Any armed conflict is a rich source of inspiration for art and artistes. The 1999 Kargil war was no exception, spawning several films that depicted it on the big screen, playing to the populist public patriotism. Some other films on the topic, however, chose to depict a different kind of conflict: The internal pains that families of soldiers involved in the Kargil war faced.
Here is a short and definitely inexhaustive list of films that depicted the Kargil conflict from different angles:
LOC Kargil: JP Dutta has had a penchant for multi-starrers ever since "Border," based on the battle of Longewala during the 1975 India-Pakistan war. He also apparently has a penchant for shooting without a bound script, which may explain why, despite the huge dose of patriotism this film delivers, it failed at the box office and was generally panned.
It was one of the few films that showed, to a great extent, parts of the actual conflict, and had the logistical as well as technical support from the Indian Army, which provided a lot of weaponry and firepower for the shooting.
But they and the combined star power of Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Sunil Shetty and Abhishek Bachchan, who were supported by the likes of Armaan Kohli, Puru Raajkumar, Nagarjuna, Sanjay Kapoor, Mohnish Bahl, Akshaye Khanna and Manoj Bajpayee, were not able to salvage the film.
Lakshya: The 2004 coming-of-age film of a yuppy Delhi-based youngster, who goes on to join the Army and takes part in one of the key conflicts during the Kargil war, was a much-cherished film. This, thanks to refreshing realism by director Farhan Akhtar, and some great performances by Hrithik Roshan in the lead and the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Om Puri and Sushant Singh supporting him.
Dhoop: This 2003 film was about the struggle of a family after one of its members is martyred in the Kargil war. In the absence of big-ticket stars, it told the story of the family coping with the death of a pilot in the armed forces, and their struggles in getting what the government had promised them after the soldier's death.
Stumped: The Kargil conflict had a great impact on the 1999 Cricket World Cup, which was being played in England and coincided with the war. It was extended even to the India-Pakistan clash in the tournament, which turned out to be all but a veritable war. This film is about a woman's conflicting views of such a love for cricket as she awaits concrete news of her husband, a soldier who has been rumoured to have been killed in the Kargil war.
No One Killed Jessica: This one, along with many others, references the Kargil war only in a small part. But the character of the tough-as-nails woman journalist played by Rani Mukerji and modelled on real-life journalist Barkha Dutt is established beautifully, in a scene when she chastises a fellow flyer after he insinuates that she had "fun" covering the war.
A similar role was played by Preity Zinta in "Lakshya," complete with Dutt's short haircut.