The current national mood — the sense of nationalism — stirred by events in Kashmir in the recent past, has driven the success of films with patriotic themes…writes Radhika Bhirani
Industry experts say this heightened appreciation towards films such as “Uri: The Surgical Strike”, “Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi” and the most recent case in point, “Kesari”, can be partly credited to the country’s current political scenario.
“Presently, the political scenario is such that these films ring a bell with the audience. It’s also right before election time and everyone is involved and pulled into anything to do with national interest,” film and trade expert Girish Johar told IANS.
The Akshay Kumar-starrer “Kesari”, on the historic battle of Saragarhi, is marching its way swiftly and strongly to the Rs 100 crore club. It minted Rs 86.32 crore in five days since its release on March 21, and the audience has lapped it up for Akshay’s awe-inspiring, action-packed performance as Havildar Ishar Singh.
“Uri: The Surgical Strike” and “Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi” already gave the year a good start, and had the audience cheering on for real life-inspired stories of national heroes.
Before that, last year, Alia Bhatt-starrer “Raazi”, in which the versatile actress essayed a spy, and John Abraham’s “Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran” that told a story around the nuclear test conducted by India in 1998 at Pokhran. Both struck a chord.
According to industry expert Vinod Mirani, the wave of nationalism has been on a high ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. And the rise of movies on patriotic themes is also owing to the fact that we have more real life heroes and success stories to tell.
That, he said, explains the emergence of films like “Mary Kom”, “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” and “Dangal” among other titles, which have brought out inspirational tales on sportspersons who have become India’s pride.
Both Mirani and Johar have their hopes pinned high on John Abraham-starrer “Romeo Akbar Walter”, in which the actor plays a RAW agent.
John, who himself wishes that the film was not topical, told IANS: “The mood is such that people want to see something on India.”
The streak of patriotic films will continue with “Bhuj: The Pride of India”, a story which aims to celebrate the courage of women in the face of war; “Major”, on late NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan; “Batla House” on the infamous shootout; a biopic on Captain Vikram Batra who died in the 1999 Kargil War; and a film on an Indian diplomat’s efforts to repatriate an Indian woman, Uzma Ahmed, from Pakistan.
According to reports, a film will also bring alive the story of the February 26 strikes by the Indian Air Force on terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot.
The operation was in retaliation to the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF troopers.