Rang De Basanti

By the time this review goes online, it would be the 170th review of Rang De Basanti in approximately what has been 6 weeks since the movie hit the Indian Screens.
Already lots of good reviews have been written on the movie, which inform you about the nitty gritties of the entire film … so I won’t be going into that.
Instead, I will take a different route and talk about the experiences that I went through while I sat in the theatres for 3 hours today.
Some General Musings
For starters, Rang De Basanti is a pretty experimental movie to me … it’s not your normal, everyday bollywood paisa vasool movie. Not that I see so many bollywood movies, but still …
Today was approximately the 6th week since the movie has been released (and so I was told) – and there I was, sitting in the 3rd row from the screen for a saturday morning 10 o’ clock show.
The movie was to go houseful in the next 5 minutes before the movie started.
The running time of the movie is about 180 minutes – and I went through a series of emotions while watching the movie. The movie is essentially divided into two parts – the one before the interval and the one after.
The production values of the movie is very very good for a bollywood movie – brilliant acting (then again, all Amir Khan movies have brilliant acting), great cinematography and non obstructive songs (for most parts of the movies anyways)
Everyone acted brilliantly, including Madhavan who plays a good cameo.
I was particularly very impressed by Alice Patten (who plays Sue) and her efforts with Hindi which at the beginning sound corny (Maa Ki Aankh??) but you get used to within the first 10 minutes of her arriving in India.
Not to undermine the soundtrack – which was experimental too – and I loved it.
It was well synchronized with the story running and helped in elevating the momentum of the entire movie.
The first part
The initial one and a half hours of the movie deals with the character building (which is so very very important for any movie) of all the characters and is very fun and enjoyable to watch.
We’re introduced to each of the characters and the camraderie that they share amongst them. All this is kept very real, and I as a student (at approximately their ages) was able to empathize with them at once.
Though not generally a comedy, I was in splits at most of the dialogues which were nothing but inline chatter amongst the characters.
The main cast is not introduced till the first 20 minutes, but it was nevertheless very enjoyable.
The Second Part
This is the place where the movie takes a ninety degree turn and the entire emotional balance of the movie swings the other way.
Things get serious all of a sudden and you’re taken through a torrent of emotions ranging from joy, sorrow, fear, hatred, patriotism, etc.
The parallels drawn between the documentary being made – and the lives of the friends (though a bit cliched) was brilliantly done and stands out in the movie.
After thoughts
This movie actually makes you ’’think’’ and whatever hype it has received, is not over the top. Even after a hundred people telling me that the movie was brilliant and my brother spilling the ending, I still loved the movie.
About 3 weeks ago, people I didn’t know would come up to me and say ’’Rang De Basanti dekhi kya?’’ followed by ’’Go watch it’’
The movie has everything in it and as an experience, its well worth the 3 hours of your life that you will spend at the halls.
At the end, it does evoke a sense of patriotism and makes you ponder on things that happen and the government cover ups and whether anything would change in India, if at all …
Maybe a generation is awakening … and its a good thing.
And as a footnote, welcome to the world of intelligent, realistic (well almost) Indian movies. First Dombivli Fast .. and now this …
Things are starting to look good.

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