Rang De Basanti, 2006
If I were to sum up my feelings about Rang De Basanti in one sentence, it would be this:
I have a crush on every boy.
Unfortunately, while that sentence is entirely accurate (yes, even Atul Kulkarni stole my heart in this one), it says nothing about the nature of the film, nor does it do the film justice. At this point, I'm not sure if my flimsy reviewing could do it justice either, especially since I watched the film in parts rather than all at once, and I only just finished it now.
Let me start by commenting on the acting. Firstly, I've become very apprehensive about films that feature white people in major roles. In my experience, their accents have bothered me and the acting seems unnatural to me (yes, even Rachel Shelley bothered me in Lagaan). I don't know what it is; maybe I subconsciously compare them to all of the great Hollywood actors I'm familiar with, maybe I'm just jealous - whatever. Still, I'm pleased to say that Alice Patten neither bothered me nor was lacking in acting in any way. Across the board, everyone was excellent in this film. The entire cast seemed to feed of off one anothers' performances in ways that served to enhance the three-dimensionality of their characters.
I think everything about this film was beautiful - the locales, the cinematography, the songs. The story was brilliant, the characters believable, the conflicts realistic. It's a film to really make you think, a film that's unafraid to put out there what needs to be put out there. As a film, it's nearly perfect, I think.
After all that, though, I still can't figure out whether I liked it.
This film raises, for me, questions that I don't think it intended to. One in particular is the issue of gender politics in this cultural setting - why were only the men able to sacrifice their lives? Why were the women left at the end? Then there's all the moral and ethical issues - when and when isn't it justifiable to take a life? Aren't there better ways of bringing attention to the issues? Then there are political and postcolonial concerns and, of course, now my historical interest has been piqued. But I suppose the film ultimately accomplished what it meant to: it raises questions.
Tags: Fake-Pretend-Movie-Boyfriends, Aamir Khan, Kunal Kapoor, A. R. Rehman, Soha Ali Khan, Atul Kulkarni, Siddharth, Sharman Joshi