Skip ahead and scroll through for our list of 16 patriotic movies to watch on August 15 to celebrate the birth of an independent India, while asking yourself this question: what does it truly mean to be Indian? What does it mean to be patriotic? With a big tub of popcorn, of course. 

Swades

Where: Prime Video

The Shahrukh Khan-starrer that released over a decade ago, Swades is the story of NASA scientist, Mohan Bhargava (Khan) who travels to India to find his childhood nanny and take her back to the States. Instead, he ends up rediscovering his roots. In addition to great performances, the film has an extremely memorable soundtrack and “Yun hi chala chal rahi” still sounds as good as it did in 2004. 

Lakshya

Where: Prime Video

“Main aisa kyun hoon?” a  goal-less, confused young man asks anybody who’ll listen, till he joins the Indian army and finds purpose in life. Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta and Amitabh Bachchan are absolutely wonderful in the romantic war-drama that released in 2004 but is still relevant today. 

Lagaan

Where: Netflix

Every Bollywood super fan will tell you that Lagaan has a special place in their hearts. Ashutosh Gowariker’s Oscar-nominated cricket film, set in a village in Pre-Independence India, saw Aamir Khan play the loveable Bhuvan. A story of love, freedom and cricket before it became the country’s favourite sport, Lagaan will have you laughing, crying and cheering for the bunch of bat-wielding misfits as they play the most important cricket game of their lives. 

Viceroy’s House 

Where: Prime Video

You’ll remember the name ‘Lord Mountbatten’ from history lessons in school; he’s the central character of this period drama directed by Bend It Like Beckham’s Gurinder Chadha. It follows the journey of India’s final viceroy, Mountbatten, who is tasked with overseeing India’s transition into an independent nation and must mediate between Nehru and Jinnah. 

Rang De Basanti 

Where: Netflix

Still one of Aamir Khan’s finest movies, Rang De Basanti is the story of a British filmmaker who comes to India to shoot a documentary about India’s freedom fighters based on the diary of her grandfather. She eventually goes on to cast a group of privileged, apathetic students for the film that, in dramatic and permanent ways, changes them forever. 

P.S. You’ll want to keep a box of tissues handy for this one, it’s a real tear-jerker. 

Raazi

Where: Prime Video

Alia Bhatt plays a 20-year-old Kashmiri girl who, on her father’s request, agrees to marry into a family of military officials in Pakistan and relay critical information to India in the run-up to the Indo-Pak war. Based on Harinder Sikka’s novel “Calling Sehmat”, the film was directed by Meghna Gulzar and, with a box office collection in excess of Rs 200 crore, it emerged as one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films with a female lead. 

Uri: The Surgical Strike

Where: ZEE5

If you still haven’t watched the film that catapulted Vicky Kaushal straight into superstardom, we highly recommend settling down to watch it this Independence Day. A recounting of the surgical strikes that followed after the deadly Uri attack that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers, the film went on to garner incredible commercial success with a box office collection exceeding Rs 300 crore. 

It also swept the National Awards this year with four wins, including Best Actor to Kaushal for his performance as Major Vihaan Singh. 

1971

An underrated war drama directed by Amrit Sagar, 1971 is the story of six Indian soldiers who are taken prisoners by Pakistan, following the Indo-Pak war in 1971. The film had an ensemble cast that included Manoj Bajpayee, Ravi Kishan, Piyush Mishra and Deepak Dobriyal, and won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi the year that it was released. 

Unfortunately, at the time of publishing this article, the film is not on any OTT streaming platforms but, if you can, get your hands on a DVD and dust off your old player. It’ll be worth it. 

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Where: Hotstar

The biographical sports film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra follows the journey of Milkha Singh, and how he got the name ‘The Flying Sikh’, 

Paan Singh Tomar 

Where: Netlix

Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Paan Singh Tomar is based on the life of army subedar-turned-steeplechase-champion-turned-dacoit, Paan Singh Tomar who was gunned down in a shootout in Chambal, Madhya Pradesh in 1981. Irrfan Khan breathed life into this role, portraying the record-breaking Indian athlete’s descent into one of the most wanted dacoits of his time subtly yet incredibly powerfully. 

Gandhi, My Father 

The film is prominent because it showed us a different side of the Mahatma by exploring the strained relationship with his son Harilal Gandhi. Starring Akshaye Khanna as Harilal Gandhi and Darshan Jariwala as MK Gandhi, the film is centred around the all-consuming, hatefulclash of ideologies between Bapu and his son. 

Unfortunately, at the time of publishing this article, the film is not on any OTT streaming platforms either. 

Article 15 

Where: You’ll have to see if you can catch this in a theatre near you

No spoilers ahead since the film just released but the Ayushmann Khurrana film is named after Article 15 of the Indian Constitution that prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, caste, religion or place of birth, and inspired by true events such as the Badaun rape and the Una flogging. 

Black Friday 

Where: Prime Video

A docu-drama, directed by Anurag Kashyap, traces the investigation into the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts that left over 200 people dead and more than 1,000 people, wounded. The film explores the perspectives of different people involved in the tragedy – civilians, conspirators and cops – to unpack one of the most devastating terrorist attacks to occur on Indian soil. 

Chak De! India 

Where: Prime Video

Who can forget Shahrukh Khan’s moving speech, delivered as the disgraced coach of the Indian women’s hockey team Kabir Khan, in one of the most popular Bollywood sports films ever? And there’s no better time to revisit it on Independence Day; it’s a story of one man’s deep love for his country that never wavers, even in the face of bigotry and hatred. 

Chak De! India also brought to the talents of Vidya Malvade and Sagarika Ghatge to the fore. 

Mulk

Where: ZEE5

Released in 2018, the film is about a Muslim family that must prove its allegiance to the country when a family member joins a terrorist outfit. Based on a true story, Mulk details the ordeal of Murad Ali Muhammed, a well-regarded lawyer who lives in Varanasi, whose life is turned upside-down when his son joins an extremist terror organisation and executes an attack that leaves many dead. Overnight, everything changes for Murad who must prove his family’s innocence amidst hostility, public shaming and downright hatred. 

Gandhi

Where: Hotstar 

The 1982 film, starring Ben Kingsley, is an in-depth look at the life of the father of our nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and how his path of non-violence led India into its future as a sovereign, independent nation–free from the clutches of British rule.

Which of these patriotic films did you end up watching? Tag @projectmynt in your stories and let us know!

RAMITA CHATTERJEE

,

Reach out to us

Ready to find your next thing?

For You

Interested in one of our capsules?

Start Learning

For Schools & Universities

Looking to host Mynt experiences?

Let's Talk