On Rang De Basanti
I don't like Rang De Basanti. I don't like it as a movie, I don't like it as a message.
As a movie, it is always impatient and disjointed and at times, boring. The movie carries the admaker stamp all over it. It does not matter whether scenes flow well, what matters is whether they look good individually or not. For example, isn't the "off with your shirts" scene really just a poster shot? The editing is horrible. Scenes that have no significance are repetitive. Scenes that are significant are hurried up. The storyline is too simplistic. The second half is contrived to the point of making everyone but the protagonists seem dense (and the critics call it a conclusively non-typical Bollywood movie). The movie shies away almost completely from tackling the greyness of morality which the protagonists should have faced. All there is is a lame poke somewhere at the end...as an afterthought. Critics seem to think this is not a fault. I say it is. In a movie that is touted as a message, failing to see the complexities of the issues it tackles is a fault...a huge one. This is not just about whether or not I agree with the actions of the protagonists. This is about stupidifying the issues...making them seem so trivial that I did not care about the protagonists even before the tedious climax arrived. In a movie which wants to create heroes, what could be worse than that?
As a message, it makes absolutely no sense. "We will join the armed forces, the civil services or politics to change the country"? How about becoming honest and competent engineers, doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs...? For the country's progress, hasn't the latter group done as much as, if not more than, the fomer? Also, isn't killing a defence minister equal to taking the easy way out? What is harder - that or creating an Asha? Don't tell me they are unrelated. They are not. You want to talk about changing the country, about getting rid of corruption. Then talk about the real issues at hand. Talk about illiteracy, talk about poverty. Talk about the slow, steady, arduous way, the one which will bring about long-lasting change. Not about killing a defence minister. That is for sure the easy way out...an emotional, irrational decision that will not achieve anything. Yes, its a movie and yes, its more entertaining to see heroes killing villians than to see them planning long-term solutions for the problems that ail the country. But then think of it only as a movie, don't laud it as a message. And don't call it inspirational. "Inspiration" has already been insulted enough by Bollywood.
End of rant. I feel better.