Bollywood has always tried its best to capture the spirit of patriotism in its portrayal of the various Independence movements in patriotic movies that took place throughout the struggle for an Independent India, Get ready to witness the struggle that led us to our Independence through some of the best patriotic movies Bollywood has made so far!
1. Border (1997)
Border is the story of a unit of 120 Indian soldiers that defend their posts against all odds at the Longewala region during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war until they receive air support. Border was director J. P. Dutta’s dream project and the efforts that have gone into creating a multi-starrer movie of this magnitude shows! It is easily one of the best patriotic movies Bollywood has produced!
2. Mangal Pandey: The Uprising (2005)
Mangal Pandey, one of the first freedom fighters of India, decided to stop serving the British East India Company after he along with other soldiers were asked to use a rifle made up of questionable materials. The movie tells the story of how the first rebellion of Indian Independence movement started. A definite addition to the Desh bhakti movie list!
3. Swades (2004)
Swades taught us that patriotism can also mean serving your country by helping the ones that are not as fortunate or educated as you are in ways that would reform their lives! And that is exactly what Mohan (SRK), a NASA employee, does when he visits his country in his hometown. This is a patriotic film for the modern times which we all should draw inspiration from.
4. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2004)
This movie tells the story of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after he resigns as the president of the Indian National Congress. He goes on to play an important role in the struggle for Indian Independence during World War II. Make sure you add this movie to your Desh Bhakti movie list.
5. The Ghazi Attack (2017)
Moving from land based combat to sea, The Ghazi Attack is the recreation of events that took place in 1971 when an Indian submarine intercepted PNS Ghazi, a Pakistani submarine, in what would turn out to be an attempt to destroy the Indian Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant and how it prevents it from doing so. In becoming the first underwater Indian movie, The Ghazi Attack also became a must-watch patriotic film.
6. The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
The Legend of Bhagat Singh is the story of the freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru, who gave their lives for their motherland. The movie focuses on how Bhagat Singh brought about a socialist revolution against the British. It is one of the best Desh Bhakti movies out there.
7. 1971 (2007)
This Manoj Bajpayee starrer tells the story of a bunch of Indian soldiers who are held as POWs (prisoners of war) by the enemy seven years after the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. It is the daring story of their escape that instills the fear for the lives of the armed forces personnel in all our hearts. Though this is not a patriotic film in the traditional sense, it is one that should be in your patriotic movies watch list this Independence Day.
8. Lagaan (2001)
Lagaan is a fictional story but is still a deserving candidate to be on the list of patriotic movies Bollywood has produced. Set in British Raj, It is the story of a farmer who accepts the challenge of a Britisher to beat him in a game of cricket. If the villagers win, they would not have to pay any taxes they owe to the crown.
9. Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018)
Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran tells the story of the struggles India had to go through to develop nuclear weapons despite the mounting pressure from the American Intelligence agencies. The movie culminates with Indian Army successfully testing a nuclear weapon in the Pokhran region in Rajasthan. This is another one of those patriotic movies that should be on your Desh Bhakti movie list.
10. Haqeeqat (1964)
Haqeeqat is a classic movie starring a young Dharmendra and the legendary Balraj Sahni that you just can’t afford to miss. It is based on the Indo-Sino war of 1962 and tells the story of a platoon who is presumed dead while fighting in the hilly region of Ladakh but is rescued by the locals. It is one of the first war and patriotic movies Bollywood has produced.
11. Rang De Basanti (2006)
Rang De Basanti is a modern and fancier retelling of the story of Bhagat Singh and is explored with the idea that what if today’s youth were as driven as Bhagat Singh and the social changes that it would bring about with it. Not sure if we can call it one of the Desh Bhakti movies but it deserves to be on this list for the thought-provoking movie that it is!
12. LOC: Kargil (2003)
LOC: Kargil could be termed as a spiritual successor to Border (1997) as both of these patriotic movies are produced and directed by J. P. Dutta. While Border told the story of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, LOC: Kargil is based on the Kargil War of 1999. It is one of the longest running Bollywood movies of all time with a run time of 255 minutes!
13. Chak De! India (2007)
Even though this is not a war film or a patriotic film in a traditional sense, it is easily one of the best patriotic movies Bollywood has made. It is the story of a wrongfully disgraced hockey player who is given a chance at redemption when he is selected to coach the women’s team. The World Cup final match against Australia still makes every Indian root for our team India even after all these years!
14. Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019)
This is the story of India’s retaliation after a group of militants attacked an army base in Uri, Kashmir. The movie is a must watch and a definite addition to your Desh bhakti movie list. It is one of the most recent and well received movies centered around the theme of war/army movies.
15. Lakshya (2004)
Lakshya is the story of an individual who is lost in life but finds his purpose in the servitude of his country. The movie is not exactly centered around the theme of patriotism but is set against the backdrop of the Kargil War of 1999. If there is one takeaway from this movie, it is that no matter how lost you might feel, you need to get up and take command of your life and achieve something that is not only beneficial to you but for the greater good.