Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Every so often Bollywood produces a rare gem like Rang De Basanti, a UTV Production that breaks the mould by offering something more sophisticated than the standard musical melodrama. Successfully weaving historical facts with contemporary themes, thanks to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's direction that Rang De Basanti's absorbing plot, which flits smoothly from past to present, has marched successfully to be India's official entry for the Oscars this year.
This would also be Aamir Khan's second film to make it to the Oscars after Lagaan. Earning top points is the strong performances from the ensemble cast that impress foremost, all of whom are totally convincing as disillusioned youngsters learning the importance of personal sacrifice. Accomplished and universally appealing, Rang De Basanti has provided India with another hope to win the Oscar.
Says UTV's Ronnie Screwvala, "I'm delighted that Rang De Basanti has been chosen as India's official entry to the Academy Awards. RDB has made a place for itself in the hearts and minds of millions of people all around the world. Such movies come along only once in a generation and we shall make every effort to ensure it is seen by as wide audience as possible internationally too. To enable this, we are already planning a mainline release in the United States in association with two major studios. Following the rousing reception the film received at the Golden Globes jury screening, we are confident it stands a strong chance with the Academy."
Over the past few months the RDB effect...the effect the film had had on the public at large, from the infamous Jessica Lal verdict to the Narmada anti-dam campaign to the latest protest marches against the proposed quota for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in institutes of higher learning, forms of protest in India have undergone a sea change from the usual hunger-strike, mob-violence routine. What makes these protests stand out is perhaps a sense of 'feeling for the cause' that transcends age and gender barriers and 'motivates' people to lend their support. Quiet candlelight vigils, rousing protest marches, enthusiastic sloganeering, passionate sound bytes and SMS campaigns.
Interestingly, all these forms of rebellion find a strange resonance and are reminiscent of the reel-life depiction of 'youth awakening' in Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra's, Aamir Khan-starrer film Rang De Basanti the simple message being 'clean your own mess'.
Now let's hope RDB colors the academy with saffron.