The partition that happened when India got independence is one of the violent and worst phases of our country. It is said that when India won its independence on August 15, 1947, the feeling of elatio
The partition that happened when India got independence is one of the violent and worst phases of our country. It is said that when India won its independence on August 15, 1947, the feeling of elation that we finally achieved what we set out for 200 years ago was marred by the fact we lost a lot of our kin, no thanks to British, but to our own infighting. This event also brought about the never ending animosity we have with our neighbour, who was once a part of us, Pakistan. It was truly one of the darkest eras of our country.
In Bollywood quite a few movies captured the horror of the partition, the latest being the upcoming Begum Jaan. Directed by Srijit Mukherji, it is a remake of his own Bengali movie, 2015 film Rajkahini, that won a lot of critical acclaim for its premise and its bold narrative. The movie was all about a brothel, headed by a feisty madam, bore the brunt of the partition when India and Pakistan drew their borders and the brothel came in their way, leading to some very disastrous consequences. The Bollywood remake will star Vidya Balan in the lead, with an ensemble cast of Gauhar Khan, Pallavi Sharda, Naseeruddin Shah, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapoor and Chunky Pandey. The trailer has been very bold, brutal and seeks controversy, while saw a different side of partition. While Begum Jaan is scheduled to release in April, here are five more movies on Partition that you need to watch…
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Easily the most commercial and most successful of all the movies in the genre. Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel’s cross border romance (and later marriage), began with the partition violence when Sunny Deol’s Punjabi truck driver saved the Muslim girl from her would be rapists. They both fall in love and get married, following which her father who has moved to Pakistan deceived her into returning home and not letting her go, before her husband lets out his inner Sunny Deol and wreaks havoc in Pakistan. If you want to watch a realistic version of the movie, then there is the Punjabi film, Shaheed-E-Mohabbat Boota Singh.
Hey Ram is an fictional version of events surrounding the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but that doesn’t mean it has shown any less brutality when it comes to violence. Kamal Haasan’s character is an archaeologist and a staunch Gandhian who gets a rude change in his outlook, when his wife (Rani Mukerji) is brutally raped and murdered by his Muslim tailor and his friends, leading the man down to the path of violence that also sets him on a mission to assassinate Gandhiji. However, its the death of his dear friend Amjad (Shah Rukh Khan) that shows him the errors of his way, but it is too late by then.
Based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s autobiographical novel, 1947 Earth is a gritty take on how partition affects the friendships and relations in a small hamlet in Pakistan, when friends turn on friends, and jealousies lead to dangerous ramifications. Aamir Khan plays a benevolent Musling ice candy man, who turns into a monster when he finds the love of his love, a Hindu girl, in the arms of another man. The final scene of him smoking a bidi while he allows a Muslim mob to lynch (and probably rape) the girl is perhaps one of the most haunting images in Bollywood.
Train to Pakistan
Khushwant Singh’s acclaimed novel by the same name finds a strong cinematic makeover with this 1998 movie. Set in a silent village Mano Majra on the border of India and Pakistan, the movie revolve around the love affair of small-time dacoit and a local Muslim girl, and how it is affected, along with the peace in the village, when a village that connects India to Pakistan arrives with several bodies in it (something that’s also common to 1947 Earth).
Featuring one of the finest performances by an Indian actor, Balraj Sahni’s partition drama is a moving tale of how a a Muslim business family in Agra falls into hard times, when the borders are drawn. Told through the eyes of its patriarch Salim (Balraj Sahni), the movie follows the repercussions of the partition on his family, that leads to his elder disillusioned elder son migrating to Pakistan, his daughter committing suicide because her marriage plans failing twice and his younger son becoming a rebel.