Monday, January 30, 2006

Rang De Basanti

Terrific, extremely fast paced, and at the same time, a little unsettling!

Aamir Khan and his charisma are both back with a bang! The skepticism that I had while shelling out 200 bucks for this movie, especially after a big fiasco with The Rising earlier, turned out to be completely false. The buzz that these movie theaters in Bangalore have created around the movie by declaring it a premium product is absolutely justifiable.

Being one of the most entertaining movies of recent times, with the added dose of a very strong social message, Rang De Basanti is a must watch for all.

The story line may arguably not be original, but as they say, in the lingo of movie directors, the treatment of it surely is original! Rakeysh OmPrakash Mehra(I always wonder why these celebratees have to screw up their original names!) has shown yet again(after Aks) that he is a potent director, with extreme sensitivity, and a very good understanding of the intricacies of cinema making.

After Sarkar, this movie is the one, where more than the storyline or anything else, I enjoyed the direction. Every minute technical detail right from the camera position, the reaction of the characters beyond the main frame, the lighting, the sets, the attire of the lead characters, the language they speak, the environment they live in, all exemplify how well researched the director was, and how thoroughly he enjoyed the project!

Editing is the highlight of the movie. Too crisp, extremely fast paced, and very well thought and innovatively executed. The way two totally different stories have been interwoven and the message of the past and it's relevence to, and resemblance with the present is depicted, is really worth appreciation.

Aamir Khan, as I observed, is at his natural best after Dil Chahta Hai. He is witty, he is stylish, he is daring, and he is adorable. He is completely believable with his reactions - From "Are yaar ye to Hindi Bolti hai..." to the crying scene while eating, he has shown all facets of his admirable skillset.

Alice Patten as Sue is as convincing as Toby Stevens was, in The Rising. She seems to be at total ease and comfort while portraying her character. And her Hindi is really worth amazement!!

Atul Kulkarni as always is intense and a treat to watch. Kunal Kapoor, Siddharth, Sherman Joshi, Soha Ali Khan are all good and convincing. KK Raina and Mohan Agashe as corrupt politicians are convincing too. R Madhavan is not great himself, but the surroundings and the other characters not let that show.

The same A.R Rehman who was a big let down in The Rising, has shown yet again like Aamir, why he is talked about so much. The music is a delight for the ears, the songs fit the mood perfectly, and the back ground score adds on to the fast pace of the movie. I always have admired Rehman for the ease with which he turns a husky and untrained voice into melody, including his own! Prasoon Joshi is a welcome poet in the era of absolutely uncreative yet successful idiots like Sameer. The lyrics cover a galaxy of moods, be it the youth flavoured(Paathsala), or the country falvoured Bhangra(Rang De Basanti), or the inspiring and awakening songs like Roobaroo, Lalkaar and Khoon Chala. An album worth buying.

The dialogs are simple and straight forward without any emotional frill attached. And precisley for this reason, they manage to deliver. Another good part about the movie is that neither does it have any filler roles, nor it has used any cheap comedian to make people laugh. Like the Amitabh era movies, Aamir had donned the mantle himself and has carried it off as natuarally as he manages other stuff.

Now coming to story, as already mentioned, it's not original, yet has been originally treated. The first half is fun, extremely fast and never loses the viewers' attention. But the second half surpringly and rapidly turns the mood, and brings us to serious topics. When you dare to raise more than a single social message in one movie, then you are bound to be boring sometimes like Swades, and sometimes can make a complete mess of things. But Rakeysh(Ah! This spelling is a pain!) Mehara has managed things well, if not flawlessly. The ending is a little, rather extremely irrational. No one in his right minds would ever do what has been shown being done there. But keeping in mind it's a main stream movie, this masala oriented liberty is granted.

What's plesant to see is that Mr. Mehra has taken a shot at many things in one go. Right from the Indian youth's mentality, to their concept of patriotism(which sometimes is too rude, yet shockingly true), to the misguided youth(portrayed by Atul Kulkarni), to the corruption in society, bribery, recklessness, the attitude of the youth towards their parents, and finally to the politicians.

Rang De Basanti is a classic example of how team work works; appreciable direction, convincing performances, melodious soundtrack, and crisp editing, and above all very strong social messages.

You surely would come out with a plethora of mixed emotions - elated, happy, yet confused and slightly disturbed.

I have watched it twice already, and given the movie freak I am, no wonder I would watch it again provided I have company! :D


geethanjali said...

sir u must try publishing this post as an article in some newspaper. it is a wonderful review and before going out to watch any movie i will make sure i read ur review:).

deeps said...

hey keshav wht a review man...hats off:) surely as geet says we must make a point to read ur review and then,decide on if we have to watch it or not:)

NaReN said...

Hey.. nice review.. as always :)
Planning to watch it this weekend..

Keshav said...

@All: Thanks for the compliments!

But, do watch the movie, it's good fun.

Srinivas said...

Damn, I've to find a movie theater here!!

NaReN said...

Finally Tickets booked for fiday evening show!! :)

anoop said...

yes keshav, definitely worth a watch.
The mentality of the indian urban youth on matters of politics, patriotism and other idealistic views has been portrayed almost to perfection..
but, what let me down was the second half of the film! The extremity of the actions undertaken by the characters and the lack of reasoning behind it(ex: we, as viewers knew the involvement of the Defence min in the crash, but how do they make it out?. and many other similar facts like this). It also seems to convey the message that, if one needs to make a difference, their actions have to be so extreme as this.. I can go on and on..

definitely a high point was the superb editing, which seems to be very good in all aamir films recently..

Art said...

movie is just gr8...And ur review is superb:)

Keshav said...

@Srinivas: Dude, do locate a theater fast, this is a movie worth watching.

@Naren: Hope you have fun watching it. Tell me if you liked it.

@Anoop: I totally agree to your concerns and the fact that the second half is sort of a let down.
But what we must not forget is the fact that story telling is an art. And every creative person has his own way of expressing the artist within him.
Given the fact, that this movie was a commercial venture, we must accept that a little bit of over the board stuff is inevitable, otherwise the commercial aspects of the movie suffer. What we should appreciate is that, in the traditional framework of commercial cinema(if there is any), the director dared to experiment and embedded some good social message, which lacks in cinema.

@Art: Welcome to my blog. Thanks for the comlpiments.

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NaReN said...

Hey.. watched the movie!! simply superb :D

Few ppl were like, it isnt practical, blah blah blah... I think, movies need not be practical at all.. Apart from the boring life, even in movies if they show you real world, practicality etc, not many will enjoy :)
What the heck if it not really practical.. I totally enjoyed it!! gr8 movie..

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