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The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

A rare and thoughtful depiction of one of India’s freedom fighters

7.0

Movie

India
Bengali, English, Hindi
Crime, Drama, History
2002
RAJKUMAR SANTOSHI
Ajay Devgan, Akhilendra Mishra, Amrita Rao
155 min

TLDR

The Legend of Bhagat Singh walked, so that RRR can run.

What it's about

While Mahatma Gandhi advocated for non-violent resistance against the British Raj, a group of revolutionaries fought for the same Indian independence with other methods, one of whom is freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, who advocated for militant action.

The take

When talking about resistance against colonial powers, nonviolent resistance, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, is oftentimes touted as the most righteous and morally correct path to take. However, most people forget that this violence is done in response to the violence enacted upon them, and that violent resistance has worked alongside the non-violent path, with a serious rationale behind their methods. The Legend of Bhagat Singh remembers one of the Indian revolutionaries that devoted their lives to the cause, though in a different way from Gandhi. The film has some inaccuracies, and it emphasized the romance he might have had with the unmarried woman later known as Bhagat’s widow, but the Legend of Bhagat Singh is an interesting portrait of a revolutionary that needs to be discussed more.

What stands out

The way Gandhi is portrayed here. Over the years, Gandhi’s reputation as a peaceful, non-violent civil rights leader is what most people remember of him, but this film does criticize the way he let down certain revolutionaries that fought for his aims, if not his methods.

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