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MANGAL PANDEY - THE RISING is certainly the most ambitious project to emerge out of India. It is a historical epic with contemporary significance for the entire world. Set in the middle of the 19th century, it is the story of 'Mangal Pandey', an ordinary soldier in the army of the British East India Company, which ruled over the entire Indian subcontinent. This ordinary soldier was the man who triggered a rebellion that destroyed the Company, turning into a symbol of the spirit of freedom. MANGAL PANDEY - THE RISING is the story of a turning point in Indian history, the beginning of Indian nationalism and the spirit of freedom. The cinematic form of the film merges the oriental tradition of oral history - made up of folk love legends and myths, with the occidental form of written history - made up of documented facts and written records. The Dynamics of these two forms creates the design for the film, depicting the collision of cultures and ebb and flow of civilizational forces.
The entire Indian sub continent is ruled by… a company - The British East India Company; the company has its own laws, its own administration and its own army. It controls the destiny of one fifth of humanity. MANGAL PANDEY - THE RISING is an epic tale of friendship, betrayal, love and sacrifice set against the backdrop of what the British called 'the sepoy mutiny' but which for the Indians was the First War of Independence. British colonial rulers 'Company Raj' as it was known, had been plundering the country, treating the locals unjustly and causing widespread resentment. After a hundred years of subjugation, the Indian consciousness is rising through the revolutionary prospect of change and self-rule.
During a fierce battle in one of the Afghan wars that the Company fought in the mid-century, Mangal Pandey, the heroic sepoy, saves the life of his British commanding officer William Gordon. Gordon is indebted to Mangal and a strong friendship develops between them, transcending consideration of rank and race. The friendship is soon challenged, first by arrival of a charming and beautiful young aristocrat, Emily Kent (Coral Beed), and then by the introduction of a new rifle called the Enfield. The relationship is complicated further when Gordon saves a beautiful young native girl, Jwala (Amisha Patel), from the funeral pyre of her late husband, and falls in love with her.
The new rifle has come with a new cartridge that was rumoured to be coated with the grease of cow and pig fat. The new cartridge has to be bitten before it is loaded, which ignites anger and resentment among the Indian sepoys. The cow is sacred to the Hindus, the pig forbidden to the Muslims. They will not touch such a 'kartoos' - it would defile them. Gordon assures Mangal that the cartridges are free from pollution and demonstrating his total trust in Gordon, Mangal bites the cartridge. They soon discover that it really is animal fat and the rumor of this imposed pollution is the spark that ignites the powder keg of resentment in the country. Mutiny breaks out with Mangal growing in stature to lead the Indian people to freedom. Set in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, told across the divides of time, Mangal Pandey - The Rising tells the tale of friends, lovers and enemies, exploiters and exploited, and the growth and awareness of a man and a nation. It is a story of one man and his dream of freedom. This sweeping epic is based on real historical events, seen as a trigger for Indian independence.
Set in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, told across the divides of time, The Rising tells the tale of friends, lovers and enemies, exploiters and exploited, and the growth and awareness of a man and a nation.