Maachis is a film about what atrocities can drive an ordinary human to do. It looks back at the Punjab problem and tries to figure out some of the root causes. It’s a 1996 Indian Hindi period political thriller film directed by Gulzar and produced by R. V. Pandit. It stars Om Puri, Tabu, Chandrachur Singh and Jimmy Sheirgill in the lead roles. The film portrays the circumstances surrounding the rise of the Sikh insurgency in Punjab in the 1980s and traces the transformation of a youth from a boy next door to a dreaded terrorist bent on wreaking vengeance.
The title is used as a metaphor that conveys that the youth of any nation are matchsticks that could ignite due to deficiencies in the political and policing systems.
Maachis was a critical and commercial success. Gulzar’s direction and the music of Vishal Bhardwaj were strong points. To this day, many songs from the film, particularly “Chappa Chappa Charkha Chale” and “Chhod Aaye Hum Vo Galiyaan” can be heard playing on FM radio or TV channels. Bhardwaj went on to become a director and has directed movies such as Maqbool as well as the highly lauded Omkara. “Chhod Aaye Hum” was the first Hindi film song sung by the now famous Indian singer KK.
Filmfare Best Debut Award – Chandrachur Singh
1997 National Film Awards (India)
Silver Lotus Award – Best Actress – Tabu
Golden Lotus Award – National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
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