India is the largest democracy in the world and politics is one of the oft-discussed topics. It is a truth universally acknowledged that cricket and politics are the two religions of this nation. An opinioned Indian cannot refrain from any discussion which centers around cricket or politics. No wonder, politics is one of the favorite topics for cinema. The combination has always intrigued the audience.
If movies on political theme are to be discussed, Gulzar’s Aandhi which released in 1975 will definitely top the list. This romantic political thriller is a supposed autobiography of the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The popularity of the movie largely stems from the fact that this movie saw an unusual pairing; Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar. Dealt beautifully by Gulzar, this movie explores the complex relationship between a renowned political leader and her husband who is a commoner.
Raveena Tandon who is otherwise known for her glamorous roles underwent a complete transformation in Satta. This film is not only the story of one woman’s rise to power, it is one of the impactful narrative which explores the relationship between power and politics. Even when the woman as a politician tries to fulfill her responsibilities she is drawn into the vortex of ugly politics. And she realizes that it is not easy to escape, she has to fight the system while staying inside it.
Gulaal released in 2009 is a powerful narrative on student politics. Anurag Kashyap has blended the theme of student politics seamlessly with a Rajput secessionist movement. He cleverly juxtaposes various elements of the theatre with cinema with Piyush Mishra playing the perfect Fool. This political thriller is not for the feeble-minded as the audience is exposed to some gory details of politics.
Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti which released in 2010 is a modern take on Mahabharata with the talented Nana Patekar playing the intelligent Krishna and the dashing Ranbir Kapoor perfecting the role of Arjun. The elements of the epic are interwoven perfectly in the modern-day political drama. The best thing about the movie is that it explores the thin line between the personal and the political which often gets blurred in politics.