By Preeti Sharma
This new genre of Hindi cinema is all about loads of muscle power, self-pride, anger, dauntless optimism, will to fight terrorism and immense love for one´s motherland.
Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar
Who says that the Bollywood film industry is just about glamour and carnal titillation? The film makers and writers still brood about the hard-core country-specific issues?an ample proof of their patriotism. At the time when the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan are discussing country matters, the Indian film makers are already out with ideas and solutions. In the recent releases?Dev, Deewar and Lakshya, the problems are introspected deeply and consequences portrayed with a serious warning?better change thyself; let there be peace.
All the three movies deal with the serious issues concerning relations between India and Pakistan, such as inhuman imprisonment of 54 Indian Prisoners of War in Pakistan, dangerous self-destructive blending of religion with politics by corrupt politicians who just want to feather their nests and finally a tale of a good-for-nothing guy as he realises his strength as a soldier, bids his life for the country and claims his lakshya. The air is patriotic and the environment is awesome.
The reel patriotism
Producer Gaurang Doshi´s Deewar, directed by Milan Luthria depicts the torture and plight of 54 Prisoners of War (PoWs) who were captured during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The film expounds on how it feels when the loved ones are out of sight for long, haunted by the fear that they may not be alive. The image connects to fifty-four families, who are in real waiting for the return of their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers for nearly three decades now. These servicemen were reportedly captured alive by the Pakistan army and have been imprisoned ever since and remain unaccounted for even after the Shimla agreement. This action-adventure film is also an emotional drama narrating the anguish of a father who comes to know that his son has come in his search; the son whom he had seen only as a child.
Major Ranvir Kaul (Amitabh Bachchan) and many of his men are captured by the Pakistani army during the 1971 war and kept in various Pakistani prisons. Unlike real life, these prisoners are determined to break loose, fed up of the 33-year long wait. They are tortured, human rights are violated and the Indian army and the government have also forgotten about them. These PoWs try to escape numerous times, and many are killed in the process.
The film opens with the escape of one such PoW who sends a message back home to convey that they are alive. Ranvir´s wife (Tanuja) and her son Gaurav (Akshaye Khanna) convey the message to the Indian army, which does not agree to help them out. Gaurav sets off on a mission to rescue his father. He reaches Pakistan and stays at the house of a Pakistani Hindu Jabbar (Akhilendra Mishra). He later falls in love with Jaffar´s pretty daughter Radhika (Amrita Rao). Jabbar helps him as best as he can but unfortunately dies while saving Gaurav.
In the meantime, Ranvir Kaul and other prisoners are transferred to another jail as the human rights activists try to locate any sign of atrocities committed on the Indian PoWs. They meet the evil jailor (Kay Kay) and another Indian army man, Jatin Kumar (Raj Zutshi) at the new jail. Together they try several times to escape, but are caught and a few men are killed. In the whole process, Pakistani army try and kill another anti-social inmate, Khan (Sanjay Dutt), who escapes after being saved by Gaurav.
Khan and Gaurav become friends and chalk out a plan. They steal a blueprint map of the prison and plan the escape. Khan gets arrested, re-enters the prison and discusses plans of escape. They doubt Jatin Kumar and slowly realise that he is not an Indian army man but a Pakistani, who is leaking out their secrets. They dig a tunnel deep under the land-mines in the water pipes. They prepone the plan and escape a day earlier. nother political drama, directed by Govind Nihlani, Dev´s story unfolds the vitiated atmosphere where innocent lives fall easy prey to political opportunists, who have several political cards up their sleeves. The film makes us perceive how the daily events in a city, where both Hindus and Muslims live peacefully, are politicised by vested interests triggering disharmony and communal tension.
It is a cop-saga of two best friends, Tejinder Khosla (Om Puri) and Dev Pratap Singh (Amitabh Bachchan), who are both Police Commissioners. Dev is the Assistant Commissioner of Police whose only guide on duty is the Indian Constitution, while Tej is corrupted by the system and knows how to strike a balance in politics. At the other end is Farhaan (Fardeen Khan), a law graduate and confused youth, who returns to Mumbai from Baroda. Minority leader Latif lodges a protest against the police for a Muslim´s death in a terrorist encounter. It leads to stampede and Farhaan´s father, Ali Saheb dies. Farhaan´s downfall starts, as he takes to anti-social activities holding ACP Dev Pratap Singh respon-sible for his father´s death and vows to take revenge.
Minority leader Latif, whose sole aim is to climb high on the political ladder, exploits Farhaan´s sentiments and leads his angry young mind to the demon of religious terrorism. Farhaan actually decides to join a jehadi group and attempts to kill Dev. He later acts as a tool for Muslim revenge and attacks a temple, which triggers riots in the city. Though the subsequent blood and mayhem make him realise how dangerous it is, he pushes himself back. JCP Tejinder soon enters the scene through political manipulation promo-ted as an Officer on Special Duty and given a free hand to fan the situation. He prevents Dev from taking any action to let people express their feelings. The riots snowball. Dev breaks all bonds of friendship with Tej and decides to take the system head on.
Aaliya (Kareena), Farhaan´s beloved, residing in the same colony becomes the victim of mob attack. Meanwhile, Mangal Rao, a Hindu leader, enters into a political deal with Latif that if he wants an MLA ticket, no one from his community would register any FIR with the police. Aaliya not only dares to be the only person to file an FIR but also points out Mangal Rao as the culprit of the riots. Dev´s report of the arson goes against the system and when things go out of hand for Tej, he shoots Dev at the court´s staircase and commits suicide.akshya, unlike any war movie is set against the backdrop of Operation Vijay, the Indian Army´s scrimmage with the Pakistani intruders who dug themselves in at heights of 16,000-18,000 ft on Indian side of the LoC, along an 80 km stretch north of Kargil in 1999. Directed by Farhaan Akhtar, it shows the male protagonist, Karan Shergill´s (Hrithik Roshan) odyssey in life, his transformation from meaningless idleness to the realisation of his lakshya in life. Karan lives a rich life in the suburb of Delhi with no worries of tomorrow. He takes inspiration from his lady-love, Romila Dutta (Preity Zinta), a bright, energetic television journalist, who is sure he would get his calling some day. Karan joins the army, flees away from the hardcore training and returns with a mission. He realises what it is to be an Indian. The Army gets information of intruders in the peaks of Kargil. Here starts the war and the test of Karan´s determination and patriotism.
These new releases offer some quiet introspection and gestures of patriotism. They depict events, be they political, emotional or war-like?all are a part of our lives. Live on the real reel cinema!