Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saffron

I read somewhere that the mark of a good book is that it changes every time you read it. I do not know if the same can be said for movies. Some movies drag you back to them, repeatedly, mostly the funny ones, the feel-good ones. Then, there are the other movies, that you do not want to watch more than once. You do not want the impact the movie had on you to change because you have changed. But when you do end up watching a movie like that again, and when you realise that it hits you the same way as it did a few years back, it is an inexplicable feeling...of awe.

I give you Rang De Basanti. Revelations. Causes. Bouts of happiness, all through with a mild undercurrent of poignancy. And eventually, a sad smile, and a lonely tear.

I have read too many posts in the recent past about Rahman's genius, about how he is god, and about how he's always experimenting. So, I shall refrain from talking about him as such. But what his music does to this movie...is something else.

The goosebumps start at Tu bin Bataye. The perfect setting to make anyone yearn for a bunch of friends like that...to make any girl wish she had the look Sonia has in her eyes with her perfect man...to make one wish he/she was throwing leaves down at the happy couple with the rest of the gang. The song is as dream-like as reality can get... floaty bliss... you can't stop smiling at these young people who want to do nothing other than be in each other's company, and savor small nothings in life. Yet at the end of it, when you see seven blurry figures lost in their own world walking arms-around-shoulders into that sunset...your heart grows heavier, and you know that what is easily the happiest moment of the movie, is, but a classic calm before the storm. Mishri ki dali, zindagi ho chali...

Rahman then gives us Luka Chuppi. Prasoon Joshi gives us Luka Chuppi. As if the music of the second half was meant to compete with that of the first half. Wonderfully portrayed. The indian flag folded, and the pistol-shots into the sky...the teary-eyed faces sobbing through the smoke...the white...the devasted mother, hollow eyed, with loss etched all over her face, almost collapsing at the sight of her dead son's trunk...the girl, having lost the man she was meant to marry, pulls out a picture of both of them from his diary...
Kya bataoon maa kahan hoon main, Yahaan udney ko mere khula aasmaan hai...

And then there is fire, burning hard in the eyes of those that care...those who want justice...those that for the first time in their lives, have a cause to believe in, and fight for. Khoon chala adds to the shivers...with the candles and the crowd, the unreasonable assault on believers and the blood shed...and most of all, with each trying to protect the other.

When I watched this movie for the first time, almost 4 years back, one line stayed in my head for a very long time. Sonia's 'Maar dalo...'. And so she said the words... and as friends avenging the death of the best man they ever knew, they found their justice in murder.

And they do not stop there. They tell their fellow citizens what they did, and why they did it. They throw themselves out in the open, ready to face anything, having fulfilled their purpose. And what better than the ascending notes of Robaroo to wrap up the elation neatly? Again, Prasoon Joshi's lyrics can't get better. He says it all by saying so little... DJ dropping his gun in finality, Karan's pain-filled expression relieved in that first hug, and as he looks into DJ's eyes at suraj ko mein nigal gaya...Laxman breaking into tears while hugging Aslam at wo loha tha pighal gaya... beautifully crafted scene, like the director did not want to waste a single word from the song...so carefully overlayed... Sheer brilliance.

And then comes the end... as they die one by one...and we're left with nothing but the echoes of their laughter in our ears. And they walk together from the lush green field into the white light... Its over. They fought for their cause...and in their heads, they won. And how! And you...are left staring at the titles, wondering what really hit you...

I said nothing about the over-lapping freedom struggle portion of this movie...the clever screenplay...and how each one of these students become the character they enact for Su's documentary. It seems so seamlessly done... one could go on and on.

I love this movie more than I did before. I love the music, more than most of Rahman's other albums. Maybe that's because the songs have been stitched so well into the script, that when you listen to them, you are instantly reminded of how the actual scence made you feel, and you love it even more. The simplicity of the lyrics complements every song, every scene...it just makes one so happy to see such good effort, such meticulous balancing...such genius in cinema...and nonetheless, what we always ache for - Inspiration.

Paint it Saffron.

Yours "Chaaya liya bhali dhoop yahaan hai..."ly
Signing off...

13 comments:

aditya said...

You missed one thing, how no other ending would have made sense. It was their live to give, and they gave it in the best way possible, the only way they knew how. It was their life to life, and they lived it the only way they knew how to.

Div said...

Aditya - I think I missed more than one thing :) I know I didn't talk about alot of things... but this post wasn't really meant to cover it all. I do agree that no other end would have made sense... but they probably didn't walk into that radio station expecting to die. So even though they were all ready to give their lives for Ajay, they went in there expecting to be arrested, not killed. But of course, the movie wouldn't be this good if they were only arrested.

aditya said...

I remember, when the movie came out, there was a lot of hue and cry, saying that how could they die and it seems to be an overkill, SWAT and commandos for a bunch of college students. I guess, in that aspect, the ending was off. I do accept that one cannot cover all that the movie tells them, for the reason that what one takes out of a movie, a book, or even a song in an album is so personal, so dependent on perspective, so intertwined with who you are, that it makes it impossible to even start putting it to words.
Cheers

Div said...

Aditya - I think the black cat commandos attacking college students was meant to be the exaggeration that it is, just to bring out the ridiculousness of the system. Its not unbelievable. Nobody would be surprised if this happened in real to anyone who murdered somoene as important as the defence minister.

You're right...everything IS personal. You said that beautifully.

Thanks for visiting!

lav said...

I am SO glad you're back blogging! :):) Loved it!
Granted its not possible to talk about everything for a movie like this in one post, but you forgot Shantaram!!! (Despite the fact that it probably would not have fit the mood of your post)
The tu bin bataye-place is one of the many many places I want to go to...and I'll drag you with me!

Div said...

Lav - I thought about it! Like shit :p And then decided not to write it...! I mentioned it to a few people though, to make up for it ;) And yes, I want to go there too...! and I want to go to the place where they have their crazy night outs... where khalbali was shot. Looks bloody awesome...So when? ;)

lav said...

Are you talking about the spray painting place with that pond they jump into? I want to say its somewhere within DU- but thats just my guess... when uh...hmm...sometime...even if its when we've both 80- we'll still jump into the pond- deal?
And oh perhaps a cerrection- isn't it 'woh loha (=iron) tha...pigal gaya' as opposed to 'uulon hatha...'??

Div said...

Lav - Yes I think its in DU. And yes, we shall jump!!

I thought it was Wo loha that too! And then I looked up the lyrics... maybe those were wrong! Shall be changed... I love the way they hug each other when those words come on! God!

Vinod R Iyer said...

Acknowledge everything that you said. I would add to it the background score. The simple and plain music! The scene where they are going to kill the defence minister. The music is seriously a classic piece !

*Jise tu gun gunaye meri dhun hai wohi* ly :)

Div said...

Vinod - Of course :) This whole movie's music is about simplicity in different forms. Its beautiful.

And of course, That line... :) Its been mentioned in this blog before... so i thought i'd leave it out this time, and let some other favourite lines take the stage :) Another one btw, is
'guchcha guchcha kai khwabon ka uchalke chuwa hai...'

:)

tsb said...

i couldn't watch RDB more than once. awesome movie and all, but involved too much emotions. I can't spare them since i need them all for cricket.

Div said...

tsb - I didn't want to watch it again either because of the emotions :) But obviously for me, that had nothing to do with cricket. I'm infact very happy that IPL is over now, and that facebook is rid of a million status messages that are the same thing! How very annoying!

mnjgvnd said...

an effective remeniscence :)