That patriotic ‘josh’

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | Updated on August 14, 2020

Films that celebrated the nationalist spirit

Mother India (1957): Mehboob Khan’s classic, starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kumar and Rajendra Kumar, was the first Indian film to be nominated in the Best Foriegn Language Film category at the Academy Awards.

A remake of Khan’s earlier film Aurat, it dealt with the post-Independence socio-economic reality and the challenges of agrarian distress, but also focussed on nationalism and nation-building.

Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019): The action film is a dramatised account of the Indian Army’s surgical strikes on terrirost camps inside Pakistan in retaliation for the 2016 attacks on an Army camp in Uri in Kashmir. Produced by Ronnie Screwvala, the film stars Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal and Yami Gautam. A line from the film — “How’s the Josh?” — encapsulated the can-do spirit and went viral.

Lagaan (2001): Aamir Khan Productions’ maiden project was the third Indian nomination for an Oscar in the Best Foriegn Language Film category.

Set in the colonial British Raj era of the 1890s, it narrates the thrilling story of a rag-tag group of oppressed villagers who need to win a cricket match against British Army officers to get their lagaan (taxes) annulled.

Swades (2004): Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Gayatri Joshi, the movie, evidently inspired by a Kannada film, revolves around a Non-Resident Indian’s visit to his homeland, during which he comes face to face with grassroots-level challenges, prompting him to catalyse change. The critically acclaimed film was a cult classic.

Rang De Basanti (2006): Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, it was India’s official entry for the Golden Globe Awards and for an Oscar in the Best Foriegn Language Film category. Starring Aaamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, Siddharath Narayan, Kunal Kapoor, R Madhavan and Soha Ali Khan, the critically acclaimed film inspired a generation of youth activists in India.

Border (1997): This war-drama, directed, produced and written by JP Dutta and starring Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty, Jackie Shroff and Akshaye Khanna, was based on real-life events associated with the Battle of Longewala during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Published on August 15, 2020

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