Director Ketan Mehta has been known for making some path breaking film in our Indian cinema right from his first feature film 'Bhavni Bhavai' followed by films like 'Holi', 'Mirch Masala', 'Sardar' and few more. These films were bold in their own way and displayed a hard hitting untold human tale. Like many other great directors Ketan too, ventured into the starry world of commercial cinema, but struggled to set himself in this artificial candy floss world. His last released film 'The Rising - Ballad Of Mangal Pandey', was a historical film set on the life of freedom fighter Mangal Pandey. The movie lacked the intensity of Ketan Mehta's earlier films and thus he came up with a small but relatively big film, 'Rang Rasiya' which displays the happenings from the life of the nineteenth century's Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma. The movie was ready for its release, but got stuck due to censor and other issues. Finally, it is ready for good cinema loving audience, who have been waiting for five long years to see this film. Thus, let's find out whether 'Rang Rasiya' will join the elite list of great films by director Ketan Mehta or might lack the magic due to its long delay and minimal marketing.
'Rang Rasiya' is a story set in the 19th century of an Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma (Randeep Hooda). He not only gave faces to the Hindu gods, but also gave life to the mythological characters from Hindu literatures. He got his inspiration from Sugandha (Nandana Sen) and thus gave her face to the Hindu goddess. But along with these paintings, he also painted some nude paintings of her due to which he is dragged into the court. Thus, begins the journey of Raja Ravi Varma and his enchanting painting and what happens next, is what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities :
The movie is an adaptation of aMarathi writer Ranjit Desai's biographical novel 'Raja Ravi Varma'. We all have read about Raja Ravi Varma in our history text books. Here in 'Rang Rasiya', the makers narrate the happenings of his life in a proper dramatic manner. The screenplay is beautifully woven with small and big moments related to Raja Ravi Varma with a backdrop of lots of other issues. The first half takes its time to settle down, but once set the movie goes on an intriguing ride. Unlike many periodic films, this movie never goes on the preachy or boring mode, due to which you are totally engrossed in the film. The makers have made this movie visually appealing with the display of paintings in the credit titles, mystic and historical locations of our country when Randeep goes on India tour, the art exhibition, printing press track, love making scenes which have been shot in a totally aesthetic manner, painting the goddess, film screening at Watson hotel and many more. These scenes add the rich colours to the film due to which you are left astound at many points in the film. Ketan adds many petite scenes like Randeep showing his painting to Nandana, people praying the paintings, Rashaana Shah's view on Randeep's paintings, Randeep narrating the tale of Urvashi, Dada Saheb Phalke and Bal Gangadhar Tilak's track in the background and few more, which enhances the scale of the film to an international level. Though, as said earlier the initial part lacks the connectivity in few parts. Also, the track of Rashaana Shah could have been portrayed in a better manner. The first half of the film is a little bit weak in comparison to the outstanding second half of the film followed by a fantastic climax. The camera work is superb and the creative team has cleverly captured the real locations and brilliantly placed them in the film.Music & Direction :
Music by Sandesh Shandilya is good, but not outstanding. Though the title track 'Rang Rasiya' keeps going with the flow of the film. 'Anhad Naad' is beautifully placed in the film. 'Kahe Sataye' is total colourful experience. The background music is haunting and works in the favour of the film.
Director Ketan Mehta narrates an untold story of Raja Ravi Varma without being preachy and boring. He sticks to his subject and displays it in total cinematic style with a good blend of history, drama and romance. It's due to his expertise, the love making and nude scenes don't look forced or out of place. These scenes, just like other scenes, work as a part of the story telling and goes perfectly with the flow of the film. In a single tale of Raja Ravi Varma, director Ketan Mehta touches many topics and displays the right vision of the visionary painter.Performances :
Randeep Hooda is superb in his role and enhances the level of his performances from his earlier films. After a while he makes you forget that he is an actor and one starts to look upon him as Raja Ravi Varma, only. Nandana Sen looks beautiful and does full justice to her part. We wish to see more such good performances in films to come. Gaurav Dwivedi, Vipin Sharma, Jim Boeven, Feryna Wazheir, Sachin Khedekar, Tom Alter and few more lend good support. Vikram Gokhale, Paresh Rawal and Darshan Jariwala were fine in their part. Rashaana Shah seemed forced. Rajat Kapoor, Suhasini Muley, Prroshant Narayan, Sri Vallabh Vyas, Ashish Vidhyarthi and few more were wasted.Final Verdict: So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum ?
Dum? Well, this movie has all the dum required for watching good historical film with great storytelling and fantastic performances. The masala lovers might shy away from this movie or may only watch for the wrong reasons. But, this movie will be cherished by people who love good cinema and want to know more about real life characters outside our history books. 'Rang Rasiya' is, like celebrating cinematic boldness where bold is not in terms of nudity, but in terms of our rich heritage and proud culture.Rating: 4/5