Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Rang de Basanti

I had not expected much from the film, except its great music and the energy of youth. And, it turned out that the film really had only these two elements. Rahman's great music saves Rang de Basanti, otherwise the film has no storyline, lacklustre acting, misguided aims, and, more importantly to me, an insult to some of the great persons whom I have admired since my childhood.

The director looks a very confused person. What does he want to show in the film? I couldn't understand for the life of me that why all the scenes like Kakori's train loot and Saunders murder are enacted and shown in this film. In fact, when the filmmaker first visualized all the leads in the roles of freedom fighters to herself, then only it was a little distasteful to me. But to go on with it and keep on showing them feels like real blasphemy. Why blasphemy? Since how could that rabble of a lot, who are simply vagabonds and who do not care about their country and nor about acting or how a film is made, how a character is played - how could that rabble be shown to be selected for the documentary? The film initially shows concerns from the documentary film maker that her docu is not being taken seriously, they are not what they have to be - but suddenly the docu is shown to proceed with aplomb. How does this transformation occur? Since they remain the same unruly, vagabond lot that they were to the end of the film - I didn't think of them as martyrs even after the director's painful efforts to show them as such.

Other faults? A lot, like more light could have been shed on the backgrounds of each of the friends, plus a lot of India could have been captured, especially looking from the eyes of the foreigner. Is a Western person, even if he or she is interested in Indian politics, going to be charmed by the sight of parliament after coming to India. Is that the symbol of India's might, India's exoticism, is that the thing for which India holds its name as a synonym for a 'difficult country to live in, and to leave'. Things like this instantly make you feel that the director's attempts are all hackneyed, and cannot be sincere.

Rahman's music, as usual, is great, and not only saves the film from ignominy but also makes the film a box office success. How easy it is to delude people!

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