manoj Bajpayee in the lead role. The film is based on events in British India’s Chittagong and the turbulence experienced by East Bengal in the 1930s. The rebel by the schoolboys and their master creates history after the British army gets defeated by them. This movie is a recipient of the National Film Award.
Airlift: The 2016 historical film directed by Raja Krishna Menon stars Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur in lead roles. The film portrays Iran’s invasion of Kuwait, back in August 1990. Akshay, who plays an Indian businessman helps carry out the evacuation of more than 1,70,000 stranded citizens. The film featured in the International Film Festival of India and also received a National Award.
The Ghazi Attack: Sankalp Reddy’s directorial feature is a one of its kind. The 2017 released war movie is based on a true events from Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. It is regarded as India’s first submarine (or underwater war film) based film. The movie was shot simultaneously in Telugu and Hindi and dubbed into Tamil.