Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and not my employer's.

Friday, 3 February 2006

Come on then...Mohe Rang De Basanti!!!!!!!!!

Well, it's been a week since the 57th Republic Day and the wave of patriotism would have long calmed down, if it weren't for the fact that it has also been a week since the release of the much-awaited "Rang De Basanti". I'm no celebrated film critic, but for some reason I've had the urge to express my view of this film. The urge is even more compelling since this movie focuses on the young generation, and I'm a part of it.

Let me start with the synopsis of the movie, for the people who haven't seen it (Don't worry I won't give away the suspense). The story begins with Sue(Alice Patten), who comes to India to make a film on revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad etc. based on the eye-witness accounts recorded in her grandfather's diary, who was on officer in British India. She is helped by Sonia (Soha Ali Khan), who introduces her the gang: DJ (Aamir Khan), Sukhi (Sharman Joshi), Aslam (Kunal Kapur) and Karan (Siddarth). Sue convinces them to act in this film. They don't agree immediately, since they don't identify with the characters. Laxman (Atul Kulkarni), an anti-Western activist, who is initially against this gang, later joins them and realises that this group is not just shor and masti*; that they have their serious moments and issues too. However, as the movie progresses, it establishes parallels between India now and pre-independent India and shows the once-definite line between the two eras, blurring away to nothing.

All the performances were ek se badhkar ek**. The music is awesome. Seeing this movie drew my attention to an aspect that is not looked at very often: the conscience of the British Officers. You know not every officer recruited by the government then enjoyed troubling and torturing the revolutionaries. Most of the times, they had to do it as their duty. But, nobody governs your feelings; you alone can master them. This is where you realise that revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad earned both the fear and respect of the officers' in the way they conducted themselves when they died.

Coming back to the movie, the friendship shared by this gang is just magical. Each person is individual and part of the gang at the same time. In the second half, there were so many flashbacks and flash forwards that, for some moments in the theatre, I felt that each member of this gang was a reincarnation of the revolutionary they represented. The irony presented by the camaraderie between 'Ramprasad Bismil' and 'Ashfaqulla Khan' and enmity between Laxman and Aslam is brought out very beautifully. The Jallianwala Bagh scene recreated is very sarcastic and bittersweet.

However, I felt there was a problem with the first violent action taken by the youngsters. I felt that, if they were being compared to the revolutionaries here, they should have used their intellect too; in fact intellect first, violence later. What I mean by this statement is that, if Chandrashekhar Azad was (in)famous for being the 'master of disguise' and if the Kakori incident was well-planned and well-executed, it was because there was some strategy and cunning used. But, what DJ and gang did here was all in blind rage and wrong channeling of youthful energy. This must be the FIRST and ONLY ONE time I'm going to say that plainly feeling about something and doing it the straight way doesn't always work. Sometimes, you have to twist your fingers to remove ghee from tricky places.

I agree with 'Ajay' when he says that, "If you are that bothered about the current situation of India, then DO something about it: Join the politics, the IPS, IAS and take the necessary action. You can't hope to clean your home without getting your hands dirty."

At the end of it all, even if I don't agree with the end of this movie, I agree with the message carried by it. You want to know what the message is? Just plain old "DO SOMETHING!"

*noise and fun
**one of the best


  1. Now that I've finally watched the movie, here are my two cents on the movie:

    Well, I'm not too sure which one of these events you've mentioned as first - a) when the crowd gangs up against Atul Kulkarni, b) when they protest in front of Amar Javan or c) when they target the minister

    For all cases here's what I'd say -

    a) At this point, I think they're like any commoner, disconnected from their past, so taking on Atul Kulkarni was a rage of anger yes, but something any commoner in their position would do.

    b) Like you and me, they wanted to make the right move. Trust their government. Expect justice.

    c) When what they expected was unanswered and they were humiliated instead, I think that's when they actually grew INTO their roles. Roles they were offered that is.

    As for the third action, true they were wrong, but they did apologize, they knew they were wrong.

    Here I'd echo Karan's words: "Uuncha sunai dene walon ko damaake ki jaroot hai"

    Not everybody cares to listen. But a forceful action attracts huge attention.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Sorry for this LENGTHY note

  2. Well That's a way to think about it. I totally agree with you too. Reagrding the violent action I mentioned, I meant the assassination of the minister. Appreciate the comment. Thanks.