Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
Memorable films based on 9/11 attacks
Best films that document the life of Mahatma Gandhi
Posted By: NDTV Lifestyle Desk
9/11 has inspired several filmmakers to explore subjects like terrorism, hate crimes, racial prejudice and misinterpretation of religion based on actual and fictional events revolving around the attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon. Be it in India or outside, many films have used the theme and tried out different treatments - from hard hitting documentaries to tales of heroism to heart wrenching stories of loss, love and pain.
World Trade Centre
: Directed by Academy Award winner Oliver Stone, this movie is based on the lives of two officers assigned to New York City’s Port Authority. The two policemen, John Mclouglin (Nicholas Cage) and William J. Jimemo (Michael Pena) have to risk their lives to evacuate the towers after the attack. However, as the building begins to rumble they get trapped in the wreckage. While they are trapped for hours they speak to each other, think of their families and realise the importance of life. Eventually, they survive and are united with their families. The film celebrates courage and endurance of not just these two but the entire Nation coming together in the face of a tragedy. Nicholas Cage delivers a brilliant performance as Sergeant Mcloughlin in this emotional and gripping drama.
: Out of the four hijacked planes on September 11, only one failed to hit the target area. It is believed that the passengers of this flight fought back and attempted to enter the cockpit, thereby forcing terrorists to lose control of the plane. However, the plane crashed in an open area near Shanksville, Pennsylvania killing everyone on board. Directed by English film director - Paul Greengrass, the film is an account of the heroic resistance of the passengers and the crew and the courage they showed. The movie is intense with a nerve wrecking account of the hijack and the chaos that followed. The film, brilliantly recreates the final hours of the doomed flight and the brave fight the passengers put up. It honours the brave passengers who in this time of crisis worked out a plan of attack and confronted the hijackers. This real life story of a group of strangers uniting in the face of death will surely move you.
Khuda Kay Liye
: A film you must watch if you still haven’t - Khuda Kay Liye is a perfect example of great storytelling. By bringing Muslim liberals and extremists together in one frame it exposes the problem of misinterpretation of Islam and exploitation in the name of religion. It is the story of Sarmad, a young Pakistani boy who in his attempt to understand his religion better falls prey to hardcore fundamentalists’ evil designs. Gradually, he is drawn into very serious crimes in the pretext of his loyalty towards his religion. Meanwhile in the US, Sarmad’s innocent elder brother is convicted for the 9/11 attacks and tortured only because he is a Muslim. Unfortunately, the FBI also finds out Sarmad’s pictures standing next to Islamic militants fuelling the police’s suspicion. In the final sequence of the movie, Nasseeruddin Shah delivers a powerful performance as Maulana Wali in his cameo. The witty seer quotes from religious texts and proves that Islam is a religion that allows women and men equal freedom and criticises the Fundamentalists for distorting the beliefs. With some brilliant performances, great music and a beautiful message, the movie is extremely impactful.
My Name Is Khan
: Another film that attempted to lash out at post 9/11 prejudices and it did so quite successfully. It is the story of a Muslim autistic man - Rizwan, played by Shahrukh Khan and his Hindu wife Mandira, played by Kajol, who reside in the US. Tragedy strikes post 9/11 when Mandira’s son from her previous marriage is killed by a bunch of school bullies, just because his step father is a Muslim. Mandira blames Rizwan his religion and his surname Khan for the loss. This is when an innocent but determined Rizwan sets out on a mission to meet The US President. His aim is to tell the President that though his name is Khan, he is not a terrorist. The story captures Rizwan’s journey and how he manages to get media attention, support and is finally able to convey his message to the President. The movie is a perfect mixture of love, drama, emotion, pathos with a profound social message in it.
Reign Over Me
: It is the story of two friends Alan (Don Cheadle) and Charlie (Adam Sandler) who happen to reunite after years. Alan, a successful rich Dentist has it all- a beautiful wife, lovely kids, big apartment, an expensive car and a great career but is still bored and unhappy. When he meets his old roommate Charlie, he is shocked to see how he has completely withdrawn from the world and has become a loner. The story is all about how both Alan and Charlie meet by chance and rekindle their friendship, at a stage in life when they probably need it the most. Alan learns that Charlie’s life was shattered by the loss his wife and daughters in the 9/11 attacks. This not only makes Alan value his own family but also gives him a larger purpose in life, to help his friend Charlie. The film shows how even in the worst of situations there is a ray of hope, somewhere. In Charlie’s case, it’s the compassion and support of his friend.
New York (Hindi)
: Film critic Subhash K. Jha called it “an important film” that “cares about the prejudices that have taken over the world”. Following the 9/11 attacks, hundreds of innocent South Asians, especially Muslims were suspected, detained and inhumanly tortured by the FBI. This blockbuster Bollywood flick is the story of one such man, Sameer Sheikh (John Abraham) who is detained for a period of nine months as a suspected terrorist, all because of his religion. He is tortured mentally and physically. He is eventually released because of lack of evidence and Sameer decides to have his revenge. He plans to bomb the FBI building in order to get back at the ruthless officials who tortured him. John Abraham gives a mature performance, as Sameer. The story also revolves around his wife Maya (Katrina Kaif) and their college friend Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) who is roped in by investigative agencies to track Sameer and find out his plans.
The emotionally charged climax sequence of the film stays with the viewers and underlines the utter pointlessness of violence and hatred. The film was commended for being topical and meaningful, apart from being a huge commercial success.
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