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When Mumbai was Attacked, in Bollywood

Last updated on: March 1, 2013 12:40 IST

When Mumbai was Attacked, in Bollywood

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The history of violence in Mumbai has affected countless lives.

In the past few decades, mischievous elements found success in generating communal disharmony in the city where all dreams prospered.

Not stopping at that, these unknown faces of terror devised bomb blasts to bring the bustling industrial capital on its knees and instill deep fear.

But nothing can keep Mumbai down for long as its quintessential spirit rises from the hurt every single time. And since art mirrors reality, Bollywood finds this suitably intense and impressive to create powerful content for the big screen.

Director Ram Gopal Varma, who received major flak for visiting the Taj Mahal Hotel so soon after the attacks with then Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his actor son Ritesh, denied he had any intentions of making a film about this real-life tragedy.

Four years later, he's ready to release 'the most emotional film of his career' The Attacks of 26/11 based on the 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai.

Here's a look at films which explore a similar theme wherein Mumbai is both -- the backdrop and target.


Image: Movie poster of The Attacks Of 26/11

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A Wednesday

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Neeraj Pandey's A Wednesday, starring Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher, examines the consequences of blasts and riots on a particularly upset common man in Mumbai.

Through its sharp and taut narrative, it comments on the incompetence of the law and order administration while comparing what single-minded determination of is capable of achieving in face of extreme crisis.

Read the review here


Image: Naseeruddin Shah in A Wednesday

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Mumbai Meri Jaan

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Based on the 2006 train bombings, Nishikanth Kamath's creates multiple storylines around one event to describe the vast scale destruction it leads to.

And what works is how effectively Mumbai Meri Jaan depicts the different faces of humanity in the face of tragedy -- insensitive, exploitative, helpful, apathetic or prejudiced.

Read the review here


Image: Paresh Rawal in Mumbai Meri Jaan

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Striker

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There's a lot going on in Chandan Arora's Striker featuring Siddharth as a carrom player, which travels between the 1970s and 1990s.

Striker isn't really about terrorism but Mumbai (then Bombay) forms an extraordinary backdrop in its proceedings.

And so the real purpose behind those tensely filmed 1992 riot sequences is to convey the mood of the city and its implications on our leading man.

Read the review here


Image: Siddharth in Striker

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Aamir

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Said to take inspiration from Filipino film Cavite, Rajkumar Gupta's Aamir marches inside the dark underbelly of Mumbai with its plot about a man blackmailed into carrying a briefcase containing a time bomb.

Through his nervous escapades, Aamir touches upon sensitive subjects regarding the projected imagery of minority communities and how it eventually earns its titular hero the most unjust tag of a terrorist.

Read the review here


Image: Rajeev Khandelwal in Aamir

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Black Friday

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Anurag Kashyap adapts S Hussain Zaidi's book about the investigations following the 1993 (then) Bombay Blasts, which are recreated for the screen to offer a uncompromised look at what really happened.

Actors Kay Kay Menon and Pavan Malhotra, as Deputy Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria and Tiger Memon respectively, lend their roles enough meat to make Black Friday every bit as real as it is.

Read the review here


Image: A scene from Black Friday

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Dev

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Govind Nihalani's Dev though well-meaning relies on contrived elements to make his point about communal violence in Mumbai.

His plot is more concerned with creating dramatic face-offs between Amitabh Bachchan, as the misunderstood Hindu cop and Fardeen Khan's pacifist-turned-brainwashed Muslim boy and their clash of ideologies.

Read the review here


Image: Kareena Kapoor and Fardeen Khan in Dev

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Fiza

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Film critic turned filmmaker Khalid Mohammed's Fiza explores the aftermath of violence through the impact of Bombay riots of 1992-93 on innocent Muslim families.

Fresh off the success of Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai, Hrithik Roshan plays a young man who is unfairly dragged into police interrogation as a potential fanatic leading him to join a terrorist outfit.

This loss of innocence forms the crux of Fiza's story.

Read the review here


Image: Hrithik Roshan and Karisma Kapoor in Fiza

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Naseem

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How communal tension between Hindu-Muslim fractions caused by the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya affects a teenager's psyche and understanding of the dramatically altering nature of society is sensitively covered in Saeed Akhtar Mirza's film.

Mayuri Kango, who made her debut in Mahesh Bhatt's Papa Kehte Hain, plays the title role of Naseem co-starring the likes of Kaifi Azmi and Kay Kay Menon.


Image: Kaifi Azmi and Mayuri Kango in Naseem

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Bombay

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Mani Ratnam's Bombay, which created major controversy courtesy the disapproval it met from political parties, is considered a landmark film on this subject.

Ratnam deftly conveys the horror the city turned into during the riots phase and after the infamous demolition of the mosque.

This religion-led tension forms the backdrop of its story which concerns itself with a Hindu-Muslim couple and the storm it raises within their peaceful domestic life.


Image: Manisha Koirala and Arvind Swamy in Bombay

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