At a time and place where the political relationship of Pakistan is estranged with it's eastern neighbor India, the film industries of the two nations don't seem to be affected when it comes to working across the border. As Pakistan celebrates it's 67th Independence Day, BollyCurry brings to you a few Bollywood movies where Pakistan is shown as a backdrop or where Pakistani characters play a pivotal role.
A poignant tale of star-crossed romance, Veer-Zaara released in 2004 is a love story which travels across the border between two politically conflicted nations as Veer Pratap Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), an Indian Air Force pilot falls in love with a Pakistani Zaara Haayat Khan (Preity Zinta). It all begins when Zaara, who visits India to order to bury her late governess bebe at her motherland, is involved in an accident and is rescued by Veer. They spend one day together in his village and as they separate after this, they realize they love each other deeply. Back in Pakistan, however, Zaara's wedding is fixed with her fiance, Raza (Manoj Bajpai). Seeing her miserable state, her best friend and maid, Shabbo (Divya Dutta), calls Veer to take her away. Upon being requested otherwise by Zaara's mother, Veer decides to leave for India without the love of his life but gets falsely framed by Raza for being an Indian spy and is imprisoned. 22 years later, Saamiya Siddiqui (Rani Mukherjee), a Pakistani lawyer wishes to prove his innocence and upon hearing his story, she travels across the border to search for Veer's guardians for witnessing. Instead, she runs into Zaara who, still unmarried, fled to Veer's village to live there after Veer is presumed dead in a bus accident. Veer is released from imprisonment after Zaara testifies and the movie ends with Saamiya bidding adieu to the couple as they cross the Wagah border and go back to India. The movie has it's two most important female characters from Pakistan and was a success in both the countries.
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Once again a cross-border love story, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha from 2001 is set in 1947 during the partition of India. Amidst the Hindu-Muslim riots engulfing the migrants, Sakeena (Ameesha Patel) is saved by Tara Singh (Sunny Deol), a jatt sikh as she is being chased by a murderous mob after failing to get on a train. As Sakeena starts living with Tara after concealing her Muslim identity, the two fall in love, get married and are blessed with a son. Years later, Sakeena sees the photo of her presumably dead father Ashraf Ali (Amrish Puri) in a newspaper, who is now the mayor of Lahore. Overjoyed, she contacts her father and prepares to meet him. She is forced to leave her husband and son behind since they have trouble getting the visa to Pakistan. Tara, however, crosses the border illegally only to find that Sakeena is getting married to another man. Despite the best efforts and use of physical and mental violence by Ashraf Ali, the family manages to escape to a cotton mill train which can get them to India. However, they are caught and in the ensuing fight, Sakeena is shot and lands into coma. Following this incident, Ashraf Ali undergoes a change of heart and accepts Tara as his son-in-law. Once Sakeena gains consciousness, the couple and their son return to India. Much to the surprise of most critics, the movie proved to be one of the biggest blockbusters of all times despite clashing with Aamir Khan starer Lagaan at the box office.
Agent Vinod - an action spy thriller - revolves around a particular mission of an RAW agent with his nom-de-guerre as Agent Vinod. Following a message from his late colleague from Russia, Vinod travels to Moscow to uncover the mystery of '242'. He impersonates a smuggler to meet the local mafia boss David Kazan (Prem Chopra) who is accompanied by his Pakistani doctor, Ruby Mendes (Kareena Kapoor). Vinod tries to get close to Ruby to find out about '242'. It is revealed that Ruby is actually Iram, a British-Pakistani working as an undercover for ISI. It is also revealed that '242' is a disguised detonator for a nuclear device and many international terrorist groups are converging at an antiques auction to purchase it. It is finally acquired by Kazan who locks it with a password and hands it over to Colonel (Adil Hussain). Iram discovers Vinod's true identity as an RAW agent and agrees to work with him to prevent the nuclear device from falling in the wrong hands. However, Kazan is murdered by Colonel who captures Iram as well to find out about Agent Vinod. Attempts are made to kill Vinod but he manages to escape them all. He tries to find Iram who is helping Colonel without knowing that she is being set up to being a victim of a bomb blast once he has escaped. She too survives and with Vinod, they head to Karachi and then New Delhi to capture Colonel. They managed to locate him finally and the bomb is defused but Iram dies of gunshot wounds. Vinod manages to lead the mission to a closure and the movie ends with him heading for his next one. The film, which had it's female lead of Pakistani descent, was a average grosser at the box office.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag hit the box office in July of 2013 tells the tale of "The Flying Sikh" Milkha Singh played by Farhan Akhtar in the movie, whose parents are killed in a war with the locals of Punjab in Pakistan during the partition of India in 1947. The film starts in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, where a coach says "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag!" and from there is taken into a flashback mode. As a young boy, he survives by stealing from his friends but starts leading a life of honesty after falling in love with Biro (Sonam Kapoor). In the army, Milkha gets noticed by a sergeant for his racing skills. Despite his injury on the day of selection of the Indian team for Olympics, he manages to win the race as well as break the national record. In the Melbourne 1956 Olympics, he sleeps with the granddaughter of his Australian technical coach following which he loses his race and beats himself up. With a renewed determination, he starts a rigorous training and wins at many places, even beating the world record in the 400m race. Jawaharlal Nehru convinces him to lead the Indian team to Pakistan for friendly races. When in Pakistan, he misses the press conference and visits his village where his parents were murdered and his father's last words were "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag!" The memory leads him to break down and he is comforted by a young boy who turns out to be the son of a childhood friend. In the race, he runs and overtakes all his opponents, winning the race as well as respect of the people of both the nations. It is then that he is given his title of "The Flying Sikh" by the Pakistani commander. The film was a super hit and entered the coveted Bollywood 100 Crore Club.
With that, we wrap up this article on how various shades of Pakistan, whether in the form of characters or as a background nation, is shown. BollyCurry and Bollywood has no animosity towards any of the cultures.
Which of these were your favorites? Do let us know below while we all celebrate this special day in the life of every Pakistani.
Writer: Neethi B.
Editors: Saraa K. & Hershi J.