Politics….as we all know where it isnt! As said by Rahul Gandhi, it’s in our pants and shirts. Then frankly yes…it’s everywhere even in our cinema too! Coming to Indian cinema, filmmakers have always addressed politics in a manner that they have showcased issues like communal violence, corruption or a slice-of-past or present too. Some attracted crowd and some attracted controversy too. So let’s take a look on the list of Top Indian films of this genre:
1. IRUVAR (1997/ Tamil/ Mani Ratnam):
An unrivaled masterpiece, the film was loosely based on the chemistry between the legendary actor and Chief minister of Tamil Nadu MG Ramachandran and writer and also the Chief Minister of the same state M. Karunanidhi on the backdrop of Dravidian politics and it’s relationship with Tamil Cinema. The film revolves around a struggling actor Anandan (Mohanlal) and his rise in cinema and then politics with the help of his writer friend Thamizhchelvan (Prakashraj) which gives rise to the indifferences between them. Hollywood style direction, Kiewloski’s editing techniques, brilliant production design work, riveting cinematography and scoring as well as classy performances made “Iruvar” a all and all well-made film. The film, which also saw the debut of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, couldn’t see a decent run due to it’s theme which stopped its run due to protests by political parties. However, it later on picked up popularity and attained a cult status and also a chapter in the filmmaking.
2. AANDHI (1975/ Hindi/ Gulzar):
Based on Indira’ Gandhi’s Emergency period and her victory, the film revolves around a female politician’s career where she parts from her husband who is a hotel manager in the thirst of her profession where she encounters him again after many years while fighting elections. Adapted from Kamaleshwar’s “Kali Aandhi”, the film is seen as one of the evergreen classics for it’s characters and theme which is relevant even now in contemporary times, along with the direction and the music score (R.D. Burman) which have churned out some of the best musical gems that could be heard even now in Fm stations and so. The film was actually banned during Indira Gandhi’s rule, but later on went to be screened and even telecasted on Doordarshan when the Janata Party came in power.
3. GULAAL (2009/ Hindi/ Anurag Kashyap):
After his tryst with Noir in ”
Dev D”, celebrated filmmaker Anurag Kashyap came with “Gulaal” which highlighted around the student politics in smaller cities, hypocrisy, secessionist movements, legitimacy, injustice and quest for power set in the state of Rajasthan. The film starred Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava, Abhimanyu Singh, Jesse Randhawa and Raj Singh Chaudhary who also lent to the concept and the script of the film. Piyush Mishra, another actor in the film wrote the lyrics of the film and even scored too where some of his songs like “Aarambh” and “Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna” enjoy a cult following among the youth for it’s hard-hitting lyrics that depict the contemporary India. The film gave tribute to the lyricists like Sahir Ludhiyanvi, who showcased their vision of a new India in their works during the Golden Era of Bollywood in the ’50s.
4. PARASAKTHI ( 1952/ Tamil/ R. Krishnan and S. Panju):
A cult-classic, the film depicted a family during World War II facing misfortunes where every member meets a disastrous fate in the state ruled by elite people where Hindu customs also hamper the growth. The film majorly highlighted on the social reforms and ideas that were required in the Tamil society. Despite controversy, the film became a huge success where it ran for about 175 days in theatres. It starred Sivaji Ganesan who was a struggling actor during that time. It also became a trendsetter in dialogues and even acting in Tamil cinema.
5. HAZAARON KHWAHISHEIN AISI (2005/ Hindi/ Sudhir Mishra):
The film sees the Naxalite Movement in India during the 1970’s through the eyes of three friends from a Delhi college : Siddharth (Kay Kay Menon), Vikram (Shiney Ahuja) and Geeta (Chitrangada Singh) when India was undergoing major political and social changes. Known as one of the major landmark films in Indian Cinema, the film won accolades globally and the songs like “Baawra Mann” are still fondly listened by many even now. The screenplay, direction and the performances by the lead makes the film one of the best political dramas of recent times.
6.SANDHESAM (1991/ Malayalam/ Sreenivasan):
This satire focused on the unreal political activism happening in Kerala where it takes a dig on many political parties too from the perspective of two rival sons of a retired railways employee. A commercial hit, the film is regraded as one of the classics in Malayalam cinema.
7. NEW DELHI TIMES (1987/ Hindi/ Romesh Sharma):
The thin line between reporting information and idealism faced by a news editor in the wake of political pressures and the nexus among the politicians and the media people forms the story of the National Award winning Film which was literally ahead of its times and stands as one of the evergreen classics.
8. RAAJNEETI ( 2010/ Hindi/ Prakash Jha):
Adding myth with facts with masterly hold of the narration, well that’s Prakash Jha for you in Hindi cinema. The film revolves around a joint family who disintegrates withing two rival parties and how does one of them gains victory forms the rest of the story. Adding the Hindu epic Mahabharata and the story of Congress party after independence was brilliantly blended with all characters churning out riveting performances, great dialogues and lilting music score.
9. DEOOL (2011/ Marathi/ Umesh Vinayak Joshi):
“Deool” showcased the duel between the effect of globalization and the poor state of Indian rural scenario with a political backdrop. The film also makes the mockery of the superstitions and the religious practices. Showcased in various film festivals globally, the film won maximum number of National Awards in 2012.
10. CALCUTTA 71 (1972/ Bengali/ Mrinal Sen) :
The film highlighted on the Naxcalite movement in West Bengal, touching issues like poverty, starvation, social as well as political corruption. The film is the second film as part of the director’s Calcutta trilogy which also comprised of “Interview” and “Padatik”.