Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rang Rasiya - 2014

I must admit, I went to see the movie for Randeep Hooda.

I saw him first in Monsoon Wedding.  He had a side role there. A good role, but not the leading role.  He made other movies, but I did not see any of those.  Not even the acclaimed D Company.  I happened to see Highway much after it released early this year.  The movie made me sit up.  Not only was it an amazingly well made movie, it also starred Randeep Hooda in the grey role of a criminal who falls for the girl he kidnaps.  He was fabulous as Mahabir Bhatti in Highway, and I wanted more.

Hence, when Rang Rasiya released, I wasted no time in booking my ticket.

I must also admit, I knew Raja Ravi Varma was a famous painter, and I had seen his prints here and there. I knew he was at times derided as a kitschy Calender Artist.  Then there was a sudden revival of interest in the artist and he was spoken of highly once again.  All this I knew, but knew hardly anything about him.

I did go to see Randeep Hooda, and he delivers magnificently as the artist. But I came away intrigued by this Painter. His life and times, as depicted in the movie, are very interesting.  Right away, I downloaded the book that the movie has been based on, Ranjit Desai's 'Raja Ravi Varma'.  I have also read a few pages of Deepanjana Pal's book, 'The Painter'.  Believe me, it carries a wealth of information about the times Raja Ravi Varma grew up in.

Ketan Mehta creates stunning visuals in the movie. The actors, all of them, act wonderfully.  Randeep Hooda is of course an accomplished actor.  The movie has Darshan Jariwala, Paresh Rawal, Ashish Vidyarthi, Tom Alter, Vikram Gokhle in several roles.  The beautiful Nandana Sen plays Sugandha, the muse/soulmate (as per the movie) of the Painter.  Nandana's Bengali diction gets in the way at times, but she is perfect as the woman who inspired the painter with her lissome body, her thick, curly tresses and grey eyes.

There is a bit of nudity and a few sex scenes in the film.  But it is done very tastefully.  There is one stunning sequence where the Painter and his muse color each others as a sort of an elaborate foreplay before making love.  It was handled so aesthetically that it was not titillating, just very sensous..

The movie can be classified as an art movie. Alas, such movies rarely draw crowds.  Years ago I saw the brilliant "Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi" which had just a few people in the hall.  This movie also had hardly any viewers.  It is sad that the same people who throng the halls for movies like 'Kick' and 'Happy New Year' will not step out for a lovely film like this.

This movie has beautiful songs as well.  The music is composed by Sandesh Shandilya and they lyrics are by Manoj Muntashir.  Here is one of songs which has been ringing in my ears.


  1. I knew you were waiting for this movie :-)
    Added to my list of movies.

  2. Ahhh.. I am that transparent, eh?


    My friend in Hawaii saw the movie online. Maybe you can try that.

  3. Mmm. I'd be wanting to see this film because I was certain the visuals would be fabulous - the stills looked wonderful. Won't be able to see it in a cinema hall, so will have to wait for the DVD to come. Let's see.

    Incidentally, there's this Malayalam movie called Urumi, a fictitious story about a man who tried to kill Vasco da Gama. Not very historical (the costumes of the Portuguese were awful, as was their acting), but there was an entire sequence that had the heroine dressed and against settings like Raja Ravi Varma's paintings.

  4. I knew you would like the film. What is the story like? Is there any story or just visuals? ;)
    I heard there is a court case and all.

  5. I am not sure it will have the same impact on DVD. But if you have a large screen at home, maybe you will.

    I can't wait to read the Deepanjana Pal book. I read a few pages and it was great.

  6. The story is about how Raja Ravi Verma came to be a painter. It dwells more on what inspired him.

    Also, what transpired in his life. How he became famous, faced a lot of ire for the nudity. Also for popularising his art by producing Oleographs of his paintings.

    I am waiting to read the two books on his life to comment more on the happenings.

  7. Ava,I will see this on You Tube.Looks interesting.

  8. Believe me, YouTube will not do justice to the movie. Do see it in cinema hall if you can.

  9. I can't, Ava. Where will I leave the baby? And she's too young to be taken to a cinema hall - will make it impossible for us to see the film, and will make us very unpopular with everybody else around. Perhaps I will skip the film altogether.

  10. Oh Right!

    I did not see any movies when my kids were babies.

    Better to watch on screen then. Don't skip it. :)