One of the reasons I like 15 August and 26 January is that I get to see so many classics on Zee Cinema – my favorite movie channel. Zee Cinema has class, make no mistakes about it. Tell me, which other channel has the taste to show Bollywood epics like Gunda and Mujhe Jeene Do. Therefore, this 15 August, I had high expectations from the channel and it did not let me down by starting my day with Karma. I had seen this movie many a times but for some reasons, this time I watched it with a different perspective. As it turned out, I was floored by the movie. Karma is not the only one in such list. There are many more. Here is my list of such movies, which make your blood boil with patriotism.
Karma – Karma is a classic in every sense. From Dilip Kumar’s acting potential to Anupam Kher’s brilliance as doctor Dang, from melodrama of Nutan losing her voice and regaining it to the famous thappad ki goonj, from Sridevi displaying her thunderous thighs in a one-piece bikini to Anil Kapoor’s bear-like hairy body, which must have made Anupam Kher wonder if there is justice on this planet. Karma has it all – acting of Naseeruddin Shah, competition of moustaches among Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shorff and Poonam Dhillon, attempted rape by Shakti Kapoor, muscle power of Dara Singh, a never ending song which became an inspiration to another never ending song – “Mela Dilon ka aata hai” from Mela and a customary glimpse of Subhash Ghai. Critics may complain that it was missing two most important ingredients of a patriotic movie – Manoj Kumar and Sunny Paaji. Maybe they were not in the movie because Karma’s time was exactly in between the peaks of these two patriots. Maybe Subhash Ghai did not believe in policy of “I will take full fee but show only half of my face” or “I will kill the villain by my sheer roar” hence he did not pick up these two legends in the movie.
Anyways, considering the current trend of remaking old classics, I hope nobody picks up Karma to kill it. If Karan Johar does it, it will be Doctor Dang falling in love with Rana Vishwanath Pratap Singh’s daughter and Anil Kapoor would be confused who his real love interest is - Poonam Dhillon or Jackie Shroff. Farhan Akhtar would ensure that Rana Vishwapratap Singh has a six-pack body. Rohit Shetty will convert it into Karma – the fast & furious. If Kamal Hassan makes a remake, he would play Rana Vishwanath Pratap Sing, Khairubhai, Baiju Thakur, Johhny, Rukmani, Radha, Jagga, Dharma and Tulsi. He will also make an appearance in the movie as Subhash Ghai.
Tirangaa – While the country’s harmony was in serious trouble because of whatever happened on 6 December 1992 and after that, Mehul Kumar getting his masterpiece ready to fill our hearts with the feelings of patriotism. Epic it turned out to be and how well. It is a story of Inspector Shivajirao Wagle, an honest police officer frustrated because of the corrupt system and his always-itching beard, Brigadier Suryadev Singh who has an expertise in catching hand grenades and a nuclear missile enthusiast Pralayanath Gundaswamy, who wants to invade India but somehow looks like he is already sitting in India. Then there are a few love stories, pregnancy in a love story gone south, a murder, eye witnesses, people being tied up to ropes, villain’s men in uniform and a cigarette which is quite like a bomb. Before I forget, I must add that there is Mamta Kulkarni too in the movie. One may argue that the movie’s crappiness is reflected in the way its wiki page is written but I would say – it was all quite raw. More than anything else, what stands out are movie’s dialogues. Dialogues like Na talwar ki dhaar se, na goliyon ki bauchaar se, banda darta hai to kewal parwar digaar se (It’s neither the edge of the sword not the stream of tracer bullet, all this guy is scared off is the God), hum aankhon se surma nahi churaate, aankhe hi chura lete hain (We don’t steal Kohl from the eyes, we steal the eyes themselves) have become immortal. I am sure makers of Sanjay Dutt movie Policegiri would have been happy after hearing the dialogue “Sache police ki yah toh maut hoti hai ... yah toh suspend kiya jaata hai” The demise of the movie at the box office proved that it was a true police movie.
Clerk – In every Manoj Kumar movie, you can count the number of times he shows his full face. To count, you would not need anything else than your fingers. Maybe you would need both the hands, maybe you will not. Nevertheless, fingers is all that you would need.
Clerk is one of Manoj Kumar’s epic. As Bharat, the name he made of his own, Manoj Kumar played the role of an honest to the core clerk in defense ministry. Ashok Kumar played his father’s role. While movie magnificently depicts, by way of Manoj Kumar’s fingers’ acting which are always hiding his face, the epic battle between what is good and what is right, how honesty almost loses to the greed of the middle class but the strength of values instilled don’t let it lose, how a man shattered in love comes over it, how bad men rape innocent women. As a thumb rule in Bollywood movies in those days, one could categorized every rape in two groups – completed rape were meant for hero’s sisters and attempted but failed were meant for hero’s love interests. For all those women who played MithunDa’s sisters in his movies, they knew what their role would be.
Nevertheless, the place where movie made its biggest contribution was in the area of medical science. In late 80s and 90s when medical science had not made much of a progress, Manoj Kumar showed it to the world how to treat a heart attack with two AA lithium batteries. In case you have not witnessed that epic scene, please go to youtube right now and search for “Manoj Kumar treating heart attack with batteries”. Trust me, if you die without watching that scene, Chitragupta will just not let you enter his building.
SunnyPaaji movies – No list of patriotic movies can be complete without SunnyPaaji’s movies. It will be sheer injustice to include only one of his movies in this list. SunnyPaaji is as man who can instill fear in souls of enemy by virtue of, not his muscle power or fighting skills, his sheer roar. Just think of SunnyPaaji tearing apart his vest and shouting heeeeyaaaeeeee at full volume. If you are an India, the roar might encourage you to jump across the LOC and shout at the top of your voice – “Indian hoon main, Indian”. If you are an anti-Indian, the roar might force you into responding to nature’s call – immediately.
SunnyPaaji’s attempt to shoot a tank by his revolver, Border’s climax, inspired Steven Spielberg so much that he copied it in Saving Private Ryan. His camouflage in Hero – Love Story of a Spy (In the song In Mast Nigahon Se) was so impressive that he almost looked like Helen with moustache. His act of shooting infiltrators in movie Maa Tujhe Salaam, when he shoots people running away from him on their backs and the force of bullet is so strong that they are pulled towards SunnyPaaji, must have made Isaac Newton cry – his first law of motion was totally defied. He must have made Government of India think if they need to buy more hand-pumps to counter Pakistanis in place of guns – that is what SunnyPaaji did in Gadar – Ek Prem Katha. Then Government must have realized that the power lies in hands and not hand-pumps. Such was the power of the man. Such was the man. Alas, he played Phantom in ponytail man’s Rok Sako To Rok Lo and lost it all. Being a Jat, the call of “dare to think beyond patriotism” ended up being as “dare to think” for SunnyPaaji.
Off course there can be many more classics added to this list. Then, not many would top them. Please do let me know if you have any favorites.