RANG RASIYA looks fresh as though just shot a year ago. Thanks to it being a period flick. The fact that it has been in the cans for over six years, ready for release, and also the fact that people are still intolerant towards works of art and the creative field in general is what makes the film stand out.
Self-proclaimed outfits have come down heavily either on writers or artistes over the years. Over the last few years this has been even more pronounced with youngsters being emboldened to 'thwart writers and artistes with spunk.'
Viewed in this background and the fact that Raja Ravi Varma was an iconic artist of India, RANG RASIYA brings alive the colours of life. Ketan Mehta's biopic, based on Ranjit Desai's novel Raja Ravi Varma is bold like the paintings of the 19th century artist and beautiful to behold for its set design, 'required level of frontal nudity', and for creating an era of the past. Take a bow Nitin Chandrakant Desai for creating fabulous sets.
Randeep Hooda who plays the artist manages to shed his flamboyant and repetitive acts of his past films to be this subdued, creative, eccentric artist. A first for Hooda. He does justice to the character, although none I believe would know much about the artist who passed away in 1906.
Nandana Sen as his muse (Sugandha), is both timid, submissive and wholly in love. When the artist expresses his desire to paint bold pictures and tells her the story of Apsara, she willingly submits herself to the artist: a complete surrender.
But what was shocking was the manner in which the camera captures the 'frontal angle'; almost unflattering. Having said that, I must admit that none of the scenes are vulgar or crass; they are there because it is meant to be there and the 'script demands it'. Full marks to Nandana for going the distance to keep her character alive.
For those in the creative field, RANG RASIYA not only glorifies an artist that deserves recognition but also highlights a pertinent issue; 'freedom of speech' in a democracy that at most times bows down to the diktats of the powers that be.
The colours are vibrant, the execution moderate and the overall impact of the film is that of watching a beautiful painting!
For those in the creative field and who love works of art, watching RANG RASIYA should definitely be on your 'to-do list' this weekend.