Before UP Elections 2017, films to catch up on, from Omkara to Masaan: Throwback Thursday
The largest and the most crucial of all states, Uttar Pradesh will vote in a seven-phase election for its 403 seats on 11, 15, 19, 23 and 27 February, and 4 and 8 March.
This is probably 2017's biggest litmus test for political parties in the fray for the upcoming Assembly elections in five crucial states — Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab being the others.
In the past few months, UP politics has garnered the most interest, thanks to the chacha-bhatija drama playing out in the ruling party of the state.
Uttar Pradesh has always been one of the fascinating states in the country with its rich history, complex politics and high crime rate.
The poll-bound state recorded 2.8 million crimes for a population of 200 million, more than any other state in 2015; the crime rate was India’s second highest: 1,293 per 100,000 population.
So it's not a surprise that when it comes to depicting the state in Bollywood movies, more often than not, it's a gritty, crime-infested, corruption fueled notion that comes to the forefront.
Some of the best movies in Bollywood have been set in Uttar Pradesh over the years. Here are some you should check out before you dive into the upcoming election season:
Vishal Bhardwaj's best, set in Meerut of Western Uttar Pradesh, Omkara is a retelling of Shakespeare's masterpiece Othello.
The story revolves around a politically-minded enforcer's misguided trust in his lieutenant which leads him to suspect his wife of infidelity.
The film stars Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Vivek Oberoi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kareena Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah, each delivering the performance of a lifetime.
Set in the city of Varanasi, Masaan was one of the best films of 2015.
Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, the film follows four people whose lives intersect along the Ganges: a low caste boy hopelessly in love, a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending in a tragedy, a hapless father with fading morality, and a spirited child yearning for a family, all longing to escape the moral constructs of a small town.
Beautifully told, the heartfelt film was first released at 2015 Cannes Film Festival, winning two awards.
The film stars Richa Chadha, Sanjay Mishra, Vicky Kaushal, Pankaj Tripathy and Shweta Tripathi.
Set in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, Ishqiya tells the story of a man and his nephew, who while on the run from goons, fall for a kidnapper's seductive widow.
The dark comedy, directed by Abhishek Chaubey, stars Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah, and Salman Shahid.
A sequel — Dedh Ishqiya — was released in 2014 with the same cast and crew, sans Vidya Balan, who was substituted by Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi.
Another one set in Varanasi, Raanjhanaa, follows a small-town boy who needs to break through the class divide to gain acceptance from his childhood sweetheart who is in love with big city ideals.
Directed by Aanand Rai (Tanu Weds Manu fame), Raanjhanaa stars Dhanush (his Bollywood debut), Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol. The background score and songs were composed by AR Rahman.
Set in Lucknow, Daawat-e-Ishq is a romantic comedy film starring Aditya Roy Kapur, Parineeti Chopra and Anupam Kher.
The film follows shop girl Gulrez, who after one too many heartbreaks, has no hope of finding a husband, until she meets a spicy chef who might just be to her taste.