Rang de Basanti – the ultimate review (not mine)
First off, my one line review: Finally a technically proficient Hindi film, with a coherent story-line that flows without the forced sentimental and musical interruptions that generally ruins even the better efforts in its genre. (whew!).
So colour me impressed and let’s go back to the main programme…..
(Warning: if you are one of those unfortunate few not to have seen RDB or its story revealed to you – spoilers below!)
I watched RDB about three weeks ago and have been procastinating on writing about it all this while. Besides, there are unlimited analysis (okay a few thousand depending on how you frame the search) of the movie and its so-called message of violence, all over the desi blog-world. That a commercial Hindi film is generating so much comments and polarized rguements by itself establishes RDB as different from the run of the mill blockbusters churned out by Bollywood (yes – that cliched ‘hatke’ finally means something here).
Most bloggers seem to agree that technically this is a good, not brilliant perhaps, but good, film. Much of the disagreement stems from interpretation of the second half of the movie, where a group of youths decide to take law into their own hands and murder a corrupt defense minister. Quite a few have decried this as pandering to a violent train of thought and this, if adopted in real life will not solve India’s many problems. I was going to argue against this and write down my own POVs on RDB. Then earlier today, I read this absolute gem from J Alfred Prufrock, that says pretty much what I wished to expressed, but with better economy of words and wit (and offers some nostalgia on black and white TV as a bonus) . And he makes this point regarding the violence aspect:
So the story on Rang de Basanti is that it has a story. A slightly far-fetched story especially in the latter half, great gaps in credibility, but nevertheless an entertaining story. All you self-appointed guardians of the public good who pontificated on the deleterious influence of such popular media, take a break. It’s a film. It’s not a manifesto. It’s not an instruction manual. Or a Do-It-Yourself guide. These guys made the film so people would PAY to watch it, in the hopes that these paying people would enjoy the film and then go tell other people to watch it (and pay some more) because it’s good fun.
Right on target ! It’s just a movie guys – so chill out ! I am sure many Indian teens or 20-something yuppies are now itching to get their hands on a gun and do away with the less than honest members of our political parties after watching RDB (we probably wouldn’t be left with a functioning goverment if that happened). Just like angry young sprang up all over India and waged war on smugglers and corrupt policemen in the 70s after seeing Amitabh’s persona on screen.