Border (1997 film)

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Border
Border1997.jpg
DVD Cover
Directed by J. P. Dutta
Produced by J. P. Dutta
Screenplay by J. P. Dutta
Starring Sunny Deol
Sunil Shetty
Akshaye Khanna
Raakhee
Jackie Shroff
Tabbu
Pooja Bhatt
Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Puneet Issar
Music by Anu Malik
Cinematography Ishwar R. Bidri, Nirmal Jani
Edited by Deepak Wirkud
Distributed by J.P. Films
Release date(s) 13 June 1997
Running time 178 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Box office INR610 million (US$10 million) Original<br>INR1491.1 million (US$25 million) Adjusted[1]

Border is a 1997 blockbuster Bollywood War film based on the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. J. P. Dutta directed and produced this war epic which stars Sunny Deol, Sunil Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Jackie Shroff, Tabu, Pooja Bhatt, Puneet Issar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Raakhee and Sharbani Mukherjee.

The movie is an adaptation from real life events that happened at the Battle of Longewala fought in Rajasthan (Western Theatre) during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and Bangladesh Liberation War. It is about how a band of 150 soldiers of the Punjab regiment of the Indian Army headed by Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri successfully defended their post all night against a whole tank regiment of the Pakistani Army, until assistance came from the Indian Air Force the next morning. The film was a critical and commercial hit in India.

Plot[edit]

The film opens before the declaration of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 as army Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (played by Sunny Deol) and air force Wing Commander Anand 'Andy' Bajwa (Jackie Shroff) meet on a courier flight and speak about the possibility of opening of the Western front in light of the East Pakistan conflict. Kuldip takes up command of a company of the 23rd Battalion Punjab Regiment, arguing the light defence being assigned to the military post of Longewala. He meets his second in command 2nd Lt Dharamvir Bhan (Akshaye Khanna) (who happens to be the son of a 1965 Indo-Pakistani-War veteran who was killed during that war) and the Company NCO Subedar Mathura Das (Sudesh Berry). The company moves to the remote outpost in the deserts of Rajasthan and begin to expand the rudimentary Border Security Force (BSF) post and does a recce of the area up to the international border with Pakistan. They meet the post's BSF commandant Bhairon Singh (Sunil Shetty), a deeply patriotic man who expresses his love for the desert.

During a night patrol, Kuldip, Dharamvir and Bhairon Singh come across a suspicious bunch of locals who turn out to be insurgents having informed the identities of the company to the Pakistani military. The trio get into a brief firefight killing all but one of the insurgents when Dharamvir hesitates to shoot one of the insurgents, as he had never killed anyone. Kuldip severely derides him and shoots the insurgent himself, prompting Dharamvir to vomit. A badly shaken Dharamvir is comforted by Bhairon Singh and the two reminisce about their personal lives. Dharamvir recounts how he met his fiancee Kamla (Pooja Bhatt), a lively girl from his native village whom he had fallen for and how he got his mobilisation orders on the day of his engagement to Kamla. Bhairon Singh recounts his wedding night, his first night with his bride (played by Sharbani Mukherjee), when he was called back to post and how he bids a tearful goodbye to his beautiful wife Phool Kanwar.

The unit is joined by the charismatic Subedar Ratan Singh (Puneet Issar), a man of insatiable appetite and wit, with two 106mm jeep-mounted RCL guns to serve as an anti-armour unit. The company wireless operator picks up a spy transmitting from a nearby area and Dharamvir sets out to investigate. He ambushes the spy and kills the man, bringing the body back to the post to prove that he has overcome his fear of killing. The unit settles down to wait for the enemy as they keep track of the developing events on the radio. The Indian army starts moving forces to nearby locations preparing to attack if Pakistan tries to open the Western front. This gives hope of soon-to-come action for the men tired of the long wait in the hot and desolate desert. Subedar Mathura Das is granted leave to attend to his wife (who is ailing with cancer) and children. The men receive letters with news from back home and talk among of themselves of the people they left to serve their country.

On the evening of 3 December 1971, the unit receives word that the enemy has attacked with Pakistan Air Force planes bombing multiple Indian airbases and that war has been officially declared by the Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi. Dharamvir Bhan and five of his soldiers are sent to patrol the border in a section; Bhairon Singh and his men are assigned to clear out the nearby villages. As Bhairon Singh is briefing the villagers on evacuation, Pakistani artillery batteries start shelling Indian positions and villages. Kuldip joins in the evacuation as heavy shelling occurs, leveling a whole village. In the meanwhile Dharamvir and his patrol spot Pakistani tanks and infantry crossing the border into India. He reports back the enemy movement to Kuldip and is ordered to secretly follow the tanks without engaging them. Kuldip radios for air support and speaks to Wing Com Bajwa, who tells him that there can be no air support as his base has only Hunter-Fighters, which cannot fly at night. Bajwa tells Kuldip to defend the post as long as possible and that he and his pilots would be in the battlefield at the first stroke of light. In despair, Kuldip radios his CO and explains his untenable position. He is given the option of either holding his post or retreat. He stays. Kuldip then gives the company the choice to leave the post or not, and they all prefer to stick with him and face the Pakistani to their deaths.

As the unit digs in to face the enemy assault, Mathura returns and apologizes for deserting the men of his company. Kuldip thanks him for returning in time and assigns him to the RCL units, promising Mathura that he will return to his family when the war is over. The post is surrounded by massed enemy armor and infantry while the shelling from across the border continues relentlessly. Fortunately, Kuldip manages to get the company to bury anti-tank mines around the post to prevent the tanks from barging in. Upon seeing one of his tanks being blown by one of the mines, the Pakistani commander Ghulam Dastagir hurls expletives at Kuldip addressing him by name and tells him to retreat or die. Kuldip lashes back and swears and insults Dastagir, addressing him by name. The Pakistani tanks open fire on the post and the battle begins with Kuldip ordering Mathura to destroy the tanks with his RCL units. Though the tide of the battle improving for the Indians at first, Mathura's RCL is hit by a tank shell, wounding him and prompting Bhairon Singh to extract him from the burning jeep. Mathura is fatally wounded when he goes to extract a recoil spring for Bhairon Singh's MMG and dies in Bhairon's arms. Subedar sacrifices himself to throw away an exploding tank shell to prevent several of his men from being killed. Another tank targets Bhairon's machine gun nest and destroys it, wounding Bhairon. He charges the same tank and destroys it with an anti-tank mine, killing himself and the Pakistani soldiers inside. Dharamvir breaks through the enemy cordon and returns to post, but his entire patrol is wiped out in the process. The Pakistani commander orders a bayonet charge on the Indian position but the attack is beaten back by the Indians with Dharamvir being severely wounded. The Indians capture a Pakistani private who reveals that the Pakistani column plans to capture Jaiselmer by morning, Jodhpur by afternoon, and reach Delhi by night.

As dawn nears, the Pakistanis launch a last-ditch attempt to overrun Longewala post with their massed assault of tanks and infantry, ignoring the danger of the anti-tank mines. Kuldip gathers the remaining of his depleted force and prepares for a suicide counter-attack on the advancing enemy. The Indians engage in vicious hand-to-hand fighting with Kuldip jumping from tank to tank lobbing grenades down the turret hatches. Dawn has broken as the fight heats up and Bajwa's squadron finally takes off from the Jaisalmer Base to aid Kudip's besieged company. The Pakistani attack breaks as tank after tank is hit by the planes till they retreat across the border. The battle ends as a soldier tries to tell Dharamvir Singh about the victory and realizes that he is dead. The unit is relieved as Indian tanks and artillery arrive and more air-strikes beat back enemy reinforcements. The end credits roll as the Indians launch their counter-offensive and news of the deceased reach their homes, much to their families' sorrow.

Cast[edit]

Awards[edit]

National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards
Star Screen Awards
  • Star Screen Award for Best Film: J.P. Dutta
  • Star Screen Award for Best Director: J.P. Dutta
  • Star Screen Award for Best Lyrics: Sandese Aate Hai Javed Akhtar
  • Star Screen Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Nominated): Akshaye Khanna et Sunil Shetty
  • Star Screen Award for Best Playback Singer Male (Nominated): Sandese Aate Hai (Roop Kumar Rathod)

Soundtrack[edit]

The music is composed by Anu Malik while the lyrics are penned by Javed Akhtar. The songs of the film are not only popular in India but also in Pakistan.<ref>Singh, Jupinderjit Here film songs, swaying grass may mean life or death, The Tribune, 28 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011.</ref>

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Humein Jab Se Mohabbat"   Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik 07:33
2. "Hindustan Hindustan"   Shankar Mahadevan, Sonali Rathod 08:12
3. "Sandese Aate Hain"   Roop Kumar Rathod, Sonu Nigam 10:19
4. "Mere Dushman Mere Bhai"   Hariharan 10:15
5. "To Chaloon"   Roop Kumar Rathod 08:21

Anti-war message[edit]

Border intended to make an appeal against war. Thus, the end of the movie of depicted most soldiers dead and the trauma it caused to their family members.

The lyrics of song "Mere Dushman Mere Bhai" sung by Hariharan criticises war and describes its disastrous effects, with the lines "Hum Apne Apne Kheton Mein Gehoon Ki Jagah Chaanval Ki Jagah, Ye Bandookein Kyoon Botein Hain.... Jab Dono Hi Ki Galiyon Mein, Kuch Bhooke Bachche Rotein Hain....!!" ("Why do we grow guns in our farms instead of wheat and rice, when children in our countries cry due to hunger....")[2]

Sequels[edit]

In 2013, it was announced that Dutta would undertake sequels Border,[3] and that Border 2 would star Sangram Singh[4] and Nafisa Ali’s son Ajit Sodhi.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Lyrics of Mere Dushman mere bhai". 
  3. ^ Tuteja, Joginder (25 November 2013). "Sunny Deol's BORDER 2 to go on-floors in January". Glamsham. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Dasgupta, Piyali (10 September 2013). "Sangram Singh in JP Dutta’s 'Border 2'". Times of India. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Gupta, Priya (9 October 2013). "JP Dutta to launch Nafisa Ali’s son Ajit Sodhi in 'Border 2'". Times of India. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]