Patriotic films on Indian celluloid have inspired people about the hardship and sacrifice that the freedom fighters went through in order to free India from the British. Freedom struggle, as a result, gave birth to a large number of films in the patriotic mode including a couple of offshoots that seemed pro British. The most famous patriotic film was Gyan Mukherjee`s Kismet (1943). It is one of the biggest commercial hits in the history of Indian cinema
whose anti German and Japanese songs became famous all over India. Popular in the years between 1940s and the 1960s, this genre resurfaced in the 18980s-90s. It was particularly due to the fact that India was celebrating her 50th year of independence in 1997.
The earlier patriotic films include Lakshmi Bai
. In 1952 it was Hemen Gupta, a Bengali director who made Anandamath. The film was based on a novel by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
. It dealt with the 18th century revolt against the British led by a sanyasi (ascetic). In 1964 Chetan Anand
and Navketan Films made Haqeeqat with a host of prestigious actors like, Balraj Sahni
, Vijay Anand, Sulochana, Dharmendra
and others. It dealt with an incident during the Indo-China war. Another important film was Shaheed (1965) by S Ram Sharma, with several popular patriotic songs. This particular film features the contribution of the revolutionaries during the struggle for independence, such as, Bhagat Singh
, Jai Rajguru
In 1969 Saat Hindustani was released. The film was directed by KA Abbas. This film is also noteworthy for the first appearance of Amitabh Bachchan
. In 1959, Padmini Pictures of Chennai made Veerapandia Kattabomman, a spectacular epic fairytale, directed by BR Panthalu on the legendary Tamil hero, Kattabomman. The role was evnacted by Shivaji Ganeshan. The same director also made another epic Tamil film, Kittur Rani Chinnamma in the year 1961. The film had fabulous songs and a cast which included fine actresses, such as, Saroja Devi. Again in 1974, the Telugu director V Ramachandra Rao made Alluri Seetaramaraju, a big budget film, financed by the Telugu megastar Krishna who acted in the main role of the charismatic tribal chief. The film is named after this `adivasi` chief.
In Malayalam cinema
, the prolific director from Kerala
, I.V. Sasi, made a big budget patriotic historical film 1921, in 1988, starring amongst others the great actor Mammootty
. This film depicts the Khilafat Movement
in which both Hindus and Muslims participated.
The patriotic films at a later stage were more concentrated with the internal affairs of India. The new films are now more thought provoking where the contemporary social issues are brought to the forefront along with patriotism. The theme of patriotism is allegorically presented to the audience. One of the recent films in Hindi, Rang De Basanti
, aptly suit this category. Rang De Basanti thrives to be one of the `coming of the age` genre film which chronicled the chain of events and life of a group of bohemian friend group and their discovery of life and politics after the death of their friend. The movie was successful inviting upon both critical and audience appreciation. It went on to create a significant history for itself. Directed by Omprakash Mehra, the movie has a brilliant character transition portrayal by Aamir Khan
and great supporting act by all the other actors involved. Apart from these Mani Ratnam
films, like, Mumbai deals with patriotism.
(1948), Kranti, Tiranga
, Border, 1942 A Love Story, Gadar, The legendary Sunny Deol
starred cinema ruined all the box office records created before. Moulding the fertile Indians into an ongoing historic feat of as well as triggering the emotions of many Indians in the process too! The Love Story of an Indian Male with that of a Pakistani Girl set against the backdrop of Partition. It won many awards as well and can be classed as one of the best Love Story-Patriotic film combination of all time. Lagaan
,(2001) India`s official Oscar entry that year and was almost on the threshold of the Best Foreign Film award .Lagaan dealt with the issue of Patriotism in a slightly different way. Integrating the concept of India`s most watched game Cricket with Nationality issue the film delineated the story of Bhuvan a village lad whose unmatched courage before the colonial eyes made the village free themselves from a burden of debt in the form of revenue. The result as expected turned out to be a huge success. The ancient pre-independence historic feel could be grasped throughout the movie and the main point for its success was its easy connection with the masses. Other patriotic films include Sarfarosh, Legend of Bhagat Singh, Swadesh
, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: the Forgotten Hero, Swayamkrushi (Telugu), Vazir (Maratha), Sardar, Hindustani, Sabyasachi (Bengal) and several others.