Wars are an inevitable part of a country’s history, rather war maketh a patriot, in my opinion. Bollywood does battle by Samir Chopra is a book that analysis the war movies that have brought out the patriotic fervour in us, Indians.
The book, in only a about 6 chapters, analysis the important war movies of Indian cinema. In an elaborate introduction to the book, the author succinctly informs us why he chose only 8 war movies and the movies that couldn’t make it to the list and their importance. He compares these picks with Hollywood war movies to explain it better. Chopra delves into each film one chapter at a time. Chopra writes, “The Indian mind is acculturated by its film industry; to understand the nation and its attendant dreams and nightmares, you must view the Indian movie.” He further writes, “By closely ‘reading’ these movies, I examine the Indian cinematic imagination with regards to – among other things – patriotism, militarism, nationalism, the moral duties of Indian citizens and soldiers, and their intersections with supposed ‘Indian values.'”
The movies discussed in this book are – Haqeeqat, Aakraman, Hindustan ki kasam, Border, LOC: Kargil, Vijeta, Lakshya and The Ghazi Attack. Chopra lays down a critical analysis of these films vis-à-vis the geopolitical scenario of the time. He explains why a certain film failed to live up to the standards , where it faltered, what could have been battered, how much did it come close to reality, what could have been minused etc. The in-depth observations and explanations blow our mind. If one has to study how to critically analyse a films, read between the lines then one can certainly pick up this book and read.
Last word – To understand war cinemas this book is literature enough. It is a light and an easy read which teaches you a thing or two about cinema with relation to geopolitics and patriotism.
To buy the book, pls read – https://amzn.to/3uO2uEL
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