Rang De Basanti Review (from a normal movie goer)

i am not a movie critic. i am not a professional reviewer. i am not those “mai ka laal” types. i am also not the india is my mother types. i have my mother and father and i just watch movies for time pass.
this week’s time pass was Rang De Basanti (RDB), Rakesh Mehra’s second movie after the over-intelligent Aks.

RDB is  a path-breaking movie as far as the concept is concerned. The problem lies in the build-up portions of the movie. You feel you are watching one of those Bhagat Singh movies during the first half, but it is the second half which completely shocks and hits you like a hammer.  It makes the film a must watch!

Pre-interval portions are realistic, believable, and well shot, though only partly. The campus scenes are genuinely funny, and identifiable. The characters are straight out of life, representing all stratas of society, ranging from filthy rich brat to poor Muslim. But it is the script in the first half that just doesnt move. the first half just looks like a documentry about a group of friends and Bhagat Singh. Even the interval point doesnt give rise to any expectations. But you are pleasantly surprised after the interval. 

The real story starts 10 minutes into the interval. The last 45 minutes save the film almost entirely. I wont spoil the fun by discussing the story. You have to watch it.

Coming to the performances, Amir Khan looks a bit old to play a 25-30 year old, but manages to bring smiles and tears with his performances. His lingo and dialogues have been obviously penned keeping him in mind. He shines, but does not overshadows others, which is to the credit of Rakesh. He should keep away from Managal Pandey type roles and stick to such characters.  Alice Patten is a revelation. Her Hindi is amazing and her expressions with hindi dialogues are just perfect. She should be nominated for some award for sure. Obviously she looks very good, yet real. Soha Ali Khan surprises. She is a complete natural in front of the camera, and looks like a typical girl next door with dreams and love in her eyes.

The best performances come from unexpected ones. Sharman Joshi is just awesome and fits his character to T. Kunal Kapoor’s rough and brooding looks with his great physique give him a great screen presence and he delivers too. Atul Kulkarni is as expected, good, even though he does not get too many lines to speak. The real scene stealer and best performer is Siddharth from Tamil movies. You just have to see the movie to understand what I mean. He just dominates every sequence hes in. Madhavan has an itsy bitsy role, during which he endears himself to us. His character though, is integral to the movie. Kiron Kher, Waheeda Rehman, Mohan Agashe lend adequate support.

The music rocks, so does the background music. The title song has been imaginatively shot, and stands out. The songs blend quite well with the movie. Roobaroo song at the end is just perfect. Cinematography is top notch, matching any hollywood movie. Editing is innovative, and enhances the overall impact of the important scenes. The movie is colorful, and carefully differentiates between the current and flashback portions through different hues.

Rakesh Mehra has done a great job, especially in the concept and style department. Screenplay wise, he should have realised the obvious similarities to the Bhagat Singh movies. But the second half proves he is an international calibre director. Give him a complete screenplay, and i bet he can win international acclaim. Though the concept may not be identifiable universally, he should be lauded to present something refreshingly different and completely original. He tackles Hindu-Muslim unity, dirty politics, college life, and creates a great collage of all.  The way the central characters develop is very realistic and identifiable. Three cheers Mr. Rakesh Mehra, you rank right up there, and add me to your fan list!

When Soha Ali Khan says “Maar Dalo” in the second half, your heart echoes her sentiments. Thats where the movie succeeds. It connects with me, and hopefully will connect with everyone. There are some cinematic liberties, but when you leave the theatre, you have tears in your eyes, and a mellow heart, with a remembrance of all characters. You have been painted yellow at the end. That sums up Rang De Basanti (Paint It Yellow)

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