By: Mohnish Singh
Jammu & Kashmir is hosting the 3-day long G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting in Srinagar. It is the first big event to be organised in Kashmir after the Indian government revoked Article 370 in 2019. As the G20 summit gets underway and around 60 delegates and 20 journalists from different parts of the world reach Srinagar amid tight security, here are five must-watch Indian films shot extensively in Jammu & Kashmir.
1. Roja (1992)
Starring Arvind Swami and Madhoo in lead roles, Roja is considered one of the best films of veteran Indian filmmaker Mani Ratnam. The film is modelled on the widely popular tale of Savitri and Satyavan of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. Madhoo plays a Tamil girl who goes all out to find the whereabouts of her husband who has been kidnapped by terrorists whose agenda is to separate Kashmir from India and free their leader, Wasim Khan, from judicial custody. The film performed extremely well at the ticket window and went on to receive three National Awards including the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. The soundtrack of the film was composed by AR Rahman and has been listed in Time magazine’s “10 Best Soundtracks” of all time.
2. Mission Kashmir (2002)
Set against the backdrop of the Kashmiri insurgency, director Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Mission Kashmir features Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Sanjay Dutt, and Jackie Shroff in primary roles. The film revolves around Altaaf who loses his entire family as a young kid as a result of police firing. The very police chief responsible for the massacre adopts him. All hell breaks loose when the child finds out the details of the massacre and sets out to avenge the brutal killing of his family.
3. Haider (2014)
Set in 1995 Kashmir, Haider is a Vishal Bhardwaj directorial featuring an ensemble cast of Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, and Irrfan Khan, among others. The film is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Basharat Peer’s Curfewed Night and revolves around Haider, a student, and a poet, who returns to Kashmir to find out the truth about his father’s disappearance. The film very beautifully portrayed various locations of Jammu & Kashmir.
4. Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Bollywood superstar Salman Khan delivered one of his career’s finest performances in Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan. He plays a simpleton who leaves no stone unturned in reuniting a mute girl with her family in Pakistan after she gets lost while traveling back home with her mother. A major portion of the film was shot in Kashmir’s Sonmarg and Zoji La Pass.
5. Raazi (2018)
Directed by Meghna Gulzar, Raazi stars Alia Bhatt in the role of a young Indian spy who marries a Pakistani man during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. The film is shot in the Valley of Kashmir and was shot in Srinagar and Pahalgam, the most beautiful places in Jammu and Kashmir. Bhatt won the Filmfare Best Actress award for her riveting performance in the espionage thriller.