Sunday, February 05, 2006

Rang de basanti - an excellent cinematic package

After Mangal Pandey, I became cautious of watching any movie that is hyped either through publicity campaigns or through staged controversies. When Rang de Basanti was released, I was bit skeptical to watch this movie in a theater until I did not notice widespread condemnation of this movie in media. I abstained from reading reviews either but the comments heard from Dubai FM DJ tempted me to take a chance with this movie. I did so y’day evening and was not disappointed. Not being disappointed would connote a negative compliment. I enjoyed this movie and amazed in a manner story is nurtured and presented.

Often I tend to judge a movie based on pre conceived expectations that set in my mindset. These often come from the reputation of producer, director, and main actors. In this movie, all I was vaguely aware that it is a movie with Amir Khan at center stage with shades of political jingoism. When this movie began, I was wondering if this was an attempt to combine ‘Dil Chahta Hain’ in color and ‘Shahid Bhagat Singh’ in ‘brown and white’ and movie would eventually veer in a similar manner as did movie ‘Lakshya’.

It dispelled all those conjectures. Instead, movie as it set the tempo it turned into a racy, vibrant montage with carefully delineated characters shot in a colourful manner. In movies of similar genre, most directors would have tempted to incorporate incidents of Jallianwala bagh massacre and emergence of martyrs as a backdrop of this movie or use it as a theme to lift the jingoistic spirit of today’s youth. In this movie, the essence of the young generation’s response to belligerent exploitation of rulers is adroitly juxtaposed in the context of current political and social turmoil. Kamal Hasan did use a similar approach in using Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination and Hindu- Muslim animosity in Hey Ram but his attempt despite being creative got confused with convoluted plots and subplots. Rang de basanti succeeded where Hey Ram failed as it scrupulously avoided falling into temptation of story narration spanning many generations and locale. The temporal duration of the story is not more than few months – a time takes to prepare documentary on any historical incident yet the story does not become stagnant. Most frames of the movie have at any time at least 4-5 characters yet screen does not get crowded with multiple characters. The credit goes to a compact script that delineates every character to its perfection. Amir Khan is just another protagonist and not heroic figure. Director has made sure that he does not dominate the other new faces and still he is cleverly used to deliver punch lines or raunchy, rustic Punjabi humor. Consummate artist he is, he does not disappoint.

Rang De Basanti is another movie that is slowly bridging the gap between Hollywood and Bollywood. Riots of colours, flamboyance of youth and sincerity of India’s youthful aspiration in making their country proud is presented in mesmerizing manner. A R Rahman’s has set the musical score with fast paced scores like Yuva but this time with Punjabi folk punctuated by effective use of Dholak . He is proving better than combination of Salilda and RD Barman with sheer magic of chorus orchestration musical ensemble.

The director of this movie is same as that of ‘Aks’, a movie that demonstrated the risk taking ability of new generation film producers and directors. However, Rang de basanti shows the maturity of the same director by maintaining the innovativeness with refreshing appeal. It was a surprise to see Amir Khan not being catapulted as a savior in climactic scenes. Atul Kulkarni is brought in as another pillar to support the histrionics ability of the movie lest movie does not become ordinary with mediocre performance of new comers. Instead, new artists have enlivened beyond the expectations of viewers letting Atul Kulkarni and Amir Khan carrying the balance with measured performances. Raghvan’s and Alice Patton’s character acts more like a catalyst in bringing lethal chemistry of bizarre contrasting youthfulness of buddies into a sensational tribute to their country they adored sincerely. Om Puri, Waheeda Rahman, Anupam and Kiran Kher wouldn’t have done their little roles had they not been captivated by the script of the movie and conviction of the director.

Rang De Basanti goes into the list of my recent favorites that included Khaki, Munnabhai MBBS, Virrudha, Black – but come shade above in terms overall cinematic value.


Anonymous abha said...

super super review! enjoyed it totally!

i gave up after 3 reviews! but ur reviews make a great read! so gave in and wasnt disappointed at all!

i am yet to watch it and abstain from having 108th review!

keep penning!



7:41 PM  
Anonymous ketul said...

do you agree with the end. don’t you this this is free India and the scenes at radio station and india gate are not possible now ?
Keep writing
Ketul Shah

7:42 PM  
Anonymous moviezombie said...

...but you still make observations that havent been expressed...and that i agree with completely!

Very astutue to compare Hey Ram and RDB..apart from the lack of focus in the story, Hey Ram was also tainted by the all too powefrul ego and self absorption of Kamal Hassan.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous anusha said...

Kewl revu and gosh im jus waitin to see the film still...

Keep writin such kewl reviews!


7:43 PM  
Blogger goggly said...

This is one of the better movies to have come out of bollywood despite certain inherent flaws in it.

Good one there.

take care,

7:44 PM  

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