Deep Impact: Rang De Basanti

Much before I became an ardent Cinema fan, I understood one thing. That Cinema, much like few other art forms, should not be allowed to meddle with my reason. As such, I have held quite a few reservations against films that try to mud the way an individual is supposed to make decisions in life. In quite the same regard, one film stands out which,  although has impacted the Indian youth like no other, has been a constant target of my fury, facing the brunt of it in multiple discussions. Here, I document some of the impacts that RDB has had on the audiences and my own take on them.

  • Revenge vs. Revolution– As long as it’s not my house, you can bring it down. The film’s supposed message, which although gets orchestrated under the charge that good music can fill you with, seems not to bring about a revolution but to exact terrible revenge on anyone you believe has wronged you. Talk about a democratic process in a democracy.
  • Youth Activism– It isn’t like the country’s youth before RDB had remained dormant when it came to voicing its opinions against matters of national importance. But trends suggest an alarming increase in the regards after the movie, suggesting them to be inspired by the shady protest scenes shown in the movie. While this might be an easy co-incidence, given the plethora of major political changes concerning youth that flooded the country around that time, the fact that the youth actually identifies with a cold-blooded, vicious and violent method shown in the movie to prove its point is not only shocking but utterly bizarre.
  • Stand on corruption– “A study of bloggers behavioral patterns during the first month of the film’s release revealed a significant increase in public ire towards government and politicians for constantly being mired in corruption and bureaucracy and their inefficiency in providing basic amenities” – says  wikipedia article. Quite frankly, it is something of worth if the phenomenon observed was actually due to the film and if the film left even one individual more informed regarding the country’s problems on a concrete basis. But from how I see it, the film actually teaches you scapegoating the political and industrial bigshots as all that is wrong with the country, actually suggesting, both literally and figuratively, that “You only need to away with the bigshots and everything will be fine”. How about taking responsibility for what’s wrong with the country, or at the very least not playing the blame game here. But NO, the protagonists are the ever so western college guys who roam around drunk on bikes, who will, in a 180 degree shift become the flag-bearers of the country’s youth struggle.  God save us if something like that was to actually happen.
  • Past and present There was a time in the pre-independence India when the youth actually set a stage for more political and social participation to come from all corners of the country towards a greater cause. But the film tries to belittle their sacrifice by using their example as a way of justifying the actions of film’s protagonists. This absurd-parallel from history that the movie uses to legitimise it is supremely flawed.
  • The lasting effect– With time, we tend to forget the intricacies of detail surrounding something and only choose to remember the parts we loved. But objective justification cannot come at the cost of nostalgic warmness. Revisiting something you idealized with a fresh perspective is something that may help.

Note: I am not including a “T&C apply” sort of excuse to rid myself of the fury I may face from a person who would have loved the movie. But before you try to assassinate me for writing this, at least give me time to tell you why you were wrong. 🙂


This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


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