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5 Must-See Patriotic Films This Republic Day

Almost every other film these days includes a flag-waving patriotism in  its screen time. But  what about the  films that truly celebrate  the spirit of nationalism? Here are the  five that  count.

1.     Rang De Basanti(2006): Much more than a  film, this Rakeysh Ompraksh Mehra film is  a dual-identity drama where a bunch of college kids(that includes Aamir Khan who was on his 40s) exchange  identities with the well-known freedom  fighters  of yore, and bring them  kicking dragging and singing Vande Mataram to the  present  times when India needs a renewed re-defined freedom. 14 years after its release  the theme of student protest to eradicate  corruption and restore integrity in public life, remains disturbingly alive.

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2.     Upkar(1967):  The Father  of  Patriotic Filmmaking Manoj Kumar gave us  at least a  trilogy of gems  to choose from. While I love Purab Aur Paschim and  Roti Kapada Aur Makaan  enough to see them over and over again,  my favourite film on the theme of  nationalism is Upkar where Manoj Saab  directed(for the first  time) and  played  Bharat, a farmer and  follower of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Jai jawan  jai kissan  ideology. When did  Bharat’s dream of Mere desh ki dharti sona ugle turn so ugly?

3.     Swades(2004): Mohan Bhargava played by Shah Rukh Khan in  what is  arguably his  best performance ever, gives up his cushy job at NASA for the khushi of  returning to his roots in India. His journey may seem  a little  touristic . But  the film’s heart  is in the right  place. It  moves  you in ways that films about desh-bhakti seldom do.Ashutosh Gowariker’s direction eschews  jingoism and rabble-rousing  rhetoric.And  SRK  has never been more stripped of his  mannerisms. Respect!

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4.     Amar Akbar Anthony(1978): 42 years  after  it first  exploded on  the Indian screen  this  kitschy homage to the spirit of one-ness from Manmohan Desai remains one of the most entertaining sagas of secularism with  ‘Amar’ Vinod Khanna, ‘Akbar’ Rishi Kapoor and ‘Anthony’ Amitabh Bachchan  telling us what we  want to hear today than ever:  India is  for  everyone.

5.     Uri(2019):  Wars often rage within the soldiers’ hearts, specially when they belong to army families. These are soldiers who have lost loved ones in terror attacks,and their blood boils.

Uri brings the blood of cross-border tension to a boil but avoids a spillover. There is a rush of patriotic pride in the product—and why should there not be?—but it is reined-in, curbed and never allowed to spill over in a gush of irrepressible jingoism. If you want to see soldiers dancing around a bonfire singing about how much they love their country and how much miss their loved ones, then you’ve got the wrong war film.Yes these soldiers love their country. But family comes first.And  no, dying during a crossfire at the border is not cool.

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