Rang Diya Basanti!

Chandrashekar Azad.
Bhagat Singh.
Ashfaqulla Khan.
Rajguru.
Durga Bhabhi.
Ramprasad Bismil.

Ring a bell? Well, watch ‘Rang De Basanti’ and these will keep ringing in your ears till you make a conscious effort to forget it. And trust me, if there is one thing you cannot forget, it is the way these young people laid down their lives for their country. These guys were only 23 when they became martyrs – 23, that’s 2 years younger than me! And when that strikes you, there is nothing you can do to stop the tears that well up in your eyes or swallow the lump that has formed in your throat.

My Republic Day saw me 1. proud to be an Indian – more proud than I had ever been and 2. guilty, that I’m doing nothing for my country other than find faults with it. You might think I’m going all patriotic and sentimental about the whole thing, but if you watch this movie, you will understand why I’m saying whatever I’m saying.

Spoilers – Not so much, just character descriptions. Plot not revealed, don’t worry. So..your call!

The movie is about 6 youngsters who wake up one fine day (thanks to a British documentary film maker, Sue) to realize that their countrymen have become complacent about the problems in India and decide to do something about it. The parallels between these guys and the 6 freedom fighters is portrayed beautifully in the movie. The film-maker, Sue, hires these guys to play the roles of the freedom fighters in her documentary. How the characters affect these carefree young people to rise and do something forms the rest of the movie.

Aamir is brilliant (as usual) as the punjab-da-puttar DJ. Sharman Joshi (as Sukhi) is fun-incarnate – perenially drunk and slurring, it’s a treat to hear him slur through the names of his friends. Soha Ali Khan (hubbie likes her a lot a lot a lot..hee hee..good enough reason for me to hate her, eh?) knows how to act (not to mention her dress sense). Period. Atul Kulkarni (as Laxman) is..well, I got no words for this guy man. He was awesome! Kunal Kapoor (as Aslam) rocks! He’s the coolest looking of the lot..and when he smiles..well, his smile is good. ** evil grin **

And I’m keeping the best for the last – ** start drumbeats ** Siddharth (as Karan Singhania)!! ** end drumbeats ** Somebody please tell me how this guy got so brilliant!!!! He was cute in ‘Ayudha Ezhuthu’, cuter in ‘Chukkallo Chandrudu’, but man, he is hot hot hot in RDB!

The movie was very very very good. I loved it. It’s different (well, almost.. has a bit of Hindi-movie illogical things too, but not so much) and its colorful, vibrant..and it will make you wanna shout ‘Jai Hind’ over and over again! After the movie ended, a bunch o’ guys at the back started shouting ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ – so you can imagine!

And what stayed with me and is still on my mind are Bismil’s words (spoken by Atul Kulkarni) –

Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai
Dekhna hai zor kitna bazuen qatil mein hai.

Translated:
I have the zeal of valour in my heart
Let us see how strong are the arms of the enemies/killers.

And ofcourse, there’s nothing like shouting ‘Vande Mataram’ at the top of your voice – for your country and the your people who died so you could be free in your own country. To be completely honest, if I had seen this movie when I was 18, I would have atleast given IAS a shot before becoming a god-forsaken software engineer. Maybe I still can…

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