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5 Bollywood Films On Acts Of Terrorism Worth Seeing

Subhash K . Jha

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 India’s Most Wanted which opens this week  gives a whole new swing  to the  theme  of global terrorism. It is brave and  vigorous , compelling and  gripping  , authentic and nervewracking. This  would be  the best  time to rewind to the  best films on  terror attacks to be filmed  in Bollywood.

1.     Black Friday(2007):  Recreating  the events leading  up to  the  ‘Bombay’blasts(there was  no Mumbaiback then)   on  12 March  1993, Anurag Kashyap’s clenched  drama  on the second-worst terror attack  inMumbai  is  a source of constant shock.On each viewing you will come across  new  facets to the dark  diabolic   characters  plotting a conspiracy that  still boggles the  mind. The extraordinary cast  adds considerably to  the palate  of  pulsating  action. Watch  out specially  for Pavan Malhotra as Tiger Memon, K K Menon as  inspector Rakesh Maria and Aditya Shrivastava Badshah Khan. Oh, didn’t I tell you? This film for once names and shames    real-life terrorists. That even the gutsy India’s Most Wanted  12  years later  is  unable to do.

2.     Roja(1992): One  of the  earliest  films  to   define  the  codes  of  terrorism in   cinematic language, Roja  mixed  the romance of Rahman’s melodies with  the  booming  of the  guns in  the Kashmir valley when honeymooner Madhoo finds her  husband kidnapped by  a terrorist. The  film was a  huge success  on release. There is a lyricism, an opposite  of  Kashyap’s rawness, that defines Mani Ratnam’s  view on  terrorism. This is more  David Lean  than Quentin Tarantino.The real  star of  the  show is Rahman’s music.A  masterly music score in a  film  about terrorism is a bit  of  an irony.

3.     A  Wednesday(2008):  Naseeruddin Shah  played the common  man  with explosive  ideas  of justice , pun  intended.  Though  the film appears  lopsided and  a little misguided in its sympathy  for  the  purported  terrorist , what comes  through  is  the  sense  of  rigorous  self-loathing in an individual that leads  to  acts  of  terror even in  the common man.Director Neeraj Pandey also directed  that  fine robust  commercial film  on  terrorism called  Baby .But  A Wednesday remains  his most  convincing and  compelling terror treatise.

4.     Maachis(1996): Long before  cross-border  terrorism there was  the Khalistan  movement in Punjab. Gulzar’s Maachis is a lean mean  parable  on  militancy with an innocent Chandrachur Singh being sucked  into Punjab militancy. The  incandescent Tabu  played  his beloved  who follows him  into the darkness to spread her own radiance. Who can forget Tabu emoting to  Lata Mangeshkar immortal lines  of  homesickness  Paani pani re? The song is anthem for all the youth who have strayed  into militancy. Come  back home.

5.     India’s Most  Wanted(2019):  Rajkumar Gupta’s lithe raw and  kinetic  film of  a super-heroism on  an  evangelical level where  four  unarmed men  selflessly decide to  nab India’s most wanted  terrorist even if it means losing their  lives.  Why did  they  decide to  apprehend  such a dangerous terrorist without any help from  official  channels? For the same reason that Edmund  Hillary climbed the Himalaya. Because  it  was  there. This is the bravest  film on terrorism  and   unsung bravehearts who  fought  it out thanklessly.

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