Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn played the legendary Indian socialist revolutionary Bhagat Singh in the film, ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the film which earned Ajay Devgn immense respect and popularity for essaying the character of Bhagat Singh. ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ was released on June 7, 2002, exactly 20 years ago. It was directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and starred Ajay Devgn as the young revolutionary along with Sushant Singh, D. Santosh, Akhilendra Mishra, and Raj Babbar in the main cast.
It is reported that the director chose Ajay Devgn after several auditions because the actor had revolutionary eyes. The Drishyam and Golmaal actor efficiently played the most fearless freedom fighter of India. The movie has touched many hearts and was the most significant tribute to the legend. The biopic was created in its best way to narrate the story of the young revolutionary ‘Bhagat Singh’ who sacrificed his life for the freedom of the nation.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh also earned Ajay Devgn his second National Award. Among other creations of Bhagat Singh, this movie starring Ajay Devgn was a mindful project and a well-made version on the life and journey of the young freedom fighter. Despite being loved by many, the movie sank and flopped. Made with a budget of Rs 20 cr, the film earned only Rs 12.9 cr worldwide.
Back in the time, the movie clashed with similar films on Bhagat Singh creating a ruckus in the minds of audiences. On the same date, ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ was released i.e. 7th June 2002 another movie on the same storyline was released. Another film titled ‘23rd March Shaheed Bhagat Singh’ was also released on June 7, 2002. In this movie, Bobby Deol played the titular role of the legendary Bhagat Singh.
Not just this ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ was also conflicted by one more movie which was released in the same time span. Shaahed-E-Azam was another biographical movie on the revolutionary Bhagat Singh. This film was released just a week before the release of Ajay Devgn’s “The Legend Of Bhagat Singh”. Directed by Sukumar Nair, Shaahed-E-Azam hit the theaters on 31st May 2002. The character of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was played by Sonu Sood, while Raj Zutshi as Chandra Shekhar Azad, Manav Vij as Sukhdev, and Dev Gill as Rajguru.
So, within a time span of one week, Bollywood offered three films on Bhagat Singh and none of them worked at the box office.
Even Ajay Devgn said in an interview, ‘The movie ‘Legend of Bhagat Singh’ flopped because the audience was put off with too many similar films at a time’
No matter what the box office numbers suggest, this film remains a classic and continues to touch our hearts even after 20 years.