Rang de Basanti, Aamir Khan as a college student in the middle.
“No country is perfect, rather it is up to us to make it so.” This theme permeates the new Bollywood film, Rang De Basanti, about a British filmmaker who comes to India to shoot a documentary about her Grandfather’s life as a colonial jailor. According to the story, he oversaw the execution of four charismatic freedom fighters during the early days of the Indian Independence movement. Branded as terrorists by the British Raj, the strength and dedication of these men created a personal crisis for him as he supervised their torture and eventual hanging. The filmmaker casts five carefree college kids (including the forty something actor Aamir Khan… hey, it’s Bollywood after all) to take on the roles of the condemned men. When a government corruption cover-up results in the death of their friend, a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force, they are inspired into action by the characters whose roles they have taken.
Though their response is unnecessarily violent and a little bit preposterous, I couldn’t help but think about the difficulty in transitioning between endless and circular debate and concrete action. A similar idea was presented at the Gandhi exhibit I wrote about. A quotation of his stays with me, “Truth is my goal, Ahimsa (non-violent resistance) my method. With truth on my side I am invincible.”
i'm glad you saw it...i was going to suggest it to you while you were there. initially the thought of another 'patriotic'-themed film was a bit of a turn-off but i appreciated the different twist on the theme the film portrayed. rather than the 60's-era-nehru-desh-bhakti-bash-the-pakistanis-and-let's-all-build-steel-mills-and-be-happy, it addressed fighting the often perceived unlikely 'enemies' from within. but you're right, the response was a bit excessive.
alright, i'll stop rambling now and go back to sleep (geez this jet lag is killing me!)