Run the patriotic reels

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Run the patriotic reels

There’s no better way to feel the pulsating magic of Indian Independence Day than to grab hold of your family and friends, sit back on your comfiest sofa and pick the right flick to watch. City Times offers you a selection of some of the best...

By Davina Raisinghani

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Published: Sat 15 Aug 2009, 3:09 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:09 PM

Rang De Basanti

The inclusion of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s top-notch directorial debut in this list is practically inevitable. The 2006 box office hit stars Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor, Siddharth, Atul Kulkarni, Soha Ali Khan and R. Madhavan.

The script of this drama juxtaposes two tales: one of a set of freedom fighters rebelling against the British during the pre-independence era, and the second of a carefree, college-going group of friends who are drawn into a battle against present day corrupt politicians after the death of a friend.

The narrative is seen through the eyes of a British independent filmmaker who wishes to convert her grandfather’s memoirs on the revolutionary hero Bhagat Singh into a doccumentary.

Patriotic without spilling into archaic jignoism, Rang De Basanti is a moving watch - one that leaves more of an impact than most are willing to admit.


Directed by Richard Attenborough and featuring Ben Kingsley, Rohini Hattangadi, Candice Bergen, Martin Sheen and Roshan Seth, this multi-Academy Award-winning, autobiographical account of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s life was released in 1982.

Starting with the assassination of Gandhi at the hands of Nathuram Godse, and his subsequent cremation ceremony, the feature delves into the legend’s revolutionary acts - first in South Africa and then in India.

The film cautiously maps out some of Gandhi’s finest moments with appropriate details, although it was severely crticisised for glossing over some of his personal flaws.

Frankly no Independence Day celebration is really complete without paying tribute to the country’s most iconic hero. And Attenborough’s version of Gandhi’s tale is definitely the most popular one to watch, if not the best.

A Wednesday

Not many people have had the vouyeristic pleasure of sitting through filmmaker Neeraj Pandey’s 2008 thriller A Wednesday.

This critically acclaimed, 100 minute-long, sans song-and-dance movie stars veteran actors Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah in lead roles.

Neatly camouflaged in the guise of a fast-paced action flick, A Wednesday begins with Shah’s character warning Bombay’s Chief Commissioner of Police (Kher) of the six bombs that he has planted in the city. But as the script unfolds it becomes evident that this mystery bomber’s intent is not as straightforward as it first seemed.

While anyone who’s seen this film is immediately inclined to rave liberally about its ingenuity, we’ll settle for promising that it is, by far, the best in this brief list.


If you’re the type that enjoys vocal, slightly loud and extravagant patriotic flicks then Ashutosh Gowariker’s crowd-pleaser Lagaan is definitely perfect for you.

However, if a slightly quieter movie, laced with subtlety and a less contrived plot is more your cup of tea, then the director’s Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Swades is just right for your tastes.

The feature tells the tale of NASA engineer Mohan (Khan) who journeys to a tiny village in India to collect his childhood governess. But in true Buddha-esque fashion, Mohan attains enlightment through a series of sightings and incidents and begins to work towards solving some of the village’s problems.

What’s great about this movie is that it brings to light some of India’s most pressing issues without bordering on preachy.

Here is a list of some more of the genre:

Mother India (1957)

Border (1997)

Gadar (2001)

The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

Veer Zaara (2004)

Chak De India (2007)

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