Spy Novels, Short Stories, Films or TV set in 1950s or 1960s India?

DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
edited September 2019 in General Discussion Posts: 13,899
I'm currently researching an upcoming article on Ian Fleming, James Bond and India and I'm trying to find some more examples of spy novels, short stories, films or TV episodes that were set in the India of the 1950s and 1960s.

One example that I am aware of is Berkely Mather's The Pass Beyond Kashmir (1960) which I just recently purchased. This was one of Ian Fleming's favourite spy thrillers and Mather himself worked on the scripts of the first few Eon James Bond films, at Fleming's behest.

There is also Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901) of course though it is not set in the particular period I am interested in and researching currently.

I know that we have a broad base of spy fiction fans and experts here so I'd be very grateful if anyone could come up with some more examples for me of spy fiction set in 1950s and 1960s India.

P.S. Also, if anyone knows of any good non-fiction books on the India of this period I'd like to hear your recommendations about them too. So, that's non-fiction books on India either written in the 1950s or 1960s or written later about that particular period.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have!

TLD.

Comments

  • edited August 2019 Posts: 14,998
    I was sure that one of the Kommissar X films was set in India, but when checking it turned out it was set in Sri Lanka. Maybe some other Eurospy films of the 60's were set in India?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited August 2019 Posts: 13,899
    I was sure that one of the Kommissar X films was set in India, but when checking it turned out it was set in Sri Lanka. Maybe some other Eurospy films of the 60's were set in India?

    Thank you for your contribution, @Torgeirtrap. It's much appreciated. This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.

    I realise that this thread is perhaps rather arcane and specific but it was my only option to try to find out more about this particular subject.

    I'd love to hear any other suggestions members here may have on spy fiction set in India in the 1950s and 1960s and also on non-fiction on India from that period.
  • edited August 2019 Posts: 4,561
    Although not exactly in th time period, there's George Cukor's Bowani Junction, with Stewart Granger and Ava Gardner :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhowani_Junction_(film)

    Bhowani_Junction.jpg
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,899
    Gerard wrote: »
    Although not exactly in th time period, there's George Cukor's Bowani Junction, with Stewart Granger and Ava Gardner :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhowani_Junction_(film)

    Bhowani_Junction.jpg

    Thank you for that, also, @Gerard. Believe me when I say that it's all grist to the mill.

    I'm hopeful I'll get some more suggestions in time.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited August 2019 Posts: 8,153
    Interesting topic, @Dragonpol. I couldn't find an India mention in The Eurospy Guide, so I put a quick film list together as a start. Likely you're already aware of some or most of these.


    Burma Rani (1945)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Rani
    Burma Rani (lit. Queen of Burma) is a 1945 Tamil-language war-spy film directed by T. R. Sundaram. It starred K. L. V. Vasantha in the lead role of the female spy Mangalam and Sundaram, himself, as the lead antagonist. The film was believed to be lost until 2006, when it was rediscovered and made available on DVD.[1]
    220px-Samadhi50.jpg
    Samadhi (1950)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi_(1950_film)
    Samadhi is a 1950 Bollywood spy film directed by Ramesh Saigal. A box office success, the film was the highest earning film of 1950, earning an approximate gross of Rs. 1,35,00,000 and a net of Rs. 75,00,000.

    Gudachari 116 (1966)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gudachari_116
    Gudachari 116 is a 1966 Telugu spy film written by Aarudhra, and directed by M. Mallikharjuna Rao.[1][2] The film stars Krishna, Jayalalitha, Rajanala and Mukkamala in pivotal roles. The film was remade in Bollywood as Farz (1967).[3]
    Gudachari 116, the first spy film in Telugu starring Superstar Krishna and Jayalalithaa, became such a smash hit that many sequels to the film were made in later years. In this James Bond style film, Jayalalithaa played a vamp-like character. She was still at the beginning of her career, and this film brought out her talent and brought her recognition.

    Kaavalkaaran (1967)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaavalkaaran
    (Tamil: காவல்காரன், English: The Protector), is a 1967 Indian Tamil spy thriller film, directed by P. Neelakantan, starring M. G. Ramachandran in the lead role and Jayalalithaa, M. N. Nambiar, S. A. Ashokan, Sivakumar and Nagesh among others. It was the first film released after the shooting in his neck took place in 1967 and there was a rumour that MGR had no scope to continue in films in view of his voice. It ran 164 days in Ceylon and over 100 days in Chennai and other major cities and became the top grosser of the year. Thus it proved MGR could continue in films as well and thus next year MGR acted in 8 films. Thereafter continuously, his films ran box office hits of the years, consecutively. The film was remade in Hindi as Rakhwala, starring Dharmendra and Leena Chandavarkar.

    Farz (1967)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farz_(1967_film)
    Farz (English: Duty, Hindi: फ़र्ज़, Urdu: فرض) is a 1967 Hindi spy thriller film, produced by Sunderlal Nahata Dundi under the Vijaya Lakhshmi Pictures banner and directed by Ravikant Nagaich. Starring Jeetendra, Babita in the lead roles and music composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. The film is a remake of the Telugu movie Gudachari 116 (1966).[1] and is hugely inspired by James Bond Movies. The movie had two sequels, Keemat starring Dharmendra and Raksha starring Jeetendra again.

    Jewel Thief (1967)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewel_Thief
    Jewel Thief is a 1967 Hindi spy thriller heist film directed by Vijay Anand. The film stars Dev Anand, Vyjayantimala and Ashok Kumar in the lead roles. It also features four bond girl-like actresses portrayed by Tanuja, Helen, Faryal and Anju Mahendru, with other actors appearing in supporting roles. It was produced by Dev Anand's home production house, Navketan Films, following their biggest hit in 1965 – Guide.

    Ankhen (1968)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankhen_(1968_film)
    Ankhen (The Eyes) is a 1968 Hindi spy thriller produced and directed by Ramanand Sagar. After the surprise big hit of Farz as a spy thriller, Sagar came out with a bigger budget film in the same genre, shot in many international locations. The film stars Mala Sinha, Dharmendra, Mehmood, Lalita Pawar, Jeevan and Madan Puri. The music is by Ravi and the lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi. It was estimated to be the most profitable Indian film of 1968 in India.

    Jedara Bale (1968)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedara_Bale
    Jedara Bale (Kannada: ಜೇಡರ ಬಲೆ) is a 1968 Kannada language spy thriller film directed by Dorai-Bhagavan starring Rajkumar, Jayanthi, K. S. Ashwath, Narasimharaju and Udayakumar. The music of the film was composed by G. K. Venkatesh.
    The film is the first movie in the CID 999 Franchise created along the lines of the James Bond and James Bond - styled films. The success of this movie led to 3 sequels - Goa Dalli CID 999 , Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 and Operation Diamond Racket.

    Goa Dalli CID 999 (1968)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goa_Dalli_CID_999
    GoaDalli CID 999 (Kannada: ಗೋವಾದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿ.ಐ.ಡಿ.೯೯೯) is a 1968 Indian Kannada detective - crime spy thriller written, directed and produced by Dorai - Bhagwan duo. The film starred Rajkumar in the lead role as a detective. Popular Indian actresses Lakshmi made her debut in Kannada cinema with this film. Sri Lankan based actress Sabitha Perera also made her Indian debut with this film.[1] The film had musical score by G. K. Venkatesh with lyrics by R. N. Jayagopal.The film met with highly positive response upon release and paved the way for many more such Bond style of movies in the combination of the director duo with lead actor Rajkumar.
    The film is the second movie in the CID 999 Franchise created along the lines of the James Bond and James Bond - styled films with the first one being Jedara Bale. The success of this movie led to two more sequels - Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 and Operation Diamond Racket.

    Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 (1969)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Jackpot_Nalli_C.I.D_999
    Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 is a 1969 Indian Kannada spy thriller directed and produced by B. Dorairaj and S.K Bhagavan. It stars Rajkumar, Narasimharaju and Rekha in the lead roles.
    The film is the third movie in the CID 999 Franchise, created along the lines of the James Bond and James Bond - styled films, with the first two being Jedara Bale & Goa Dalli CID 999. The success of this movie led to one more sequel - Operation Diamond Racket. This was the debut movie of actress Rekha.

    Shatranj (1969)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shatranj_(1969_film)
    Shatranj (lit. Chess) is a 1969 Indian Hindi-language spy thriller film co-produced and directed by S. S. Vasan. His final directorial venture, it stars Rajendra Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Mehmood, Shashikala, Helen, Achala Sachdev and Agha.

    CID Shankar (1970)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CID_Shankar
    CID Shankar is a 1970 Indian Tamil-language thriller film, directed by R. Sundaram and produced by Modern Theatres. The film script was written by A. L. Narayanan. Music was by Vedha. It stars Jaishankar, CID Sakunthala, and Thengai Srinivasan in lead roles. V. S. Raghavan, R. S. Manohar, C. L. Anandan, Jayakumari and Kumari Radha played supporting roles. The film was a remake of the 1965 French/Italian International co-production Eurospy film OSS 117 Mission for a Killer.

    Keemat (1973)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keemat_(1973_film)
    Keemat (translation: Worth) is a 1973 Hindi spy thriller film directed by Ravikant Nagaich. It has music by Laxmikant Pyarelal and lyrics by Anand Bakshi. The film stars Dharmendra, Rekha and Prem Chopra along with Rajendra Nath, Agha, Satyendra Kapoor and Murad. The film was a surprise superhit. The character of Gopal Kishan Pandey (Agent 116) was also used for movie Farz and Raksha. The film was remade in Telugu as Andadu Aagadu (1979) with Krishnam Raju.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,153
    Okay, @Dragonpol, getting back to Western culture examples here are a couple from television.


    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Man_from_U.N.C.L.E._episodes

    "The Yellow Scarf Affair" Ron Winston Teleplay by: Robert Yale Libott & Boris Ingster
    Story by: Robert Yale Lippincott January 25, 1965
    When an U.N.C.L.E. agent dies in a plane crash, Solo travels to India to investigate. He discovers that the crash was no accident and finds himself involved in a race to recover a vital piece of technology. Starring Linden Chiles, Kamala Devi and Murray Matheson. (David McCallum does not appear in this episode.)

    "The Tigers are Coming Affair" Herschel Daugherty Story by : Paul Tuckahoe
    Teleplay by : Alan Caillou November 5, 1965
    Solo and Illya travel to India to help a French botanist discover why the jungle is dying and its inhabitants are vanishing. Jill Ireland and scriptwriter Alan Caillou guest star. (The following season Caillou would appear in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.'s "The Jewels of Topango Affair" and "The Phi Beta Killer Affair," neither of which he wrote.)


    Danger Man
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Danger_Man_episodes

    "The Traitor" Terry Bishop John Roddick 11 December 1960 014
    What makes a man a traitor? Drake finds out when his latest assignment takes him to Kashmir, in Northern India, and to drama high up a mountain in a lonely bungalow with a renegade Englishman and his beautiful wife.

    "The Colonel's Daughter" Philip Leacock David Weir 24 November 1964 044
    In India, a retired colonel ekes out his pension by collecting and selling butterfly specimens. When the colonel's assistant dies mysteriously, Drake is sent to investigate, and ends up getting help from a local policeman, whose own investigation Drake pursues. Finally, both trails entwine.

  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited September 2019 Posts: 13,899
    @RichardTheBruce: Sorry for not getting back to you sooner but thank you very much for your assistance in tracking down these examples of India featuring in spy media.

    It will all be of use in my research into what I hope will be an interesting article on an area of Bondology not covered before. :)
  • ResurrectionResurrection Kolkata, India
    Posts: 2,541
    @Dragonpol are you only looking for Spy films or any other action/spy/crime films from other decades as well?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,899
    @Dragonpol are you only looking for Spy films or any other action/spy/crime films from other decades as well?

    Yes, I'd be open to any suggestions, @Resurrection. Thank you. :)
  • Posts: 7,625
    What about the books of spycraft with Jason Love

    Passport To Peril
    aka Spylight
    Written by James Leasor
    Copyright: 1966
    While on a short vacation skiing, Love is approached with a request to look in on an ailing son of a visiting leader from the Himalayas. Love soon is involved in a Chinese plot to create a new, devastating laser weapon.

    Frozen Assets
    Written by James Leasor
    Copyright: 1989
    Headed to Pakistan to check out an ancient Cord, Dr. Love is again talked into a little 'side trip' by his friends in the Secret Service, this time taking him into the war zone of Afghanistan to check out the activities of the Soviets.
  • ResurrectionResurrection Kolkata, India
    edited February 2020 Posts: 2,541
    @Dragonpol I thought of opening a thread for Indian films,tv shows, short films or web series but didn't knew if i should or if many people would be interested in it. @RichardTheBruce suggested Jewel thief, which is fantastic film imo, you should definitely have a look. Most of today's slow motion techniques in modern action films aren't really my cup of tea, even if they have interesting plot sometime. Majority of my favorites came from 90s to early 2000s. Still, the first film i would recommend is my absolute favorite with high rewatchabality and absolute gem of Hindi action thriller Sarfarosh (1999). A movie whose appreciation is coming a bit late but is there nevertheless. It was such a surprise that it caught everyone unaware. An unknown director with his debut just came onto the scene and made a masterpiece. It's sort of FRWL of Indian cinema for me, have watched it more times than i can count. :D . @Thunderfinger you might find this film on Netflix or YouTube easily. It's available on Blu-ray as well on Amazon.

    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRAoBMCJoSPUfgoqkbZCVqMqDtEsnTLDYVS_01qpDEn5Exl-Vy-
    Here's my review and a short description of my favorite Indian action film.
    Sarfarosh (transl. Fervour) is a non fiction 1999 Indian action film produced, written and directed by John Matthew Matthan and starring Aamir Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Sonali Bendre. John started working on Sarfarosh in 1992, seven years were spent on the research, pre-production and post production till it finally released in 1999. The film deals with an Indian police officer's quest to stop cross-border terrorism. The film was released just before the Kargil war conflict when tensions between India and Pakistan were high. On release, the film was both, critically and commercially successful. Although this is the first film of director John Mathew Matthan who perfectly crafted outputs from his entire cast . What makes this film so exceptional is its carefully thought out characterization and brilliant performances. The film manages to marry serious cinema with the commercial variety in the departments of Screenplay, music, performance and Cinematography. It proves commercial movie doesn't always have to be mediocre or a family drama. This film was released during the Kargil war and yet it is admirable how it refused to get carried away with histrionics. It stopped short of idiomatic slogans and instead employed its instruments in exploring identity and conflict within borders.
    Sarfarosh doesn’t treat its nationalism as a function of nationhood, but rather of good and evil in men. Here the state follows the virtue of men and not the other way round. Even in its most charged moments, the film doesn’t treat its people as shooting targets to exact a form of hot-headed salvation. Compared to today’s bullying brand of nationalism, it believed in re-investing in the old roots of good, calm men. Men who must confront different ideas of nationalism and identity, men who perpetually fight a borderless war. This film offers a great template of how an Indian action thriller with realistic trick's should be and without political correctness. After 20 years i am still waiting for them to at least make a film that came close to this one.

    Plot: Ajay decides to become a police officer after a terrible event in the family. After clearing the civil service ACP Ajay Rathod, given the charge of investigating the havoc being waged by criminal gangs in Maharashtra and the bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. Ajay being a big fan of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulfam Hassan while attending one of his concerts ran into his old college mate Seema (his love interest) who introduces Ajay to Mr. Hassan and they become good friends afterwards. Meanwhile, Ajay's investigation into the arms and drugs smuggling across Indo-Pak border leads him to various locations from Forests of Andra Pradesh to the deserts of Rajasthan where he uncover the mystery. The film shows the method used to smuggle the guns from Pakistan into the Indian cities in very attentive details. The intellectual ending of the film provides a wonderful debate for audiences which showcases that the problem of terrorism will continue regardless of the police, governments, and even the law-abiding citizens.

    Cast :
    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTfFurUkKi_nYH64OqCdAOtKDVs8GSbd9ElxSGf2tO6wpXhDCu7
    Ajay Singh Rathod (played by Aamir Khan), a medical student abandon his pursuit of getting a medical degree and decided to become an IPS officer in Mumbai’s Crime Branch to help nab “terrorists” after a terrible event in the family that motivated ajay to join the police force.

    qdhBvHS_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
    Ghulfam Hassan(played by Naseeruddin Shah) a mohajir (Muslim Indians who migrated to Pakistan after the Partition), who lives on both sides of the border. He is in India for an extended music tour. Ajay and Gulfaam had a good friendship going, one that would be tested especially in the second half of the film . On a side note he is one of the best actor of indian cinema and my favorite who gave another terrific performance in this film. He also played a small part with Sean Connery in League of extraordinary gentleman.

    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRhUgzLz6ZvBXyKnni8j5R8PZuGLmom56niycQezn71OHxF9z7H
    Seema (played by Sonali bendre) was hosting the concert for Mr.Hassan and Ajay's love interest . Ajay's romance with Seema is dealt with credibly in a matter of a few scenes, thus keeping the story compact and not losing sight of the bigger picture. It was paced out beautifully and gave a much-needed delicateness to the full-on cop investigation and action angle. She was 90s Monica bellucci of Indian Cinema for me, could have been amazing addition as bond girl in brosnan era.

    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcQROakJk3YsH8jL4druBgCE2zCzABtphbSB3PBY5kjq1rRxENZA
    Another interesting thing to note about this movie is its supporting cast, the sidekicks are not stereotypes. We could see careful research being done in each and every single character. Mukesh Rishi surprised us by giving an excellent performance as Inspector Salim, an interesting sub-plot.

    1a4KCQq_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
    BDFHbaP_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
    l12xJ2p_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
    Sarfarosh had a very broad canvas, with the film shifting focus from Bombay(Now Mumbai) to Delhi to the ISI headquarters in Pakistan to Chandrapur (a village on the border of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh), to the bahid fort at Rajasthan border(where climax took place). But director manages to avoid confusing the viewer with narration flows seamlessly across the various locations. The film is primarily based in Rajasthan. The colour fidelity is impressive, preserving the gold-tone colours that they used to showcase the locations. As a result the green in forest scenes and yellow colours during the desert stand out more.

    Music: Most of my foreign friends complains about having so many songs in Indian films, but sorry it is guilty pleasure for us 😁. It simply reflects every single mood and situation in the film. The best thing about this score & songs is it's variety. We have a qawwali, some rock, a ghazal, and - of course - a lot of melody and romantic cues. The music director duo Jatin-Lalit gave us an amazingly versatile album.

    The film opens with a patriotic song "Zindagi maut na ban jaye". Jatin-Lalit infuse melody into qawwali for the theme song of Sarfarosh. Roopkumar Rathod and Sonu Nigam did a great job at singing, a song which describes the disturbing state of the country. The film opening sequences is perhaps one of the most imaginative techniques seen to establish a plot. It creates the film themes and plots details within the first five minutes and lets the audience know what they are about to experience for the next two and a half hours.

    This film gave us the most iconic love ballad of the 90s generation with ‘Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya’ by Jagjit Singh, this ghazhal is seriously music to my ears. The song was picturised on Naseeruddin Shah, who plays a ghazal singer in this film. It also features a flashback involving Ajay and Seema during their college days.

    The passionate romantic number ‘Jo Haal Dil Ka’, This one's got a touch of rock - we get to hear vibrating electric guitar strings. An erotic and romantic number for which all i have to say is this - "Sonali looks bloody hot in this one".

    The playful romantic-comedy song in ‘Is Deewane Ladke Ko’ . A romantic Seema is trying to make things happen with an unromantic Ajay in which she somewhat succeeds at the end of the song. This song was shot at Essel world which was at that time biggest amusement park in Asia.

    The traditional folk-based Rajasthani song ‘Main Teri Dulhan Ban Jaaon’ made for a sound of film which was enriched and varied in indian culture.

    Accolades:
    Sarfarosh was a critical and box office success. With Budget of ₹8 crore (equivalent to ₹26 crore or US$3.6 million in 2020) earning Box office ₹33.46 crore (equivalent to ₹107 crore or US$15 million in 2020.
    Lead actors were praised for their performance and as such film won well deserve award's. The film won numerous awards as such as:
    National Film Awards:
    National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

    Filmfare Awards:
    Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie – Cinematt Pictures – John Matthew Matthan
    Filmfare Award for Best Editing – Jethu Mundul
    Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay – John Matthew Matthan
    Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue – Pathik Vats & Hriday Lani.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Ostandia
    Posts: 39,929
    Quite a review. I have too much on my watchlist already, but will keep it in the back of my forehead. Thanks.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,899
    @Dragonpol I thought of opening a thread for Indian films,tv shows, short films or web series but didn't knew if i should or if many people would be interested in it. @RichardTheBruce suggested Jewel thief, which is fantastic film imo, you should definitely have a look. Most of today's slow motion techniques in modern action films aren't really my cup of tea, even if they have interesting plot sometime. Majority of my favorites came from 90s to early 2000s. Still, the first film i would recommend is my absolute favorite with high rewatchabality and absolute gem of Hindi action thriller Sarfarosh (1999). A movie whose appreciation is coming a bit late but is there nevertheless. It was such a surprise that it caught everyone unaware. An unknown director with his debut just came onto the scene and made a masterpiece. It's sort of FRWL of Indian cinema for me, have watched it more times than i can count. :D . @Thunderfinger you might find this film on Netflix or YouTube easily. It's available on Blu-ray as well on Amazon.

    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRAoBMCJoSPUfgoqkbZCVqMqDtEsnTLDYVS_01qpDEn5Exl-Vy-
    Here's my review and a short description of my favorite Indian action film.
    Sarfarosh (transl. Fervour) is a non fiction 1999 Indian action film produced, written and directed by John Matthew Matthan and starring Aamir Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Sonali Bendre. John started working on Sarfarosh in 1992, seven years were spent on the research, pre-production and post production till it finally released in 1999. The film deals with an Indian police officer's quest to stop cross-border terrorism. The film was released just before the Kargil war conflict when tensions between India and Pakistan were high. On release, the film was both, critically and commercially successful. Although this is the first film of director John Mathew Matthan who perfectly crafted outputs from his entire cast . What makes this film so exceptional is its carefully thought out characterization and brilliant performances. The film manages to marry serious cinema with the commercial variety in the departments of Screenplay, music, performance and Cinematography. It proves commercial movie doesn't always have to be mediocre or a family drama. This film was released during the Kargil war and yet it is admirable how it refused to get carried away with histrionics. It stopped short of idiomatic slogans and instead employed its instruments in exploring identity and conflict within borders.
    Sarfarosh doesn’t treat its nationalism as a function of nationhood, but rather of good and evil in men. Here the state follows the virtue of men and not the other way round. Even in its most charged moments, the film doesn’t treat its people as shooting targets to exact a form of hot-headed salvation. Compared to today’s bullying brand of nationalism, it believed in re-investing in the old roots of good, calm men. Men who must confront different ideas of nationalism and identity, men who perpetually fight a borderless war. This film offers a great template of how an Indian action thriller with realistic trick's should be and without political correctness. After 20 years i am still waiting for them to at least make a film that came close to this one.

    Plot: Ajay decides to become a police officer after a terrible event in the family. After clearing the civil service ACP Ajay Rathod, given the charge of investigating the havoc being waged by criminal gangs in Maharashtra and the bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. Ajay being a big fan of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulfam Hassan while attending one of his concerts ran into his old college mate Seema (his love interest) who introduces Ajay to Mr. Hassan and they become good friends afterwards. Meanwhile, Ajay's investigation into the arms and drugs smuggling across Indo-Pak border leads him to various locations from Forests of Andra Pradesh to the deserts of Rajasthan where he uncover the mystery. The film shows the method used to smuggle the guns from Pakistan into the Indian cities in very attentive details. The intellectual ending of the film provides a wonderful debate for audiences which showcases that the problem of terrorism will continue regardless of the police, governments, and even the law-abiding citizens.

    Cast :
    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTfFurUkKi_nYH64OqCdAOtKDVs8GSbd9ElxSGf2tO6wpXhDCu7
    Ajay Singh Rathod (played by Aamir Khan), a medical student abandon his pursuit of getting a medical degree and decided to become an IPS officer in Mumbai’s Crime Branch to help nab “terrorists” after a terrible event in the family that motivated ajay to join the police force.

    qdhBvHS_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
    Ghulfam Hassan(played by Naseeruddin Shah) a mohajir (Muslim Indians who migrated to Pakistan after the Partition), who lives on both sides of the border. He is in India for an extended music tour. Ajay and Gulfaam had a good friendship going, one that would be tested especially in the second half of the film . On a side note he is one of the best actor of indian cinema and my favorite who gave another terrific performance in this film. He also played a small part with Sean Connery in League of extraordinary gentleman.

    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRhUgzLz6ZvBXyKnni8j5R8PZuGLmom56niycQezn71OHxF9z7H
    Seema (played by Sonali bendre) was hosting the concert for Mr.Hassan and Ajay's love interest . Ajay's romance with Seema is dealt with credibly in a matter of a few scenes, thus keeping the story compact and not losing sight of the bigger picture. It was paced out beautifully and gave a much-needed delicateness to the full-on cop investigation and action angle. She was 90s Monica bellucci of Indian Cinema for me, could have been amazing addition as bond girl in brosnan era.

    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcQROakJk3YsH8jL4druBgCE2zCzABtphbSB3PBY5kjq1rRxENZA
    Another interesting thing to note about this movie is its supporting cast, the sidekicks are not stereotypes. We could see careful research being done in each and every single character. Mukesh Rishi surprised us by giving an excellent performance as Inspector Salim, an interesting sub-plot.

    1a4KCQq_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
    BDFHbaP_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
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    Sarfarosh had a very broad canvas, with the film shifting focus from Bombay(Now Mumbai) to Delhi to the ISI headquarters in Pakistan to Chandrapur (a village on the border of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh), to the bahid fort at Rajasthan border(where climax took place). But director manages to avoid confusing the viewer with narration flows seamlessly across the various locations. The film is primarily based in Rajasthan. The colour fidelity is impressive, preserving the gold-tone colours that they used to showcase the locations. As a result the green in forest scenes and yellow colours during the desert stand out more.

    Music: Most of my foreign friends complains about having so many songs in Indian films, but sorry it is guilty pleasure for us 😁. It simply reflects every single mood and situation in the film. The best thing about this score & songs is it's variety. We have a qawwali, some rock, a ghazal, and - of course - a lot of melody and romantic cues. The music director duo Jatin-Lalit gave us an amazingly versatile album.

    The film opens with a patriotic song "Zindagi maut na ban jaye". Jatin-Lalit infuse melody into qawwali for the theme song of Sarfarosh. Roopkumar Rathod and Sonu Nigam did a great job at singing, a song which describes the disturbing state of the country. The film opening sequences is perhaps one of the most imaginative techniques seen to establish a plot. It creates the film themes and plots details within the first five minutes and lets the audience know what they are about to experience for the next two and a half hours.

    This film gave us the most iconic love ballad of the 90s generation with ‘Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya’ by Jagjit Singh, this ghazhal is seriously music to my ears. The song was picturised on Naseeruddin Shah, who plays a ghazal singer in this film. It also features a flashback involving Ajay and Seema during their college days.

    The passionate romantic number ‘Jo Haal Dil Ka’, This one's got a touch of rock - we get to hear vibrating electric guitar strings. An erotic and romantic number for which all i have to say is this - "Sonali looks bloody hot in this one".

    The playful romantic-comedy song in ‘Is Deewane Ladke Ko’ . A romantic Seema is trying to make things happen with an unromantic Ajay in which she somewhat succeeds at the end of the song. This song was shot at Essel world which was at that time biggest amusement park in Asia.

    The traditional folk-based Rajasthani song ‘Main Teri Dulhan Ban Jaaon’ made for a sound of film which was enriched and varied in indian culture.

    Accolades:
    Sarfarosh was a critical and box office success. With Budget of ₹8 crore (equivalent to ₹26 crore or US$3.6 million in 2020) earning Box office ₹33.46 crore (equivalent to ₹107 crore or US$15 million in 2020.
    Lead actors were praised for their performance and as such film won well deserve award's. The film won numerous awards as such as:
    National Film Awards:
    National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

    Filmfare Awards:
    Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie – Cinematt Pictures – John Matthew Matthan
    Filmfare Award for Best Editing – Jethu Mundul
    Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay – John Matthew Matthan
    Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue – Pathik Vats & Hriday Lani.

    Thank you for all of that, @Resurrection. That's much appreciated!
  • Posts: 136
    "Lila de Calcutta" by Jean Bruce, from his OSS 117 series of spy novels. As far as I know it's only available in french. The movie version, Banco a Bangkok pour OSS 117 takes place in Thialand. It follows the story line fairly well, however the book may fit your needs better.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,899
    "Lila de Calcutta" by Jean Bruce, from his OSS 117 series of spy novels. As far as I know it's only available in french. The movie version, Banco a Bangkok pour OSS 117 takes place in Thialand. It follows the story line fairly well, however the book may fit your needs better.

    Thank you, @Legionnaire.
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