Aug 15 was all about white school uniforms, white canvas shoes, national flag pinned to the pockets, assemblies, boring speeches, national anthem and a couple of cheapo chocolates/ biscuit packets in our childhood. The best part was the second half of the day where we can get glued to the TV sets with hit films and also some good patriotic films showing back to back [Of course, hit films were preferred to patriotic films]. If television has turned a boredom, chalo let’s go to a movie or hang out somewhere! That’s it!
Apart from the nuances of this auspicious Independence Day, we have always been boomerangs with respect to Cinema – fired to the moon; we come back to cinema for entertainment because 15th August was any other holiday. But, we have patriotism beaming in our films and they have always evoked the passive patriots in us. And Tollywood has contributed the best amongst them. Let’s just rewind back and recall some of our best Patriotic films of all time:
In the 80s:
Though we gained independence in 1947 and many patriotic classics were made before, it was a cult like Alluri Sita Rama Raju in 1974 that instilled back the patriotic fervor in the early 80s while Sardar Papa Rayudu (1980), Bobbili Puli (1982), Naa Desam (1982), Vandemaataram (1985) were the landmark films which even generations ahead can get inspired from.
In the 90s:
Mani Ratnam was the man of the decade with classics like Roja (1992) and Bombay (1995) made in that era. These films have in a way refined the thought process of contemporary Indian films then because contrary domains like Middle class love and Patriotism were ideally married! Then started the ‘Shankar’ wave with Bharateeyudu (1996) – the film created such a rage against that a simple ‘Khakhi’ pant with a broad belt gave sweat down the spines to the corruption kings.
In the 2000s:
After nearly three decades, Telugu cinema has dared to touch upon this theme and that ‘Mr. Daring’ was Creative director Krishna Vamsi. His Khadgam (2002) was a unique hit despite of having a pronounced ‘Anti-Pakistan’ stand. Another one in the similar genre to follow was Mahatma (2009) after nearly seven years. This much touted 100th film of hero Srikanth fared decently at the box-office and reminded us why Gandhi is told the ‘Father of the Nation’. And films like Eenadu (2009) have emphasized the contemporary challenges of modern India.
While Bollywood is way ahead in this genre, we are still hoping behind. Over the past decade, there have been absolute classics like Sarfrosh, Border, Lakshya, Rang de Basanti, Lagaan, Chak De India, Legend of Bhagat Singh, Mangal Pandey, Munnabhai Series et al that share the credit of enlightening us about how privileged are we to be Indians.
Now be it Tollywood or Bollywood, the bottom line point is that majority of films made over patriotic themes are hits. It is hence proved that Patriotism is a hit formula or technically Patriotism is a commercially viable subject [So all you need is a good script and the guts to make one – “Dhairyae Saahasae Lakshimi!”]. Nevertheless to say, not all can turn into classics except the one with out-of-the-world storytelling and outstanding timing! The irony is that films that have to be just watched and ignored are being taken seriously and films in the nation’s interest are watched and ignored! Until we diagnose this and start medication, even infinite series of Munnabhai would go in vain.
Awaiting more celluloid classics, iQlikmovies wishes its viewers a HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! JAI HIND!