Two decades have passed since the release of the great Indian war movie, Border, and we are yet to find a movie that can suffice the kind of emotions that the film evokes.
This cinematic enigma by J. P. Dutta based on the battle of Longewella from 1971 Indo-Pak war raises major nostalgia and never fails to move us 90s kids.
Did you know the film always meant to be an appeal against war and thus its climax included deaths of most soldiers and their distraught families in the aftermath of the battle?
Here are some more facts about the movie engraved in golden letters in the history of Indian cinema:
1. Border was the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 1997.
2. The ground-breaking film has been awarded three National awards.
3. Director J. P. Dutta approached the then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao for permission to shoot the movie and he agreed to it saying, ‘This film should definitely be made.”
4. For the making of Border, he referred to the diaries he had written accounting his deceased brother’s experiences as an Indian Air Force pilot, to whom he also dedicated the film.
5. The director’s first film was also a border related movie called ‘Sarhad’ telling the story of prisoners of war, but
6. Post the film’s release, the director received numerous death threats and was assigned two armed bodyguards at constant service for the following three-four months.
7. Sunny Deol portrayed the role of Indian Army officer, Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, who was commended for his brilliant leadership and heroism in the Battle of Longewala, for which he received the prestigious Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) by the Indian Army.
8. Sanjay Dutt was initially signed for the role of Wing Commander Andy Bajwa, but had to be replaced by Jackie Shroff due to his jail sentence.
9. Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan were all approached for the role of Lieutenant Dharamvir, which was finally played by newcomer Akshay Khanna.
Salman wasn’t ready for it, Aamir was shooting Ishq, Saif and Akshay refused the role for unknown reasons and Ajay did not want to be a part of a multi-starrer film.
10. Manisha Koirala signed for the film but later opted out.
11. Juhi Chawla also declined the role of Kuldip Singh’s wife, later played by Tabu, as she was unwilling to do a small role in the film.
12. The film was shot on the real locations of the 1971 battle on the vast spread deserts of Bikaner.
13. The filmmakers used the authentic Hawker Hunters aircraft which was used during the actual war as well. They even maintained their unit logos while filming.
14. Real army men participated in this historic movie and real war equipments like tanks, army jeeps and other genuine ammunition was used.
15. A sequel is on its way as JP Dutta made an announcement for a second part of the movie in 2013!