Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rang De Basanti And Others

I watched three movies so far this weekend. Also went skiing.

Rang De Basanti - The regular Bengali clique decided to skip this movie, so I went ahead with some Indian friends. I thought it was a waste of $9, they loved the movie. The first half was very good, lot of colour, music, laughter and fun,, while the second half was grim, dark and thought-provoking. The ride back from the cinema was quiet too, each absorbed in their own thoughts, except when we recounted the tale of the Sardar seated in one row ahead of us. The mom poked her kid and asked loudly, "Oy! Are you sleeping?" Fully ONE MINUTE later the kid stirs and replies, "No mom, I'm not."

Rang De Basanti (don't worry, no spoilers) deals with a group of young Indians and their cynical attitude towards the ideals of Indian freedom fighters. They are disillusioned with corruption, and one of them has active plans to move out of the country as soon as he is done his undergraduate studies. However, when corruption hits home, they become motivated to stand up to the system.

Yawn.

This is where my Indian friends and I diverged in our opinions. I totally hated the way they chose to stand up to the system. Tell me, have they not heard of a BLOG? All you need to do to expose a corrupt story is to blog it, with proof, then email the link to desipundit. Remember the IIPM case and how Indian bloggers rallied against it? The movie also leaves you with a feeling of helplessness. Do you want to risk your life and change a corrupt system, or will you look out for yourselves and move out of the country, as countless others have done? No country is perfect, but it seems the corruption is deeply rooted in our blood. I don't like such pessimistic movies. I like to forget world troubles for the three hours I am in the theatre.

Not to forget the fact that I had a flat tire on the way there.

Kalyug - If you ever want to honeymoon in some remote and scenic hillstation in India, you won't after this movie. And frankly, I have heard there have been hidden camera cases in many other tourist places too, as well as the famous Dhaka College case some years back. Another good movie. Probably another rip-off. Some logical thinking required though. If you are on bail you canNOT travel out of the country. Also, Switzerland is not cheap. I went to Montreal a few days back for some time and the cost in lodging, flight and food was a good amount. Average Indians do not go to Switzerland.

Zinda - A fantastic movie. Probably a rip-off from some English movies, Indian thrillers are hardly this good. Everyone should watch this movie.

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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mez,
Rang de Basanti was an awesome movie man... I guess you just had to immerse yourself to what some care-free people are in the beginning and how a touch of maturity awakens their responsibility. A well thought provoking film with a golden script and a superb direction.

with regards to Kalyug, its something which has been happening in India at some hotels in big metropolitan cities. A similar situation happened in Hyderabad (India) where an American couple were staying in a honeymoon suite of a FIVE STAR suite and they were filmed on their intimacy in the confines of their private room. That video was later on published on the net. But luckily somehow the american dude found out about the 'hidden camera scheme' and settled an out-of-court battle for some Million Rupees (dont know the exact amount).

As far as zinda is concerned, didnt watch it yet, but I am sure it has an interesting plot to it..

- Behbood

Anonymous said...

Rang De Basanti was a great movie man, don't agree with you here.

Zinda is a copy of Korean movie Old Boy.

Kalyug was uncomfortable. Never going to any cheap motel anywhere now for sometime.

- Farah

mezba said...

Looks like ALL my Indian friends have enjoyed Rang De Basanti. Clearly I am in the minority here.

I agree - it did make me pause and think.

Aisha said...

You mentioned Montreal. Is it as beautiful as I've heard? It's on our list of cities to visit.

mezba said...

Aisha, Montreal is one of the best cities I have been to. It's great in the summer (probably not too great during winter) and the best times to visit it are June-August.

It's clean, different (French!), lot of good looking people (are Europeans fitter?), has great culture and nightclubs (you can't miss roaming around on Rue Catherine around 2 am). As for food, they got this Indian restaurant buffet called Maharaja that is 3 storeys and still has a lineup. For stuff to see, there's lots like the St Paul church, the NotreDame, the Olympic stadium, Old port, market, Mt Royal, St Helens, and so on.

Jashim said...

Why does Amir Khan always choose a non-Indian (White) as an actress of his recent movies? He started acting with white chicks (who is taller than him) from Logan and then Mangol Pandey and now in the Rang de basanti.
Did anybody notice that all Indian actors are brave not the actresses. All actresses inspired them to die for the country or for the family but they never die. In the movie “Rang de basanti”, all guys sacrificed themselves but the actresses didn’t. R they survive to remember them? Lets imagine this movie has been produced from Hollywood and actress is Hillary swank. I am sure she would have fought to death with everyone.


Jashim

Isheeta said...

i liked the fact how you added, "probably a rip-off" for every movie. LOL

mezba said...

Farah, yup - no more cheap motels for me.

Jashim - For someone who makes movies with such patriotic themes, Aamir Khan makes it a point to shun all Indian movie awards, yet suits up with full honours at the Oscars, desparate for attention from the hollywood crew.

*ducks Aamir fans*

Isheeta: LOL - but it's true!

yeti said...

I was pretty damn disappointed with Rang De Basanti. Maybe as an ABCD I'm more sensitive about race issues, but I really feel like the subtext (blatant) of the movie was extremely negative. It was like a neo-colonial wet dream. This white woman - whose grandfather was a colonial JAILOR who watched Bhagat Singh get executed!!! - has some kind of fantastic view of India (Indian men in particular), then comes around to find some brown studs to live out her exotic fantasy. Desi women are basically sidelined, and the whole thing is offensive.

I mean, couldn't they have made her a BBCD or something? Much of the narrative could be the same, without a white woman being the path to unlocking some profundity amongst savage desis.

I'm not saying the story wasn't somewhat complex, but I wasn't impressed at all.