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Filmmaker Mehboob Khan’s ‘Mother India’ which is still considered as India’s best patriotic film to date, is an evergreen film which you can watch this Independence Day with your friends and family. ‘Mother India’ is a remake of ‘Aurat’ which had released in 1940. The plot of the film revolves around a poverty-stricken village woman, who in the absence of her husband, struggles to raise her sons against all odds. Another reason why this film is a must watch is because this is the first Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1958.
This Shyam Benegal film which released in 1978 is based on Ruskin Bond’s fictional book, ‘A Flight of Pigeons’, which revolves around the Indian Rebellion of 1857. ‘Junoon’ which was produced by Shashi Kapoor also featured his wife Jennifer along with their kids Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, and Sanjana Kapoor. The film even starred maverick actors like Nafisa Ali, Tom Alter, Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Naseeruddin Shah and Deepti Naval who added more star power to the film.
1942: A Love Story
Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘1942: A Love Story’ was a huge box-office hit which was appreciated by both the critics as well as the audience. The film, which starred Manisha Koirala, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, was set in 1942 when the British rule was coming to an end and a love-story which was brewing amongst all the tension has been beautifully shown by Chopra, which even helped him grab nine Filmfare Awards.
‘Lagaan’ which released in 2001 is a sports drama which has been helmed by Ashutosh Gowariker and it received critical acclaim and awards at international film festivals which even included a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This film which starred Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh and Paul Blackthorne in pivotal roles was one of the biggest box office hits of 2001 which showed a cricket match between the locals and their British rulers who challenged them.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh
Ajay Devgn, who essayed the titular role of Bhagat Singh in Rajkumar Santoshi’s 2002 film ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’, nailed his character’s portrayal with utmost dedication so much so that the critics, as well as the audience, just couldn’t stop praising his stellar performance in the film. As the title suggests, the film is based on the life of socialist revolutionary Bhagat Singh, who fought for Indian independence against the British Empire.
Mangal Pandey: The Rising
‘Mangal Pandey: The Rising’ is a historical biographical film which is based on the life of Mangal Pandey, who was an Indian soldier that rose to rebel against the British empire in 1857. Helmed by Ketan Mehta, the film starred Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji and Ameesha Patel in leading roles. This film was even screened at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and it went on to become the fourth highest-grossing film of 2005 domestically.
I. S. Johar’s 1954 film ‘Nastik’ is a tale of a brother, who wreaks revenge on a priest who sells his sister into prostitution during the migration. The film also depicts the reality of family members who were separated during the partition of our country.
Rang de Basanti
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Rang De Basanti’ is a modern take on how the youth of India are ready to raise their voice against corruption within our own country and fight against it to eradicate it completely. The film featured Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Siddharth Narayan and British actress Alice Patten in pivotal roles who fight against the government in order to seek justice. The vibrant and energetic music has served this film as an added advantage.
No one could bring the Father of the Nation alive on screen better than international actor Ben Kingsley in the 1982 Hollywood film ‘Gandhi’. The biopic of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi went on to win eight Oscars that year including Best Picture, Best Director for Richard Attenborough and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley. It covered all the major events of his life from his South Africa stint, non-violent movement to his assassination by Nathuram Godse.
Manoj Kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Pran, Iftekhar, Nirupa Roy, Prem Chopra, Madan Puri and Anwar Hussain starrer ‘Shaheed’ which released in 1965 is a film which was based on true story of Bhagat Singh. The film has won several accolades and starred great stalwarts of that era. Helmed by S. Ram Sharma, this film is a great watch to know the struggles of our freedom fighters.
JP Dutta’s film ‘Border’ gives us some insight into how the soldiers of our country protect us from our neighbouring threats and even takes us through the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. With a stellar star cast which consists of Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Pooja Bhatt, Tabu, Rakhi and several others, the film successfully portrayed the sacrifice of the Indian soldiers and what their families go through. ‘Border’ is still considered one of the best films in the history of Indian cinema which showcases the struggle of Indian soldiers.
Manoj Kumar’s 1981 historical film ‘Kranti’ which stars Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, Parveen Babi, Sarika, Prem Chopra, Madan Puri and Paintal in pivotal roles, is considered as one of the best patriotic films until date. The film is set in the pre-independence era and marked the return of Dilip Kumar after a five-year hiatus on the silver screen.
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey
‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’ is a patriotic film which stars Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles and is based on the Chittagong Uprising against the British rule in 1930. This Ashutosh Gowarikar film is a tale of school going children who plan attacks on the British feudal lords without their parent’s knowledge.
Director Chetan Anand’s ‘Haqeeqat’ which released in 1964 was the first film which depicted the India-China war. The film which was a hit at the box-office starred Dharmendra, Balraj Sahni, Priya Rajvansh and Vijay Anand in significant roles. The plot of the film revolves around the Indian soldiers fight against the Chinese army which took place in Ladakh. The song ‘Ab Tumhaare Hawaale Vatan Saathiyo’ which is still played on Independence and Republic Days was from this film.
Filmmaker John Matthew Matthan’s ‘Sarfarosh’ is currently making headlines due to reports of its sequel with John Abraham being roped in to play the lead role. This Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Khan and Sonali Bendre starrer film’s plot revolved around an Indian police officer’s quest to stop cross-border terrorism. The film garnered a lot of hype as it released when the tensions between India and Pakistan were high due to the Kargil war.