The next big long weekend to look forward to is the Independence Day weekend. And there’s no better way to enjoy a long weekend than to binge-watch your favourite patriotic movies with your family. Whether it’s Border on cable TV that’s always been a constant on Independence Day to newer films like Raazi and Uri, an edge-of-your-seat patriotic drama is the perfect choice.
Here’s a list of eight patriotic movies to watch this coming Independence Day:
1. Chak De India!
What’s not to love about a film about underdogs that has themes of national pride and women empowerment? Chak De India! is almost a perfect Independence Day watch since it has all the ingredients for a rousing patriotic drama. Nail-biting sports action, women bonding with each other to beat a common enemy, Shah Rukh Khan’s career-best performance and memorable dialogues — all made Chak De India! a roaring success.
When you first watch Lakshya, it seems like a story of a lost man-child who is trying to find a purpose in life. However, the second half of the film fully transforms into an action drama with thrilling scenes involving the Indian army. With a cast like Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta and Amitabh Bachchan, the film grows into its theme of patriotism and by the time we get to the third act, we are fully invested in the story. Hrithik’s turn from a young good-for-nothing boy to a diligent army officer who doesn’t give up and wins a war against Pakistan is truly inspiring.
3. Uri: The Surgical Strike
Uri: The Surgical Strike was released at the heels of the 2016 Uri Attack in Pakistan by the Indian army. On September 18, 2016, four heavily armed militants attacked Indian security forces near the town of Uri in Jammu and Kashmir. Film URI chronicles the events of the surgical strike. The fictional story based on this true event recounts the fatal operation which was carried out in 2016. The film was critically acclaimed, having won several National Awards and also made over Rs 300 crore at the box office.
Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal riff off each other as agents from India and Pakistan in Meghna Gulzar’s film Raazi. In the film, Alia Bhatt plays a Kashmiri girl whose father was a spy for India and when he dies, she takes over by marrying a Pakistani army officer and becoming an undercover agent collecting intelligence for the GOI. The film will keep you on the edge of your seat and the performances by the lead pair are a highlight of the film.
Dharma Productions’ biopic Shershaah is based on Kargil martyr Captain Vikram Batra, who was commissioned in the Indian Army in the 13th Battalion Jammu & Kashmir Rifles in 1997 and was later promoted to the rank of a Captain on the battlefield itself, after leading one of the toughest operations in mountain warfare in Indian history. Played by Siddharth Malhotra, Kiara Advani stars as Dimple, his love interest in the film. Shershaah has all the ingredients of the perfect patriotic film: romance, good songs, drama, action and nail-biting thrill.
Raja Krishna Menon's Airlift is inspired by the true story of a few Indians in Kuwait and government officials back home who took massive risks to provide refuge for and then evacuate more than 150,000 Indians when Iraq invaded Kuwait in the 1990s. Akshay Kumar spearheads this operation in this dramatic film filled with twists and turns.
Lagaan is a family favourite option when choosing a film to watch on Independence Day. It has no violence, but all the thrill that comes with a patriotic drama. It is set pre-Independence with the British authorities as clear antagonists. It is based on cricket and the star cast is so iconic that we recognise them even today. Lagaan is a great option if you want to sing along with the songs, mouth the dialogues and be completely rapt with attention in the last 30 minutes of the film.
8. Rang De Basanti
Rang De Basanti became the epitome of modern patriotism when it was released in 2006. The plot revolves around two parallel narratives, both exploring the idea of patriotism married to its current political times. The story of the 1931 martyrdom of the young revolutionary and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and his companions Rajguru, Sukhdev, and Chandrashekhar Azad is fused with the story of Sue Mckinley, who visits Delhi to make a documentary on Bhagat Singh and meets four college going ruffians, Daljit ‘DJ’ Singh (Aamir Khan), Karan Singhania (Siddharth), Sukhi Ram (Sharman Joshi) and Aslam Khan (Kunal Kapoor).