From Gadar to Qissa: Bollywood films that captured the essence of India's partition
Let's take a look at a few Bollywood movies that are based on the infamous India-Pakistan partition
From Pinjar to Manto
India gained independence in 1947 August 15. However, with that came the partition of our nation which resulted in violent bloodshed. Many Bollywood movies have tried to capture the essence of the incident and portray the sacrifices and emotions of the victims. Let's take a look at some of the films that are based on the backdrop of India's partition.
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
The 2001 romantic period drama features Sunny Deol and Ameesh Patel in lead roles. Set in the backdrop of the India-Pakistan partition, the film features the love story of Tara Singh and Sakina Ali. The violence of partition leads both of them to come together and they soon fall in love. Sakina accepts the fate of not seeing her family ever again. What follows is the politics surmounting around both of them as Tara rejects to accept the separation and tries to save Sakina and get reunited again. The tragic love story gets a happy ending and has become a Bollywood cult classic with its excellent portrayal of love, life, politics and violence of the time. It is available on Zee5.
Based on the novel written by Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children is a 2012 adaptation of the same name. The film features an ensemble cast featuring Ronit Roy, Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan and Darsheel Safary among others. Director Deepa Mehta had kept the shooting a secret in anticipation of protests from fundamentalist groups. The film centers around the children who were born at the hour of India's independence and the special power that they possess. Though the film is still under-appreciated, it is an accurate adaptation of the original work.
The Nandita Das-directed film features Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead. Based on the life of writer-author Manto, the movie features his journey during the partition days. As part of the Bombay Writer's Club, Manto was quite popular in the industry for his writings, but he soon had to give up his life in India to make a new living in Pakistan. A brilliant piece of art and history, the film is available on Netflix.
The 2003 period drama film, Pinjar, is directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi. Based on the Punjabi novel written by Amrita Pritam, its story centers around the conflict of the India-Pakistan partition. Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpayee portray lead roles in the movie which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
A 2013 Punjabi period drama film directed by Anup Singh, its plotline revolves around the obsession of a Sikh man to have his son take forward his family lineage. The issue of queer identity is portrayed in a nuanced manner while keeping it in the backdrop of the India-Pakistan partition. It features Tillotama Shome, Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal in lead roles. A must-watch fare, the film is available on Amazon Prime Video.
A Train to Pakistan
A Train to Pakistan is a 1956 period drama film directed by Pamela Rooks. It is based on the novel written by Khushwant Singh of the same name. It centers around an inter-religion love story during the time of partition. Once a train filled with dead bodies come from Pakistan to their village and that is when the story takes a turn. The movie is considered as a retro Bollywood drama that hooks viewers to their screens, thanks to its interesting plot line and power-packed performances. It is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Last Updated: 06.33 PM, Aug 16, 2022