Friday, June 22, 2007

Rang De Basanti (Paint It Yellow)

I had to see the movie that won the 2007 IIFA Best Film award and try to find what their members saw to give the award. Now after I saw it I believe that Bollywood and India censorship are in the verge of changing.

Why Indian censorship? This film is very critical of the Indian government and touches some recent scandals. A censor board must clear Indian films before they can be shown. The film passed the board. Outstanding.

Why Bollywood? Well, in this movie there is more than one kiss –and no one is complaining-, there are songs with strong and profound words (some done by an advertising copywriter creative!), there is outstanding dialogue and there is a very strong universal story.

I’ll start with some quotes I feel like sharing with you, which I find very insightful.

“There are only two ways to lead your life. Either, let things happen in their own way and keep tolerating it. Or, take responsibility to change it.”

“No country is perfect. You have to make it perfect.”

“If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your veins. For what is the flush of youth, if it is not of service to the motherland.”

The story is about today’s youth, careless, not preoccupied for losing traditions, having fun, being silly, cynic about society, and so many other things that label worldwide youth, including India. But when a British filmmaker comes to India to do a documental about Indian revolutionaries and their fight for freedom from the British, the life of four young university students is set to change. As they say history repeats itself and here it happens.

Sharing my ignorance about Indian history, I always thought that their independence was pacific, like is told in all the Gandhi stories I have read. But, no, it was bloody as almost every other country that fought for their freedom. This is very interesting for me as now I am questioning the reasons lying underneath the silence about the Indian revolution, at least overseas.

There is no doubt that this is a Bollywood movie as follows the scheme of first everything is good and after the intermission things go wrong to end as a tragedy, but this time there is a strong message about people awakening to their reality and doing something about it.

As a movie has outstanding cinematography and Delhi looks beautiful. Dances and songs are different to what I have seen, with some sounding like Indian rap, but then this is a movie about young people. The director, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, impregnated a very interesting vision to tell the same story twice and while telling the story in the past –which is totally integrated to the story in the present- he used a yellowish duotone look.

In case you are wondering why is called Paint It Yellow, the color yellow in India is the color of the revolution.

This film has won many honors besides the IIFA, including a nomination for Best Film not in English in the 2007 BAFTA awards. In addition to winning all these accolades, has the honor of being one of the highest moneymakers in 2006, both in India as well as in the Bollywood circuit. This is really outstanding, as usually movies that get many awards make little money.

With Guru and this film, I am starting to think that Bollywood is producing very interesting movies and that I should start to broaden my mind and not watch only traditional movies.

This movie is for all audiences and especially for older teenagers/young adult audiences; but have to learn before a little about Bollywood movies and understand that there are songs, dances and that it lasts almost three hours.

A must be seen movie. Enjoy!

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