On 75th Independence Day, here are some Indian movies that show the contributions of freedom fighters
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On 75th Independence Day, here are some Indian movies that show the contributions of freedom fighters
Akhila Damodaran
Aug 15, 2021

India's Independence movement was led by several historic incidents and sacrifices of freedom fighters who stood up against the brutalities of the British courageously. The Indians, irrespective of their caste and religion, united and fought shoulder to shoulder to throw out British rule. The freedom movement started with the Revolt of 1857, a major uprising in India against the British Raj. The struggle to gain independence and contributions of thousands of freedom fighters like Mangal Pandey, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh have been depicted in many movies and series.

As India celebrates its 75th Independence Day, let's look at the best movies across languages that depict the contributions of freedom fighters.

The Legend of Bhagat Singh
8.6OTTplay Rating
This biopic shows the journey of the revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, as a child who witnesses the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, to becoming a freedom fighter who gave up his life for India's independence. The film beautifully portrays the patriotism of Singh with excellent production values, great performances by Ajay Devgn as title character and other cast, well-conceived story and narration. The drama is commendable and refreshes our memory of history lessons.
Mangal Pandey - The Rising
7.1OTTplay Rating
Mangal Pandey: The Rising is an Indian historical biographical drama flick directed by Ketan Mehta based on the life of Mangal Pandey, a brave Indian soldier who is known for helping to spark the First War of Indian Independence. Aamir Khan seared the screen with his passion, intensity and meticulously honed craft. Even though many incidents depicted in the film are fictional as the filmmakers have taken creative liberties, it still holds for a great story-telling. It helps us recollect the contributions of the freedom fighter and understand how and why we are a free country today.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero
8.1OTTplay Rating
Directed by Shyam Benegal, the Hindi film narrates the story of the freedom fighter during the last five years of his life, in Nazi Germany and Japanese-occupied Asia. With a stellar cast including Sachin Khedekar in titular role, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rajit Kapur, Arif Zakaria, and Divya Dutta, the film shows the incidents that led to the formation of the armed force Azad Hind Fauj. Critics called it an 'informative and fascinating lesson worth sitting through' and an 'absorbing drama'. The film is packaged well with great detailing that can be easily understood by the audience. It presents the facts from the life of the freedom fighter, with no distortion to history. The film won the National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and for Best Production Design. The film is available on YouTube for a watch.
Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja
8OTTplay Rating
The 2009 Malayalam historical drama by Hariharan is based on Kerala Varma, king of Pazhassi, who fought against the East India Company. The lead role is played by the superstar Mammootty. The exploitation of Indian resources by the British led to several revolts across the district in Kerala, forcing the king to leave the district. He then begins guerilla attacks against the British. The political situation of the time is well portrayed, from an Indian perspective, in the film which won a National Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam. The chronicles of repeated battles against the Company by the king, the chief-lieutenant cheating him, and the death of the king in the battle will leave you stunned.
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy
7OTTplay Rating
The Telugu historical film is inspired by the freedom fighter Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy who revolted against the British East India Company in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh that led to the Ryotwari system where the government collected land revenue from the peasants directly and there was freedom to acquire new land. The old-fashioned patriotic film starred Chiranjeevi in the titular role. Though it is not a historically accurate film, it still gets you hooked. It depicts how the British fails a couple of times to capture the chieftain despite putting a bounty, planting moles at strategic points, and capturing his family. But they eventually arrest him with the help of a source and treat him like a criminal which gets your blood boiling.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
6.6OTTplay Rating
The Hindi period drama film is based on the life of Rani Lakshmi Bai, the queen of Jhansi. She was one of the female rebels against the British Raj and revolted against the East India Company in defiance of doctrine of lapse. She refused to give up the region to the Rule after the death of the king and fought courageously until her death in the battlefield. The role of the freedom fighter is played exceptionally well by Kangana Ranuat that won her a National Film Award for Best Actress. Despite a fallout with the director and other production issues, the film managed to complete the shoot and pull off great reviews.
Alluri Seetharama Raju
7.7OTTplay Rating
The Telugu biographical film directed by V Ramachandra Rao depicts the life of Alluri Sitarama Raju, a freedom fighter known for his role in Rampa Rebellion in 1922. The revolutionary figure fought against the British for violating the land rights of the farmers and used tribals and others as forced labourers. The first CinemaScope film in India, it won the National Film Award for the Best Lyrics and went on to become the highest grossing Telugu film of the year. The film received positive reviews for portraying lesser-known freedom fighters who took part in the struggle for independence.

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