Very few biopics or patriotic films have been made about women revolutionaries who actively participated in our freedom struggle. Several male actors, including Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Rajkummar Rao, and Vicky Kaushal, have played popular and lesser-known freedom fighters of our country in mainstream Bollywood films over the years.
Kangana Ranaut plays Rani Lakshmibai aka Manikarnika in the 2019 historical action drama film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. The film is based on the life of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. A fearless warrior who fought the British on a battlefield to reclaim the throne of Jhansi. It is directed by Krish Jagarlamudi and Ranaut from a screenplay written by V. Vijayendra Prasad.
Raazi, a 2018 spy action thriller film directed by Meghna Gulzar. Stars Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapur, Shishir Sharma, Jaideep Ahlawat, and Soni Razdan, among others. Raazi, adapted from Harinder Sikka’s 2008 novel Calling Sehmat. It is a true story about an Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent who married into a family of Pakistani military officers to relay information to India ahead of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War.
One of Deepika Padukone’s lesser-known films is Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. Ashutosh Gowarikar’s 2010 historical action-adventure film is based on Manini Chatterjee’s Do and Die. An account of the 1930 Chittagong armoury raid. Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey depicts the Chittagong (currently in Bangladesh) uprising. An attempt on April 18, 1930, by armed Indian independence activists led by Master Da Surya Sen to raid the armoury of police and auxiliary forces in the then-part of the British Raj’s Bengal Presidency. Padukone portrays Kalpana Datta, a member of Master Da’s revolutionary team.
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Soha Ali Khan
Soha Ali Khan plays Durgawati Devi aka Durga bhabhi, an Indian revolutionary and freedom fighter, in the popular 2006 Hindi drama film Rang De Basanti. She was known to actively participate in the armed revolution against the ruling British Raj, as she accompanied Bhagat Singh on the train journey in which he escaped in disguise following the murder of John P. Saunders, a junior British police officer.