‘RANG DE BASANTI’ is a film about awakening. About standing up for ones beliefs. Where the spirit of rebellion transcends time and age.
A young idealistic English filmmaker, Sue, arrives in India to make a film on Indian revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and their contemporaries and their fight for freedom from the British Raj. Owing to a lack of funds, she recruits students from Delhi University to act in her docu-drama.
She finds DJ (Aamir Khan), who passed out five years back but still wants to be a part of the University because he doesn’t think there’s too much out there in the real world to look forward to. Karan (Siddharth), the son of Industrialist Rajnath Singhania, who shares an uncomfortable relationship with his father, but continues to live off him, albeit very grudgingly. Aslam (Kunal Kapoor), is a middleclass Muslim boy, who lives in the bylanes near Jama Masjid, poet, philosopher and guide to his friends. Sukhi (Sharman Joshi), the group’s baby, innocent, vulnerable and with a weakness for only one thing - girls. Laxman Pandey (Atul Kulkarni), the fundamentalist in the group, the only one who still believes that politics can make the world a better place and finally Sonia (Soha Ali Khan) – the sole girl in the group, tomboy and vivacious spirit, engaged to Ajay (Madhavan) – the dashing air pilot.
These youngsters could be anyone of us today and their lives mirror the kind of lives the youth of today lead – namely a self centered and materialistic existence where ideas like patriotism and making a change are strictly the stuff history books are made of.
Through her film, Sue wishes to showcase to the world the efforts of these young revolutionaries and the enormity of their contribution to the freedom movement in India. What unfolds is the inspiration behind Sue’s passion for bringing their story to the world. The twist in the tale is of course the fact that more than just telling the world, Sue’s film makes DJ and his friends stop and stare at themselves for being the actual descendants of these great men and never recognizing and celebrating their courage and spirit.
The film thus doubles as a narrative on the changes in perspective and values the young boys and girls acting in her documentary go through as they shoot for the film. Few scenes from the past and present are juxtaposed against each other, which renders a unique slick treatment, which serves to showcase the slow change in mindset and attitude that overcomes the group through the process of the film.
‘RANG DE BASANTI’ is a youthful drama, yet light hearted in the moments that the group shares amongst themselves… before some incidents effect a serious change…which ends in the climax.