Rang De Basanti: Detractors Taken to Task
I watched Rang De Basanti (RDB) only yesterday. There is something about much talked about movies because of which I want to watch them only when I have the mental space to be able to give proper attention. This meant that I watched Sarfarosh four to five months after its release.
That is beside the point. I started reading a few reviews of the movie and was surprised at the reasons pointed out to say that RDB is not a quality movie:
• RDB says kill people/politicians and take revenge;
• RDB is not relevant today as democracy exists in our country;
• RDB is unrealistic. How can one even compare freedom fighters with college-going kids. Hell, how can you replace each person from history with a character. It is high on fascination and thus it is crap;
• It is not a clearly defined movie and fails to know what it really wants to put across;
• RDB hasn't actually created change. So it is just some thing people like to hear and is a failure;
A lot of reasons are given for RDB not being a quality film. None of the reasons seems to have a strong arguement, I am afraid.
Firstly, RDB DOES NOT tell or send the message to the youth to kill politicians and kill when wronged. When Karan Singhania (played by Siddharth) is asked during the last scene of the movie, "Who else is on your hit list?", he retorts that no one is. Is that not clear enough for people to understand that revenge is not the motive behind the killing?
We have to decide first whether our nation is doing very well or we have to have changes. Right, we at least agree on some thing - that changes are required.
The question is, Who will create the changes? The older generation or the nation's youth? History shows that it is usually the youth who enact change, who are the real change agents in any society. So hopefully we agree on another point - that youth would be needed to play a vital role to alleviate the problems of any nation.
Are the youth doing that? Not really. Does the youth feel frustration at the state of the nation? Yes. Else, we would not have people ruing over how x is bad or y is not good enough. A part of it is an entertaiment and time pass factor. The sadness at the state of affairs of the nation felt by the youth can only be discounted to an extent and no more.
The youth isn't doing enough though, is it? Is it because they are not brave enough or is it because they are not awakened? Awakening is necessary. Which is why there are revolutionaries and freedom fighters. The mass supports the revolution and the freedom movement. However, a force or an event or a few people have to exist to light the torch.
The youth are the same age as the freedom fighters back then. The freedom fighters fought for independence. These group of people potrayed in the movie are shown to create an awareness for people to fight for another movement to truly free India. The symbolism is very much relevant - India has many issues which have to be resolved - corruption being the prime one.
To be politically safe, Karan Singhania is made to say that he made a mistake. In an American History X, that did not happen and it is in those aspects that RDB missed a few icings on the cake. Why did Mehra kill the group of youngsters? Could he have not shown them alive? It would have meant less impact. However, it would have meant answering the more difficult questions - how the changes could really take place.
Being a part of the system is advocated by the group, and rightly so. Showing a sort of a revolution in 5-10 minutes and not just students showing support on television in the end would have been a much better ending according to me.
There is the Gandhi versus Bhagat Singh ideology clash. I really do not know where ideology comes into the discussion. People can differ on ideologies. However, given that the ideology adopted has been the Bhagat Singh one, should the issues handled be taken at face value rather than pointing flaws because you do not agree to the ideology of the Bhagat Singh way? Another movie could have been made to cleanse the nation a Gandhian way - equally as powerful.
Some smaller detractions: Changes are occured too fast in characters - my contention is that the characters already felt for the nation - only an awakening was necessary. Another one - the beating up of the people at the peaceful protest was too unrealistic (with media cameras, ministers and what not). Actually, such incidents are common place. The trouble makers are shown going and sitting with the peaceful protestors and creating agitation. Next, the police intervened to control the angry mob. A setup which can take place in real life.
There is another point which is being raised by the detractors of the movie - no change is occuring. So the movie is just beating about playing with the sentiments of the people. So it was crap and my point is validated. This shows that it is you, the detractor who raised the stakes of the movie more than any one else. For, no movie has in the past, nor in the future, will create a revolution. For it, real actions have to be taken in real life.
Reality is much more powerful than any cinema or drama can hope to be. The movie does call on the youth to act. However, it won't happen till the senses are truly awakened. For that, a revolutionary has to create noise - an impact like Bhagath Singh and those with him created - perhaps by violent actions such as placing a bomb in the Assemby, as he did. Do we have some one as brave, fearless and insightful? I do not see it yet.
Rang De Basanti: Detractors Taken to Task
- » Published on May 06, 2006
- » Type: Opinion
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