Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rang De Basanti

Watched Rang De Basanti on Google Video! Probably a disservice in itself to the cause of this movie. However Rang De Basanti is a bad movie overall. The story looks contrived and made up. Many parts of the movie depict directorial bankruptcy! (Well...dont read ahead if you don't want to hear the movie plot!) Killing the Defense Minister for a MIG crash simply because he gave the usual soundbite to the media, doesn't sound very intelligent to me. Besides the arms dealer conspiracy theory is ludicrous. Yeah..indeed there is corruption in defense procurement and it hurts to see our pilots fly those MIG's ala 'Flying Coffins'. But you can't throw away several squadrons of the IAF workhorses just like that. Even Jaguar's crash, don't they? Probably there's something wrong with the way IAF runs the show. Why blame the politicians and the arms dealers for this? BTW I didn't like the movie's saffron portrayal of the political party either :)

Having said all this, Rang De Basanti is a welcome remainder about the sacrifices of our freedom fighters and our military, paramilitary and police personnel. Indeed its hard for people like me to believe that Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukh Dev and Chandrasekhar Azad gave their lives for the country. Will I choose that third way to face my death? The armed forces men are doing this every single day! How much thought do we give to those soldiers? Has any MIG crash rankled us? And this country's apathy towards corruption is shameful. Indeed the youth of this country should do something about this. But how?....let me see...

I have bribed a policeman having been caught riding a friend's motor cycle with expired insurance. I have used agents to get my driver's license and passport. Sure they would have bribed some people. I have seen my father's hand tremble while bribing a police man right there in the middle of the police station of my town. (The policeman simply said "We take Rs 250 for the passport enquiry". I should have asked "What for?" I didn't). I have a fake birthdate so that I could be admitted to school early. (I was a criminal even before age 3!). I remember copying twice in class tests at my undergrad college. Ofcourse I have littered, jay walked, crossed railway lines and so on. And finally, this country educated me for 18 years of my life and everybody about whom I care lives there. Yet here I'm second guessing my decision to go back to India. Probably I should do something about all this than go kill the defense minister.


Pradeep said...

Corruption is a world-wide phenomenon, as Indira Gandhi once infamously quipped. But what she didn't make clear was that in India, it exists at very lower levels; while in developed countries it's at a higher level. In India it has a lot practical implications; while in the developed nations, it's more of academic interest affecting little the common persons.

Many foreigners pereive about India the very same way (adulatory) as we do about other countries. They are as contemptous about their countries like we are about ours. So, at the end of the day, it's all a matter of perception, the way we look at it -- be it corrution, spirituality or military might.

Amit said...

Why? Why, why, why would someone watch Rang De Basanti on Google video. You missed the whole point of the movie. What makes this movie great is not the story. In fact, the story is passable. The greatness of this movie, instead, lies in its cinematography and direction, to both of which google video doesn't do justice. Well, come to think of it, there's one more thing that makes this movie great, and that is Rahman!!! Go buy the ticket and watch it in a theater man.

You had earlier raised a point about tamil movies better than hindi movies- was it you?? Maybe mainstream hindi movies suck, but there are a lot of indie style movie makers in hindi and they're actually pretty good. In fact, if I may say so, better than Tamil movies.

By the way, what do you mean by, "'s hard for people like me to believe that Bhagat Singh ... gave [his] life for the country?" I know one thing, if Bhagat Singh were to do something of that sort today, he'd be branded a terrorist!! In fact, the Choura Chouri incident in the 20s when an angry mob set fire to a police station, thus burning alive 20 cops was indeed a terrorist attack and ranked alongside the Jalianwalbagh massacre in terms of lack of concern for human life.

Coming to the youth of the country doing something for it, that's all bogus. IITians have started their own political party. Just because they're IITians doesn't mean they're good at everything. When it comes to politics, they're still novices. Wait for a while you won't be able to differentiate between the mainstream politicians and these IITians.

Balaji said...

RDB: If this is what good direction is all about, I guess I should stop watching movies!

Not that I appreciate all the crap thats being dished out from Tamil Industry but I guess they are still better than an Industry which produces "hits" like Main Hoon Na, Veer Zhara, Black. RDB etc. I have heard this lousy argument about "Non-mainstream" movies before!

I don't want to belittle the mental courage of even a suicide bomber let alone Bhagat Singh! I guess I won't give away my life for anything :)

I don't believe Paritrana is going anywhere but if those guys have made a start, thats fair enough! I dislike all parties except BJP, Congress and the Communists.

Sachin said...

And you compare these movies, Black etc. to what? Ah aah? New? Anniyan? Chandramukhi? All of these were big hits and just as crappy, if not crappier. Both industries churn out crap at the same rate. Don't pan the hindi industry just because you don't understand the language. Amit's argument about the so called "non-mainstream" movies is valid, definitely not lousy. The Hindi industry does seem to have more and more indie styled directors. What is lousy is your aversion towards the language. Go watch Paheli or Maine Gandhi ko nahi maara or even Satya, before you make such puerile comments. Probably if RDB was made in Tamil and not Hindi, you guys wouldn't have stopped blogging about it! What Amit says is true - RDB needs to be watched on the big screen to appreciate it. Of course, for people like you who go into a hindi movie theater assuming beforehand that the movie is going to be crappy, I don't think it'll make any difference.

Sachin said...

The problem with weblogs is that everyone has a view on everything. Every individual thinks he is a movie critic + crime journalist + political reporter all rolled into one nice package. Oh, and how can I forget a sports reporter. Sorry, my bad! You guys can only crib! (crib, crib, crib,...).Why don't you use this space to talk about how inconsequential your life is?

Anonymous said...

It seems like no one has anything to do but to read balaji's blogs (es. sachin!). Well, me neither. I won't say that I agree with everything that he has to say (and he definitely has a lot to say :)), but they do provide a different perspective on things. sachin sir, don't get wild just because someone says rdb sucks. and amit, why do you care where balaji watches the movie? pradeep, what is that crap that you have written? does it even make sense to you? loads of crap!

by the way, it looks like india is going to lose the first test against england. i'm glad i bought the entire package - money well spent. there is only one way, in my mind, to prevent india from losing - "maar dalo". exactly! kill someone from the england squad - what would bhagat singh do?

Sachin said...

Hmmm, I missed Pradeep's comments. Dream on baby! Only idiot foreigners will think India is less corrupt. In fact, I think Indians have a higher opinion about India than foreigners do - yup, all a matter of perception.

Coming to anonymous's comments, I'm not wild because he dislikes RDB. I am wild at the way he dismisses Amit's suggestions as a lousy argument. I think Amit made sense. While on one hand, we have filmmakers churning out movies like Koi Mil gaya, Main Hoon na, Veer Zaara, which Balaji rightly classifies as crappy, on the other hand, there is this recent trend towards indie style movies. More and more filmmakers are starting to make movies on different topics, which shows that the industry may finally be starting to mature (I missed Iqbal my last post, another great movie). I may be wrong here, but I'm hopeful that things will change.

Sachin said...

Anonymous's second para was funny. Good one!

Balaji said...

Wow! Am I getting famous?!!

Obviously I know Hindi very well and I'm not prejudiced against Hindi. What I meant by lousy argument is, Even Tamil Industry produces non-mainstream movies just as Hindi. But I guess we should take into consideration all the movies to judge an Industry. I'm sure every director can come with that "Award winning critically acclaimed" movie which will be a big disaster in the box office. People introduce commerical elements only to survive the box office.

So if the percentage of good movies made in an Industry is high then probably there is more acceptance for such movies there and hence more creative work by the industry as a whole.

Maybe it depends on the taste of the audience. Afterall Malayalam film audience was famous sometime back for their maturity.

As for cribbing in the blogs, I had once expressed my admiration for Tavleen Singh, Cho Ramasamy and pakistani columnist Kamran Shafi in this space. I like thier (kind of) satirical criticism and obviously am trying develop my own style. Anyway who wants to read yawning reproductions of news stories already on the web?