Writer: Nurliana Kamaruddin
Writer Ratings:Overall: Cast:
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NA"There are two primary choices in life, to accept conditions as they exist or take upon the responsibility to change them".
Ever since "Black" released last year, India cinema has pushed the bar higher and "Rang De Basanti" followed suit, putting itself right there in the ranks of some of India's finest. It's hard not to trot out the superlatives when you watch this movie and not sound like you're overdoing, but truth be told, "Rang De Basanti" is deserving of all the praises that has been heaped upon it, most of all in the daringness of the director to provoke such a controversial issue - corruption in the government of a nation.
"Rang De Basanti" begins with Sue (Alice Patten), a young filmmaker, quitting her job and flying to India in order to make a documentary on India's freedom fighters. She is met by her good friend Sonia who helps her in her quest. Sue meets the rest of Sonia's friends; DJ (Aamir Khan), Karan (Siddharth), Aslam (Kunal Kapoor), and Sukhi (Sharman Joshi) and decides that they were perfect to be casted in her documentary.
Unlike Sue though, the group of young friends were not interested in patriotism, much less for their own country. They believed that the government was beyond saving and would rather spend their time having a good laugh and partying. As the movie progresses though, incidents happen that sparks something in DJ and his friends. It made them realize that in order for a nation to change, someone needs to initiate it. "We live one foot in the past and one foot in the future. That's why we're pissing on the present.
When it comes to patriotism and igniting the fire for change in today's youngsters, a lot of movies have tried to do that in the past. There has been numerous enough movies made on Ghandi, Bhagat Singh and even Aamir's last film, "The Rising", has given tribute to some of India's freedom fighters. Yet, not one of these movies has ever been presented in a way today's generation can relate to - something that "Rang De Basanti" has achieved.
It's easy to say that all the issues in this movie hits very close to home here in Malaysia as well. Racial and religious tolerance, corruption in the government, and a generation of youth who just couldn't give a damn about their own nation. Here is a movie that makes you want to sit and think; exactly where is your country heading? Are things really okay the way it is now? And mostly, what have you done in helping your country change for the better?
I'm not saying the final turn that was portrayed in "Rang De Basanti" should be the road taken by our youth, but the message that the movie gave was certainly not wrong - to crib about things you do not like is very easy, but to do something about it, especially if it's the right thing to do is much much harder. Like someone wise once said, "what does it take to help today's generation make the country a better place? Maybe all it takes is just a little attention from yesterday's generation."
"Rang De Basanti" has a magic to it. The spectacular cinematography and the bold modern take of this film that, somehow, still manages to preserve the charm of old Hindi cinema is completely revolutionary. Its outstanding soundtrack with songs like Rang De Basanti, Luka Chuppi and Roobaroo blends into the story beautifully, made memorable by the picturisation on screen.
"Rang De Basanti" is one hell of a way to kick start the year for Bollywood.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008