04 Jul 2021: Not just 'Refugee', these movies too have featured 'desert' beautifully
Refugee completed 21 years recently. Set against the backdrop of a desert, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Abhishek Bachchan's debut movie was inspired by Keki N Daruwalla's Love Across the Salt Desert. While the film showed an innocent romance between the leads, it also gave a beautiful picture of the Great Rann of Kutch. Like this JP Dutta-directorial, many other movies followed the "desert" theme.
Fact: Here's how Khan celebrated 21st anniversary of 'Refugee'
#1: 'Sarfarosh': Desert plays a part, not just in the backdrop
Rajasthan's Thar Desert has been in the background of several movies, including Sarfarosh. The "desert" theme wasn't only a visual treat but also gave the message of betrayal. Gulfam Hassan (Naseeruddin Shah) with a "chameleon" character breaks Ajay's (Aamir Khan) trust in the movie. The vast sandy area also serves as a safe passage for cross-border transactions to sustain Hassan's illegal business in Sarfarosh.
#2: Desert in 'Border' stands as a symbol for longing
The 1997 film Border was a multi-starrer focused on the army life in Rajasthan's deserts. Like Refugee, this masterpiece by JP Dutta also hints at the filmmaker's affinity toward sand dunes. Based on the 1971 Longewala Battle, the film's desert setting portrayed the theme of longing and showed how the officers leave their families behind to fight for their country. So symbolic and poignant!
#3: 'Paheli' introduced viewers to the authentic Rajasthan
Rani Mukerji-Shah Rukh Khan's Paheli showed a small Rajasthan town, Navalgarh. The portrayal of Rajasthani life in this movie is authentic with puppet shows, camel rides, and the beauty of sand dunes giving apt company. In Paheli, the desert is just a place and doesn't hold much importance. It rather focuses on the unusual love story between a new bride and a wicked ghost.
#4: 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam': Where desert is a character
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam has the Thar Desert as a character altogether. Like the human characters of Sameer and Nandini, the desert too has been shown to have emotions. It dances with Nandini in Man Mohini and even cries with Sameer in Tadap Tadap when he has to leave her because of a promise he made to her father, who is his guru.
#5: 'Parched': It is dry all along, inside and outside
Parched—a movie which showed how small-town and rural women too have sexual desires and that it's normal—has a lot to thank the desert for. Not only does it serve as the perfect setting, but it also shows the loneliness of these women who have to struggle a lot to tame this craving of getting a human to touch their body the way they want.
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