Amid mounting military tension and diplomatic face-off between India and Pakistan, filmmakers are going all out to register titles on the sequence of events that unfolded during the last fortnight.
The titles that have been sought are Surgical Strike 2.0, Pulwama Attacks, Balakot, Abhinandan, War Room, Pulwama: The Deadly Attack, The Attacks of Pulwama. Besides, titles like Josh and How’s the Josh are also in demand.
The Indian Motion Pictures’ Producers’ Association (IMPPA) has confirmed the flood of applications it has received in the last few days.
War movies or intelligence-based subjects are not new to the Hindi film industry. The success of Uri: The Surgical Strike has prompted more filmmakers to try subjects on similar lines.
Though details have not emerged, the themes are obviously around the February 14 attack on the CRPF convoy at Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir, the February 26 Indian Air Force strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot, the retaliation by Pakistan and India’s response and subsequent capture and release of IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
“Now, filmmakers and producers are looking for contemporary subjects. In the past 10 years, several films with the latest subject and issues were appreciated,” film analyst Navin Kumar told DH. “War movies are also not new to Hindi cinema. When there is a nationalistic fervour, these films will do well,” he said.
According to Kumar, most of the filmmakers would plan to release their movies by the end of this year.
Bollywood has produced several movies on war and border skirmishes, but a few stand out — the Dev Anand-starrer Hum Dono where a war theme is combined with romance; J P Dutta’s Border starring Sunny Deol, based on the Battle of Longewala; or for that matter Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat, revolving around the Sino-Indian war of 1962, where Balraj Sahni and Dharmendra played the lead characters.
In Prahaar (1991), Nana Patekar, for the first time, portrayed the real training of commandos.
Among the movies released in the last couple of decades, J P Dutta’s LOC — Kargil, Farhan Aktar’s Lakshya, Shah Rukh Khan’s Main Hoon Na and Anil Sharma’s The Hero — Love Story of a Spy concentrated on the achievements of the brave men who battled Pakistani intruders on the icy heights in Kargil and neighbouring areas.
Agnipankh was perhaps the only exception in recent times which focused on the youngest service of the defence forces — the IAF and its pilots. The film had Jimmy Shergill, Sameer Dharmadhikari and Rahul Dev in lead roles.
Another notable film on the theme was Vijeta (1985), which told the story of the defenders of the skies. Produced by Shashi Kapoor, it portrayed the life of a fighter pilot, Angad Singh, played by Kunal Kapoor. The film, primarily shot in Air Force Academy Dundigal, had fantastic footage of HJT-16 Kiran trainers and MiG-21s.
Chetan Anand’s 1973 hit Hindustan Ki Kasam was shot immediately after the 1971 war.