Rang De Basanti
Director: Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra
Producer: Ronnie Screwvala
Cast: Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Waheeda Rehman,Om Puri, Kirron Kher, Anupam Kher Atul Kulkarni, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Siddharth, Alice Patten
Music: A.R. Rahman
'RANG DE BASANTI' is a film about awakening. About standing up for ones beliefs. The film tries to convey that we all are responsible for the way our society is and we all have to contribute in our own way. It's our duty as well as responsibility. Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra merges two plots in Rang De Basanti. The first is about a group of friends, their bonding, the fun and the carefree lifestyle they lead. The second plot pertains to the past, when freedom fighters sacrificed their lives during the pre-independence era. The director very efficiently merges the past with the present and draws parallels between Indians ruled by the British and Indians ruled by corrupt politicians today. The transition of the five friends from meaningless to meaningful existence is done brilliantly by the Director.
A young woman from England named Sue comes to India to make a documentary based on her grand father's diary which was written by him (a soldier of the British Raj) in 1920s and 30s. His diary tells the story of Indian revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad etc and about the sacrifices they and other people gave for independence. She decides to make a film on these Indian revolutionaries but when BBC refuses her funding she comes to India and decides to recruit students from Delhi University to act in the film.
In the campus she meets different kinds of people-
DJ (Aamir Khan) who passed out several years back but still wants to continue his associations with the campus because he thinks there isn't too much out there in the real world to look forward to.
Karan (Siddharth), the son of an industrialist Rajnath Singhania who shares an uncomfortable relationship with his father but continues to live off him albeit very grudgingly.
Aslam (Kunal Kapoor) is a middle class Muslim boy, who lives in the bylanes near Jama Masjid, is a poet, philosopher and guide to his friends.
Sukhi (Sharman Joshi) is the innocent and vulnerable boy in the group, with a weakness for only one thing - girls.
Laxman Pandey (Atul Kulkarni), the fundamentalist in the group, the only one who still believes that politics can make the world a better place.
Sonia (Soha Ali Khan), the only girl in the group, tom boy with vivacious spirit, engaged to Ajay (Madhavan) - the dashing air pilot.
Sue finds them perfect for the cast. However, products of modern India, the five youngsters initially refuse to be part of the project as they don't identify with these characters from the past. Their lifestyle is different namely a self centered and materialistic existence where ideas like patriotism and making a change are strictly the stuff history books are made of. However slowly and steadily Sue manages to get them involved in her documentary. Few scenes from the past and present are juxtaposed against each other, which renders a unique slick treatment, which serves to showcase the slow change in mindset and attitude that overcomes the group through the process of the film.
The first half of the film is full of light moments, however post-interval the film gets into a serious mode. The story takes a turn when one of their friends [Madhavan] expires in an air crash. The film holds your attention right till the elimination of the Defence Minister [Mohan Agashe], but the climax, is a letdown. The climax should've been better and more logical. In fact, the climax ruins the impact considerably.
The story of the film is no doubt unique and different and it does make you feel proud of your country however there are a few drawbacks. One drawback is that the narrative goes into the past and returns to the present with such alarming regularity that it tends to confuse the viewer at times. The second drawback is the climax which ought to be the highpoint of the film however is a downer. Technically, it's a first-rate effort. Dialogues [Prasoon Joshi, Rensil D Silva] are excellent. Cinematography [Binod Pradhan] is outstanding. A.R. Rahman's music is okay.
Performance-wise everyone is excellent. Aamir as usual has given a fantastic performance. Siddharth gives an excellent performance. Atul Kulkarni is fantastic in his role. Soha Ali Khan is a surprise package and is quite a revelation. She is equally efficient. Kunal Kapoor also does a great job and delivers a natural performance. Sharman Joshi is cute and lovable and gives a powerful performance. Alice Patten is brilliant and her style of speaking Hindi is sure to win a lot of hearts. Madhavan is likeable. Waheeda Rehman is graceful as ever. Both Om Puri and Anupam Kher don't get much scope. Kiron Kher is exceptional yet again. Rest of the cast lend able support.
On the whole, RANG DE BASANTI is definetly a must-see movie.