Rang De Basanti (2006)


“I always believed there were two kinds of men in this world, men who go to their deaths screaming, and men who go to their deaths in silence. Then I met a third kind…”

Rang de Basanti may look like an Indian-specific movie at first glance, connecting India’s first freedom movement against British to the problems which India goes through nowadays as a developing country. However don’t strike it off your “must-watch” list because it fundamentally talks about change and the values which some of us feel quite indifferent about in today’s world and this movie makes us question our attitude.

We all know something about Gandhi and his non-violent movement against British. But in this movie, we get to know more about the national movement which has started before him.

One of the main characters, a British girl comes to India to film a documentary about this period so while we start to learn more about a group of today’s university students in Delhi, India, in the parallel we start to learn about the national movement and its active members. We can clearly see the contrast between these two since the freedom fighters take initiative, they are nationalist, ready to give their lives for their country’s freedom while the university students are so negative about their country and don’t bother to take any actions to make things better. There are two members in the group, Sonia and her boyfriend Ajay, who think quite different from the rest of the group. But they continue to live “dolce vita” until a very dramatic thing happens and starts an irreversible change in their life.

Rang de Basanti is a good movie that makes us think about change. Should things change, how will they change, who will change them? It makes us question our stand and our identity, triggers the change in our perception. Even though the characters go extremes solving their problems, it is interesting to see how people react under difficult circumstances and how people’s psychology and behaviors change.

The movie follows a path showing both period in parallel (1920s and 2000s) which gives us an opportunity to see the differences (in the first half) and the similarities (in the second half) between two groups we see in the movie.

The movie made Inquilab Zindabad!” echo in my ears for many days. It reached a very dramatic end which I didn’t expect in the first place . But I should admit, it was a very impressive ending. I found my self feeling as proud as an Indian, with a drop of tear at the corner of my eye.

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3 thoughts on “Rang De Basanti (2006)

  1. When I first saw the film as a 12-year old, I created a poster saying “Inquilab Zindabad” and put it on my wall… I loved the rebel-feel about the film, it’s still one of my favourites.

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