15th August is always a special day for Indians worldwide but not many are as special as this date this year as the sub-continent celebrates independence of no less that 65 years. With hearts filled with pride and eyes filled with tears, Bollywood has always touched on the subject of patriotism with much care and a lot of heart. BizAsia‘s DJ Munks and Sanoobar Patel take a��look at four very poignant scenes from recent movies which have stood out and made��them feel proud once again.
Patriotism to me is more than just an emotion. And when it comes to movies, it should not just tingle your emotions but also make one think. A rational thought, a feeling, an action, an experience, a message… these are some of the elements that patriotism should be depicted through. A movie that does that very well is one of my favourites. ��A Wednesday�۪ (2008) depicts patriotism with no starry glamour, no blaring guns on big budget and massive war sets in a short one and half hour feature length. More than the whole movie, just the 10 minute monologue by Naseeuddin Shah with police commissioner Anupam Kher on the other end of a telephone call is enough to make one sit up and understand patriotism in a modern world today. Terrorism is a strong issue addressed by this movie that is affecting societies worldwide in general. A truly electrifying performance by Shah depicts revolt with a very strong message, one like never seen before in Hindi cinema�۪s history. This one scene makes one sit in absolute silence and listen, cringe feeling the frustration of the masses, cry feeling the pain of the character, smile understanding his caring genius and at the same time leave one with a thought that takes them beyond patriotism for any specific country in the world.
Another such performance is by the brilliant Hrithik Roshan in ��Lakshya�۪ (2004). A movie about a slacker without focus or a aim in life goes into the army and is sent as a lieutenant on the Kargil war. The scene that really touches the heart and makes one think is where Roshan just lets his expressions do all the talking without actually summing them in words. He meets war-reporter and his ex Preity Zinta on a cliff just before heading into his final mission to capture a Peak which has already led to a number of his fellow soldiers perishing. He tells her that he now has an aim in life, points at the peak and then walks away. Those few seconds to silence speak volumes of patriotism and every emotion associated with it. The performance is truly breath-taking and so powerful that it makes it difficult to forget and ignore the emotion of patriotism.
Though this 2004 classic, ��Main Hoon Na�۪ is not better known for its role in India and Pakistan relations, the theme was strong throughout the film. The storyline is based around a project that the Indian army has launched called Project Milaap where prisoners from India and Pakistan will be released from the opposite country and will be returned home. General Amar Singh Bakshi (Kabir Bedi) and Brigadier Shekhar Sharma (Naseeruddin Shah) are intent on this project going ahead but terrorist Raghavan (Sunil Shetty) is determined to see its failure. What is remarkable about this storyline is the patriotism shown by the characters towards the Indian army and the work that they do. When Major Ram Prasad Sharma (Shah Rukh Khan) brother Lucky (Zayed Khan) blames the army for the loss of his father, Ram is quick to remind him that the men in the army do sacrifice a lot in order for the country to sleep in peace every night. The film also explores the idea that even within the army, there are rogues and Raghavan�۪s thirst for vengeance is solely based around his hatred for Pakistan. A great film but also with many foods for thoughts on the India-Pakistan relationship.
‘Veer-Zaara’ (2004)��is a clear example of the India-Pakistan relationship where an Indian, Veer Pratap Singh (Shahrukh Khan) is jailed after falling in love with Pakistani Zaara Hayat Khan (Priety Zinta).. Saamiya Siddiqui (Rani Mukerji), a Pakistani lawyer, desperate to prove herself in a very male driven environment, is intrigued by the story of Veer who coincidentally resides as the prisoner number 786, the Muslim interpretation of God�۪s messenger in numbers. Veer is imprisoned for 22 years to protect his beloved Zaara and the fact she is Pakistani makes no difference to him. What makes this film most special is the fact that the relationship between India and Pakistan is portrayed as compassionate and not all the characters share the same view as boasted about in politics.
The scene that is most about patriotism for both countries in ‘Veer-Zaara’��is when Veer finally wins his case to be freed and go home accompanied by Zaara. Veer can�۪t quite understand that he is allowed to return to India and as he says farewell to Saamiya, he says to Zaara ��Come, let�۪s go home�۪. The dialogue has more than one interpretation as both characters find their homes once again in each other but also in country too. Veer and Zaara realise that it doesn�۪t matter where they live, they still can love each other wherever they are. The walk across the border to India is poignant and filled with regrets but new promise after spending so many years apart and for Veer, in another country that never was his home. ‘Veer-Zaara’ is an honest and loving view of relations between the two countries.
BizAsia wishes everyone a very happy Indian Independence day.