Release date:August 12, 2005
Studio:Yash Raj Films
Starring:Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Toby Stephens
"Mangal Pandey – The Rising" is an epic tale of friendship, love, loss and betrayal set against the backdrop of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. British colonial rulers are plundering the country, treating the locals unjustly and causing widespread resentment. Worst of all they are using the Indians as sepoys, the infantry of the army, to control and regulate the population. After a hundred years of subjugation, India is awakening to the revolutionary prospect of change and self-rule. During a fierce battle in the Afghan wars of the mid-century, Mangal Pandey, a heroic sepoy rescues his British commanding officer William Gordon. The event creates a strong friendship and binding loyalty between them that transcends consideration of rank and race. The friendship is soon challenged, first by arrival of a charming and beautiful young aristocrat, Emily Kent, and then by the introduction of controversial new gun cartridges among the troops. The relationship is complicated further when Gordon saves a beautiful young native girl, Jwala, from the funeral pyre of her late husband, and falls in love with her. The new cartridges require soldiers to bite through their greased casing, made of animal fat, and suspicion spreads that the British are ignoring religious beliefs in favour of cheap weapons, and polluting their Muslim and Hindu soldiers. Gordon assures Mangal that the cartridges are free from pollution. Demonstrating total trust in Gordon, Mangal bites the cartridge only to discover that it really is animal fat. With rumour spreading that the cartridges will be widely used, it is this act that ignites the resentment in the country. Mutiny breaks out with Mangal Pandey growing in stature to lead the Indian people to freedom. Set in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, told across the divides of time, "Mangal Pandey – The Rising" tells the tale of friends, lovers and enemies, exploiters and exploited, and the growth and awareness of a man and a nation. This sweeping epic is based on real historical events, seen as a trigger for Indian independence.