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Meet Bollywood's Inspiring Crusaders

August 28, 2013 08:52 IST

Meet Bollywood's Inspiring Crusaders

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Protesting against the political/social system happens a lot in reality. And since art mirrors real life, one sees the active face of unrest in movies too.
 
Over the last decade or so, more and more filmmakers are bringing in the burning drama of street rallies and mass demonstrations onto screen with our leading man and woman turning into inspiring faces of outcry.
 
In Prakash Jha's upcoming Satyagraha, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor and Amrita Rao join Amitabh Bachchan in his non-violent revolt against the governing body in the tone of social activist Anna Hazare's movement against corruption.
 
On that note, here's a look at the different faces of Bollywood crusaders.

Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Satygaraha


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Raanjhanaa

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Though a small-town romance for most part, Aanand L Rai's Raanjhanaa deviates to focus on JNU-Delhi politics with a group of student activists led by Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor protesting on the behalf of farmers over enforced land acquisition.
 
Clearly inspired by the Bhatta Parsaul events in Greater Noida, the glossy face of activism doesn't quite impress.

Image: Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhnaa


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Shanghai

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Adapted from Greek author Vassilis Vassilikos's book Z, Dibakar Banerjee's political thriller features Prosenjit Chatterjee and Kalki Koechlin as political activists standing up against the proposed Shanghai makeover of a fictional metropolis.
 
After one of them gets assassinated, the other continues to raise her voice against injustice with assistance from unlikely quarters.

Image: Prosenjit Chatterjee in Shanghai


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No One Killed Jessica

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Based on the real-life case of Jessica Lall murder, Rajkumar Gupta's film is about how her determined sister (played by Vidya Balan) and a high-profile journalist (played by Rani Mukerji) come together, raise support to ensure the wrong doers despite their powerful connections are duly punished.

Image: Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji in No One Killed Jessica


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Rang De Basanti

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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's stirring drama is about the awakening in youth when they face the consequences of rampant corruption.
 
Aamir Khan, Siddharth, Atul Kulkarni, Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor and Soha Ali Khan protest against the authorities -- both peacefully and later resorting to violence after their pilot friend dies in a plane crash owing to faulty machinery knowingly approved by the ministry for money.

Image: Siddharth, Aamir Khan and Kunaal Kapoor in Rang De Basanti


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Lage Raho Munna Bhai

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Unlike most movies which acquire a aggressive tone, Sanjay Dutt makes for a loveable, pacifist crusader in Rajkumar Hirani's Lage Raho Munna Bhai.
 
After making his point to the medical community, he propagates the virtue of Gandhigiri on his radio show or sending 'Get well soon' flowers to crooked folk.

Image: Sanjay Dutt in Lage Raho Munna Bhai


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Halla Bol

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Again, loosely taking inspiration from the Jessica Lall murder, Rajkumar Santoshi's Halla Bol concentrates on Ajay Devgn's troubled conscience.
 
The man plays a superstar and witness to a murder who eventually decides to speak out against the disturbing extent of inhumanity in the society even if it means dire consequences for his family.

 


Image: Ajay Devgn in Halla Bol


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Swades

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Shah Rukh Khan's one-man crusader in Ashutosh Gowariker's masterful Swades is one of us -- educated, enlightened and evolved.
 
A visit to a small village in India and the archaic conditions and views they continue to adopt strengthen his resolve to stay back and convince them about the merits of literacy, reform, unity and progress.

Image: Shah Rukh Khan in Swades


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Yuva

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Mani Ratnam's flawed but fascinating creation entertains the possibility of youth joining mainstream politics and leading the nation with bright, brilliant and new ideas.

Ajay Devgn and Vivek Oberoi play the dynamic role models who thwart the interference and controlling tactics of greedy senior politicians campaigning for seats in Vidhan Sabha.

 


Image: Ajay Devgn in Yuva


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Nayak

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After creating a single-man corruption demolisher in Kamal Haasan's Hindustani, director Shankar creates the idealistic Nayak, a Hindi remake of his super hit Mudhalvan.
 
Here, Anil Kapoor goes from reporting to running the state for 24 hours to prove doing the right thing is still possible despite the deep-rooted red tapism and bureaucracy. But when bullied by Amrish Puri's Chief Minister for his righteous actions, Kapoor takes him on with overwhelming support from the public.

Image: Anil Kapoor in Nayak


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Main Azaad Hoon, Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar, Inquilaab

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In these films from the 1980s, superstars like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna represented the frustrated angst and need for retaliation against the corrupt system in a varying tone of serious and satire.
 
If Bachchan's Main Azaad Hoon, inspired by Meet John Doe, is about a common man's influential persona in the era of opportunism and how he sacrifices his own life for a liberating ideology, his other release, Inquilaab is about cop-turned-politician-turned-pawn revolting against the system that exploits him and the entire society.
 
As the hairdresser turned politician, Rajesh Khanna portrays a Robin Hood-styled crusader in the sarcastic notes of Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar. His climatic speech evokes the masses to recognise the power within while clearing his own image from bribe-taking monster to philanthropic icon.

 


Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Inquilaab. Below: Rajesh Khanna in Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar


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