Bollywood Terror Plot: Top 7 Films on Terrorism

Have you seen Mani Ratnam’s terrorism trilogy? That is - Roja, Bombay and Dil Se? Well, you should! We bring you some of the best movies Bollywood has given us on Terrorism

By Neha Jha

Jul 13, 2017  Updated On : Jun 21, 2018

Films on terrorism have long garnered interest among viewers. Tackling, or even touching the subject of terrorism, especially when it portrays any religion in a negative light, comes with its own set of risks. Who would want controversy in a society which gets offended by the slightest of provocation?


Yet, Bollywood has some amazing filmmakers who do the same. They dare to make movies on, not just terrorism, but various aspects of terrorism. While not all have portrayed terrorism as accurately as possible, some have made their mark and left a deep impression on people. We take a look at few such films which showcased a different side to terrorism, one that is kinda rare and sometimes, controversial.


Aamir (2008) -



Raj Kumar Gupta showed probably the ugliest side of terrorism and its implications on a sole human being with this film. It was also the debut of TV star Rajiv Khandelwal who plays Dr. Samir Ali, an NRI whose family is kidnapped by extremists forcing him to do whatever they say. Aamir shows how religious extremist groups blackmail innocent people and turn them into unwilling terrorists. The climax of the film will break your heart when you see an innocent man becoming a victim of terrorism while being mistaken to be a terrorist. This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.


The Attacks of 26/11 (2013) -



Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, the film is more of a documentary drama based entirely on the infamous 26/11 attack at Mumbai. Nana Patekar is seen essaying the role of Rakesh Maria, the Joint Commissioner of Police, while Sanjeev Jaiswal debuts with the role of terrorist Ajmal Kasab. RGV had won critical acclaim with this film which was also screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, in the Panorama as well as the Competition section. The film depicts the inside story of the 3 dark days of Mumbai as well as the narrative of assistant commissioner NR Mahale.


New York (2009) -



Based on the life of three Indian students in the US, the film shows the drastic change in their lives post 9/11 when Islamophobia arose in the west. Starring John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Irfan Khan in pivotal roles, the film portrays how and why many innocent people faced psychological trauma in the US after being tortured when wrongly accused of terrorism based on their religion, race or nationality. New York was a blockbuster and John Abraham received praise for his performance as a fun college graduate who develops a deep resentment for the FBI after he is wrongfully detained and tortured.


Roja (1992) -



This Mani Ratnam directorial is still regarded as a cult classic. It won three National Film Awards, including Best Film on National Integration and also won Best Film Award at the 18th Moscow International Film Festival. It was also the Bollywood launchpad for AR Rahman whose music won him a National Award, a Filmfare Award as well as Tamil Nadu State Film Award. Do you know that Roja’s soundtrack is one among the 10 Best Soundtracks" of all time listed by TIME magazine? The film and its music were released in five languages - Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, and Malayalam. Watch it for the amazing performances by Arvind Swamy and Madhoo. And also, the music which is to die for!!!


A Wednesday (2008) -



This Neeraj Pandey thriller focuses on the extent to which a common man can go when heavily disappointed with the administration and the insecure environment around him. Naseeruddin Shah plays an anonymous caller who threatens the police with mass bombings across Mumbai and tells them to release 4 militants in return. Seems like an average terrorist plot? It is not!! Because the caller was not a terrorist or associated with any terror organization. The gripping plot and the surprising climax were two of the reasons why the film was remade in several languages as well as in Hollywood where it was titled The Common Man starring Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross. You should watch the film for its suspense and the performances of Mr. Shah and Anupam Kher.


Dil Se (1998) -



This Mani Ratnam classic was a romantic thriller starring Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. It won many awards at film festivals all over the world for its sensitive portrayal of the victims of terrorism themselves - the suicide bombers. The soundtrack, developed by AR Rahman sold six million units in the country, a rare feat at the time. The story of the film will leave you surprised as well as sad. Set in the backdrop of the liberation movement in Barak valley of Silchar, it tells the story of the controversial human rights violation at Kunan and Poshpora, twin villages in Kashmir’s Kupwara district where reportedly more than 100 women were allegedly raped by the Indian Army during a search and interrogation operation. Manisha Koirala plays the role of Moina, a rape survivor from the village, who becomes a suicide bomber to avenge her violation. Though the film did not do well in India, it received worldwide acclaim and also put SRK in the list of best actors with his performance as Amar Varma.


Maachis (1996) -



A film showcasing the power of the youth who can rebel in the face of political and economic devastation, it had a stellar cast with Tabu, Om Puri, Chandrachur Singh and Jimmy Shergill. Based on the 1980s Sikh insurgency in Punjab, it depicts how common youngsters become hell-bent on seeking revenge for the political cruelty meted out to them for no fault of theirs. Directed by Gulzar with music by Vishal Bhardwaj, the film gained popularity with two of its songs - "Chappa Chappa Charkha Chale" and "Chhod Aaye Hum Vo Galiyaan" gaining massive popularity.


These are some of the masterpieces Bollywood gave us on terrorism and its effects on normal human mind and life. Like everything else, Bollywood showcases life and society as it is and terrorism is one of its foremost problems.

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