Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero

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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero
Directed by Shyam Benegal
Produced by Raj Pius
Barbara von Wrangell
Written by Atul Tiwari
Shama Zaidi
Starring Sachin Khedekar
Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Rajit Kapur
Divya Dutta
Arif Zakaria
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Rajan Kothari
Edited by Sreekar Prasad
Distributed by Sahara India Media Communication Ltd.
Release dates
Running time
222 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 300 million
Box office Indian Rupee symbol.svg 240 million

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (also known as Bose: The Forgotten Hero) is a 2004 film directed by Shyam Benegal and starring Sachin Khedekar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rajit Kapur, Arif Zakaria, and Divya Dutta. The movie depicts the life of the Indian independence leader "Netaji" Subhas Chandra Bose. It starts Bose with resigning the president post of Indian National Congress (INC), moves to the meeting with Italians after crossing Afghanistan's rugged terrain and entering Europe, shows him romancing his Austrian secretary and his appointment with Adolf Hitler in Berlin, then his inspiring of the Indian POWs of the 'Punjab Regiment' (British Army) for fighting the British forces in India, through his patriotic speeches. Then it shows his journey to Japan and battles in Burma and India. The film ends with the trial of INA war heroes at Red Fort and the freedom of India.

The critically acclaimed soundtrack for this movie was composed by two-time Academy Award winner A. R. Rahman. The songs "Aazadi" and "Ekla Chalo" were particularly popular. "Zikr" is composed in the style of Islamic prayer chants Sufi style.



Bose: The Forgotten Hero, which offered a controversial view of the life of Bose, sparked protest in India. Director Benegal was forced to cancel its premiere in Calcutta. The film was fiercely opposed by the Forward Bloc party. The party was angry at the film's suggestion that Bose secretly married an Austrian woman, Emilie Schenkl, in 1937, and that he died in a plane crash in Taiwan rather than fleeing to Russia in 1945 as some historians believe.[1]

BBC gave 3 stars out of 5 for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero. Critic Jaspreet Pandohar called it "an informative and fascinating lesson worth sitting through" and "an absorbing drama." "Benegal is best known for his intimate portraits of Indian women, so it comes as some surprise that his latest film is a biopic of one of India's most famous male icons, Subhas Chandra Bose. Benegal ensures Bose's amazing but complex life story is peppered with just the right amount of detail so as to be easily understood. But what stops this film from becoming a [box-office] hit is its marathon length. At nearly three and a half hours, Sachin Khedekar's gallant performance isn't enough to make this a rousing affair," Pandohar wrote in his analysis.[2]

Sachin Khedekar's portrayal of Bose was praised by critics including Ziya us-Salam of The Hindu newspaper. "Khedekar may not win too many international awards for portraying Bose but accolades in India should come in thick and fast," she wrote in her review. "Benegal may not have put together an epic to challenge the lasting greatness of "Gandhi," Richard Attenborough's tribute to our father of the nation. But nor has he had the advantage of such resources. Where Benegal deserves credit is not in the canvas of his work but the intellectual honesty he has brought to the film. He refrains from either diluting or distorting history to serve his ends." Salam also noted the limitations of a director working under a relatively small budget for a historical film.[3]


Bose: The Forgotten Hero:
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 2004
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
A.M. Studios
Genre Soundtrack
Length 1:03:23
Label Times Music
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Kisna: The Warrior Poet
Bose: The Forgotten Hero
Mangal Pandey - The Rising
Review scores
Source Rating
Planet Bollywood 10/10 stars link

The highly acclaimed music score that accompanies the film was composed by A. R. Rahman. The soundtrack features 20 pieces composed by Rahman, including 12 instrumentals and orchestral themes, six songs with lyrics by Javed Akhtar and a full orchestral version of Indian National Anthem. Most of the score was conducted by Matt Dunkley and performed by Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Performers include the Western Choir Chennai (for "Aazadi") and the Mumbai Film Choir ("Hum Dilli Dilli Jayenge").


The soundtrack got high critical acclaim. A. R. Rahman received unanimous positive appreciations for his work. Popular music reviewing website Planet Bollywood gave 10 out of 10 stating "Bose – The Forgotten Hero is one of A.R. Rahman's and Javed Akhtar's finest creations. It's [sic] lack of mainstream compatibility and item numbers may hinder it from topping tabloid music charts, but that is barely a price to pay for having the distinction of creating musical storytelling of such high caliber. With three creative geniuses (A.R. Rahman, Javed Akhtar, and Shyam Benegal) at work, this quality soundtrack promises a very exciting movie to watch out for."[4] Another popular review website nowrunning gave a positive review stating "The entire album is created for a patriotic, period film and is totally different from the regular film albums that one hears nowadays. It is always a difficult task to write songs that can cause one's patriotism to surge and flow. To his credit, it must be said that Rahman has succeeded in this and is ably aided by some wonderful lyrics by Javed Saab. As usual, Rahman has used original compositions to enhance the value of original songs and words used by the Indian National Army, way back in the 40s. A good album, but one that may not get popular acclaim but will definitely appeal to a niche audience."[5]

The soundtrack is considered one of Rahman's finest works and was particularly praised for grand orchestration.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Aazadi" (4:55) – A.R. Rahman, Western Choir Chorus
  2. "Kadam Kadam" (2:48) – Vijay Prakash
  3. "Ekla Cholo" (6:05) – Nachiketa Chakraborty, Sonu Nigam
  4. "Hum Dilli Dilli Jayenge" (2:49) – Mumbai Film Choir
  5. "Desh Ki Mitti" (5:34) – Anuradha Sriram, Sonu Nigam
  6. "Zikr" (4:44) – A R Rahman, Rafi, Rakeeb, Shaukat Ali
  7. "Ghoomparani" (4:25) – Sapna Mukherjee, Satyanarayan Mishra
  8. "Durga Pooja – Rhythm" (3:22) – Instrumental
  9. "Netaji – Theme 1" (1:22) – Instrumental
  10. "Afghanistan – Theme 1" (4:14) – Instrumental
  11. "Hitler Theme" (2:10) – Instrumental
  12. "Emilie Theme 1" (1:57) – Instrumental
  13. "Afghanistan – Theme 2" (1:19) – Instrumental
  14. "War Themes" (4:33) – Instrumental
  15. "Emilie Theme 2" (2:32) – Instrumental
  16. "Kadam Kadam Barhayae Ja – Orchestral version" (0:52) – Instrumental
  17. "Desh Ki Mitti – Orchestral version" (2:48) – Instrumental
  18. "U Boat Theme (Underwater battle)" (2:11) – Instrumental
  19. "Netaji – Theme 2" (4:44) – Instrumental
  20. "Jana Gana Mana (Full Orchestral Version)" (1:15) – Instrumental


National Film Award

See also[edit]


External links[edit]