The cast and crew of the momentous Rang De Basanti (RDB) watched the film exactly five years after its release on January 26. And the best part of this retrospective experience was that the team watched exactly the same print that they had viewed five years ago when they first saw RDB.
After the screening, the entire retrospective team of RDB moved from the theatre to the film's producer Ronnie Screwvala's home.
Says Rakeysh, "Ronnie's home was the nearest to the theatre. So we all moved there and kept chatting about the film till 5 in the morning. I got to know many things that I didn't know about my film, things that the cast and crew had managed on its own while I was preoccupied with something else. It was an amazing experience to just sit and talk about a film that means so much to us."
While Rakeysh is thrilled by the film's lingering relevance to this day, he's also deeply saddened by it. "As an artiste it is gratifying to know that the film still has a deep relevance to society and to cinema. But it's also sad that the issues that RDB raised are today more relevant than they were five years ago. As a filmmaker I am happy that No One Killed Jessica used images from RDB. But as a citizen of India it is deeply saddening to know that issues of socio-political injustice that the film raised are more alive today than five years ago. I can only cross my fingers and hope that the issues in RDB are not relevant five years from now."
Says Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, "The happiest part of viewing RDB again with the entire team was that my daughter Bhairavi and her best-friend Tarni who were only 7 when RDB was first released, empathized with the film now. Some of the big names associated with the film couldn't make it though. Madhavan and Soha Ali Khan were in London. Waheeda Rehmanji was in Bangalore. A R Rahman was away. But the one we missed the most was Lataji (Mangeshkar). When I called to invite her she regretfully said she had another Republic Day commitment. Besides, she argued, she had seen RDB just two days earlier."