Gold, Raazi, Parmanu, Satyameva Jayate: Country comes first for Bollywood
Bollywood’s fascination with exploring patriotism in films has seen a massive surge with biggies such as Akshay Kumar’s Gold, John Abraham’s Satyameva Jayate, Raazi and Parmanu.Updated: Jul 03, 2018 18:33 IST
India has no dearth of stories of war heroes, martyrs, and national achievements, and with brand India reclaiming its place on the world stage, these stories are spilling out of the silver screen.
Following the success of the Alia Bhatt-starrer wartime espionage drama Raazi and the John Abraham-starrer nuclear test thriller Parmanu, audiences can look forward to Gold, headlined by Akshay Kumar, with a plot that blends sporting triumph with a dash of love for the motherland.
John will soon be seen again in Satyameva Jayate, in which he plays a vigilante who fights corruption. Raazi director Meghna Gulzar returns to the 1971 war with a biopic on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the most charismatic figure of the Indian armed forces.
Trade expert Komal Nahta says, “Patriotism is a winning formula. If a film can instil a sense of patriotism, people like to watch it. That’s the public’s way of doing something for the country. Everybody can’t do something for the country, so when they patronise such films, they feel they’ve done their bit. I know it’s a far-fetched thought, but they do get a sense of satisfaction.”
The fascination with the theme isn’t new. It has existed right from Mother India (1957), to Border (1997), Chak De! India (2007), and Rang De Basanti (2006).
JP Dutta, who is making the war film Paltan, reveals that it will complete his war trilogy, which started with Border, and LoC Kargil (2003). He says, “Patriotism lives within every individual. For me, it’s the sacrifices of our soldiers that inspire me to bring their stories to the world.”
Asked if one has to be careful when dealing with the sensitive issue of India and its enemies, he says, “All my films are true stories, so there’s nothing to be careful about. In fact, Border was the first film that named the enemy in Indian cinema!”
Sidharth Malhotra will play the role of Capt. Vikram Batra, who led one of the toughest battles in modern Indian history, during the Kargil War. Raazi director Meghna Gulzar is working on yet another patriotic film, to be based on the life of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the Army chief during the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Srikanth Velagaleti is making a film on Capt. Saurabh Kalia, another Kargil martyr.
Srikanth says, “I think audiences and filmmakers are on the same page when it comes to reality. It’s not a conscious decision that you have to always choose such films. But realistic films are more appealing.”
Trade expert Atul Mohan says, “The release date has become a major factor. But filmmakers shouldn’t always look at Republic Day, or Independence Day, or October 2.” He cites the rare case of Gold and Satyameva Jayate releasing on the same day (August 15 weekend) this year.
“The audiences might get divided,” says Mohan, but adds that if the pull of patriotism is strong enough, and if the reviews are positive, each film will find its audience.
Interact with the author on Twitter/ @RishabhSuri02
Follow @htshowbiz for more