Shershaah And Other Patriotic Movies To Binge-Watch This Independence Day 2021

Sidharth Malhotra as captain Vikram Batra battling the Kargil war or Vicky Kaushal gunning down terrorists in Uri, channel your inner patriot.

Published On Aug 12, 2021 | Updated On Mar 06, 2024


Ae watan, watan mere aabad rahe tu, main jahan rahun jahan mein yaad rahe tu,” when Alia Bhatt sang this in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, we all felt a sense of pride and emotion for our home country, India. This happens every time we watch a patriotic film. Such movies and their characters keep us on the edge of our seats and sometimes, even make us cry.

Wildly dramatic and entertaining, patriotic films are often based on or inspired by real-life incidents such as war, political battles, and even victories in sports. There are also fictional accounts of perseverance, love, and triumph. On the 75th Independence Day, we’ve curated a list of Bollywood films that share a love for the country that we, Indians, call home - from Sidharth Malhotra's Shershaah, based on the life of the legendary captain Vikram Batra to Kargil girl Gunjan Saxena's biopic. 

Releasing on August 13, 2021, this Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani-starrer film is a war drama that immortalises the life story of Captain Vikram Batra, the legendary Indian soldier who was martyred during the 1991 Kargil war and was awarded a Param Vir Chakra. It documents his journey to victory. It has been shot in Kargil to add more authenticity to the script. Sidharth is seen in a double role, as Vikas as well as his twin brother, and Kiara plays Vikram's love interest. "Shershaah is our homage to the valour of our soldiers and I hope every viewer's heart swells with pride watching this film,” stated Karan Johar of Dharma Productions, in a press statement. 

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Another movie high on patriotism is Bhuj: The Pride Of India, which is based on the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Actor Ajay Devgn is seen in the role of Indian Air Force squadron leader Vijay Karnik, who was in charge of the Bhuj airbase at the time of the said war. The film shows in detail how he, along with the help of his team and 300 women from Madhapar village, saved the area from the Pakistani army and reconstructed an entire airbase. Apart from Ajay, the film also stars Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha and Ammy Virk.  

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The legendary Battle of Saragarhi from 1897 comes to life in Akshay Kumar’s Kesari. He essays the role of Havildar Ishar Singh, the protagonist, who led 21 Sikh soldiers of the 36th Sikhs of the British Indian army in a fight against 10,000 Afghan invaders. Kesari attempts to showcase the bravery and valour of those soldiers and serves as a tribute to them.

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In Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, Alia Bhatt plays the role of an Indian spy who marries a Pakistani army officer to source valuable information about the enemy’s plans for India. The film is set in the backdrop of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 and is an adaptation of author Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat, a true account of an Indian Research and Analysis Wing agent released in 2008.

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Directed by Sharan Sharma, this is a biopic of flight lieutenant Gunjan Saxena, who was the first female combat officer in the Indian Air Force. It traces the story of a young, ambitious Gunjan who eyes a male-dominant profession and proves her mettle on the field during the Kargil War. The movie talks about both patriotism and feminism.

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“How’s the josh!”, “High, sir!” – this became the victory cry for many Indians after watching Uri: The Surgical Strike in 2018. Director Aditya Dhar’s action-drama Uri: The Surgical Strike, starring Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal and Yami Gautam in pivotal roles, was based on the retaliation surgical strike carried out by the Indian army on Pakistan in 2018.

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This fictional story showcases coach Kabir Khan, played by Shah Rukh Khan, and the Indian women’s hockey team at the World Championship. They overcome several personal and professional battles to take our country to the finals and win a gold medal for India. The film is a lesson in passion, perseverance and patriotism, and is regarded as one of SRK’s best works. 

Chak De! India was in the news once again during the Tokyo Olympics when the Indian women's hockey team reached the quarter-finals for the first time in years. Shah Rukh Khan reminded us of his role as coach Kabir Khan as he tweeted an important message for the team. 

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Hey Ram, featuring Kamal Haasan as the protagonist Saketh Ram and Shah Rukh Khan in a supporting character, is a period drama that combines fiction and documented history. It is set during India’s partition and around the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and tells the story of Saketh, who is traumatised by the communal disharmony. Angered and hurt by a few personal instances, which he blames Mahatma Gandhi for, Saketh sets on a mission to kill him.

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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s action-drama starring Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Siddharth, is a tale of patriotism that strikes a chord with the youth of the country. Rang De Basanti features two stories running parallel to each other – in the first, five friends with no real ambition are working on a documentary on the lives of Indian freedom fighters. The second tells the actual story of the lives of the revolutionaries they are portraying in the documentary. The film completed 15 years in January 2021, and Rang De Basanti and its making is one of the most important parts of Rakeysh's autobiography The Stranger in the Mirror that released recently.  

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When Rishi Kumar, played by Arvind Swami, is kidnapped by terrorists during a secret undercover mission in Kashmir, his wife Roja, played by Madhoo, fights relentlessly for her husband’s freedom. Meanwhile, Rishi is shown to accept his fate until he sees a terrorist try to burn the national flag. Rishi instantly jumps into action to protect the Indian flag. This is one of the most iconic scenes depicting patriotism in Indian film history.

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Photo: Amazon Prime Video