Tag Archives: Rang De Basanti

Dil Chahta Hai – the film that redefined friendship

Dil Chahta Hai – the film that redefined friendship.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Bollywood since it’s early days, has always been an expert in portraying ‘romanticism’ on celluloid, the classic ‘love story’, a specialty that has been experimented and mastered through years of relentless practice.

But then, when it comes to ‘friendship’ being the primary focus of a film, they would first try to convince you with either ‘love-triangles’ Dil-Chahta-Hai-posteror ‘brothers-separated-in-their-childhood-but-later-united-to-avenge’ kinda concepts!

If not, then you will have to choose from films like Chashme Buddoor (1981), Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) or Andaz Apna Apna (1994) which somehow aren’t primarily made to celebrate ‘friendship’.

And when you are still not convinced, the memorable song ‘yeh dosti hum nehi todenge’ would be played ceremoniously from our favorite film Sholay and the topic of ‘friends and friendship’ will be closed then and there.

Well, that was the situation before 2001.

In the year 2001, a film Dil Chahta Hai was made and it not only won the National Award for that year but also redefined the concept of friendship in Indian Cinema forever.

Super-talented writer/director Farhan Akhtar‘s first film, who later turned out to be a brilliant actor, producer and singer as well!

Film trailer for a quick recap.

The film Dil Chahta Hai, a comedy-drama, is based on three friends whose friendship is tested as they go through a period of transition in their lives. From the enjoyable, carefree college days to accepting responsibility and trying to deal with their jobs and relationships with their recently-earned maturity.

The film was so unique not only as a young and fresh concept, but also for it’s innovative overall treatment.

The leads characters – Akash (Aamir Khan), Sid (Akshaye Khanna) and Sameer (Saif Ali Khan); they as individuals and also their superb chemistry in-between themselves were undoubtedly the life of the film.

Three friends, a sudden plan, and a long drive to Goa; since Dil Chahta Hai, such road-trips have become a trend for the youth of India!

And then of course, their three love affairs – Shalini (Preity Zinta), Tara (Dimple Kapadia) and Pooja (Sonali Kulkarni), who creates enough drama in their lives but also in a way completes them.

A trend-setter in many ways, the film revived Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna’s career, helped Dimple Kapadia to re-establish herself as a powerful actress, made composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy as famous as they should be, and most importantly opened the gates for innumerable friendship-oriented films to be made.

Jhankaar Beats (2003)Rang De Basanti (2006), Rock On!! (2008), 3 Idiots (2009), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), Delhi Belly (2011), Kai po che! (2013) and even Go Goa Gone (2013) and Grand Masti (2013) and many other Bollywood films that kept on exploring (mostly exploiting) ‘friendship’ with the same ‘three friends bonding’ formula.

Dil-Chahta-Hai-posterDil Chahta Hai, when it released was a decent commercial success, specially among the urban younger generation (i believe the film’s primary target audience).

And the critics applauded its sensitivity too.

The film Dil Chahta Hai though coated with enough comedy, is actually a pretty matured film that sheds a very realistic perspective on growing up and being capable of respecting other’s sentiments.

But the best part of the film is neither the story, or the brilliant performances nor the complete set of catchy songs; it’s actually the little funny situations here and there and the perfectly timed dialogues to complement them!

Hum cake khane ke liye kahin bhi jaa sakte hai

Aaj Pooja, kal koi dooja

Ya toh dosti gehri hai … ya yeh photo 3D hai

Perfection ko improve karna mushkil hota hai

These and many more such hilarious dialogues are the first things that come to our mind when we think of Dil Chahta Hai, and they only make the film such fun to watch every single time.

If somebody, new to Bollywood, would ask me to recommend one single film that he/she needs to watch – I would definitely suggest Dil Chahta Hai. Bollywood at its best!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.comwww.india-forums.comwww.filmycurry.com.

The power of Rang De Basanti – a generation awakens.

The power of Rang De Basanti – a generation awakens.

written by Souranath Banerjee

‘Zindegi jeene ke doi tarikke hote hai, ek jo ho raha hai hone do, bardash karte jao. Ya phir zimmedari uthao usse badalneki’. 

If translated – ‘There are just two ways to live life. First, let whatever is happening to continue, keep enduing it. OR else take responsibility to change it.’

rang-de-basanti-poster2Similarly, there are two ways to make films too. First, to accept the general trend as they exist and make a similar one. Or to take upon the responsibility and create something unique!

Rang De Basanti (RDB) released in 2006 – story by Kamlesh Pandey and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is one such special film that made Indian Cinema proud.

Starring Aamir KhanSiddharthKunal KapoorSharman JoshiSoha Ali KhanAtul KulkarniAlice Patten and Madhavan (guest appearance); and then the talented supporting cast Waheeda RehmanAnupam KherKiron Kher and Om Puri.

Music by legendary A.R. Rahman who took three years to compose for this one particular film. 

rang-de-basanti-poster4With such impressive star cast and epic musical score, of course RDB was a huge box-office success. The film also won the National award for the most Popular Indian Cinema along with numerous other awards (Filmfare, IIFA, ZeeCine etc).

And on top of that, it was also send as India’s official entry for the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

But apart from being just a blockbuster, award-winning, popular film, RDB also managed to do something very rare which hardly any Indian cinema have ever accomplished before – it communicated with the audience, specially with the youth of our country!

Rang De Basanti is probably the only Indian film that initiated such significant level of political awareness, sense of patriotism and social awakening in the minds of our younger generation.

rang-de-basanti-poster5After the release of RDB, young minds of our country (mostly students) who earlier were never bothered about politics or any such civic causes became socially responsible and took active interest in discussions regarding national problems like corruption, bureaucracy and political injustice.

Soon full fledged youth activism started – not only through the internet blogs but the students actually took to the streets to protest on public interest issues.

A perfect example is the Jessica Lall Murder Case, where people protested against the initial court judgement by a silent rally – a candlelight vigil at New Delhi’s India Gate exactly the same way as shown in RDB!

rang-de-basanti-poster3Thankfully though our younger generation was clever and responsible enough not to murder some politician while emotionally aping the film till the end.

But importantly, the message which they took home from the film was that of ‘No country is perfect, it has to be made perfect.’

And the brilliance of the script and the filmmaker is that this message wasn’t delivered in a preachy manner. It was cleverly communicated by a bunch of laid back fun-loving college guys who initially didn’t care much about their future; who were only interested in drinking beer and racing bikes, watching films and eating out (just like any other college kid).

rang-de-basanti-poster7The young crowd of India could very easily connect themselves to these naive and vibrant characters of the film. They spoke a language that the youngsters understood and could relate to.

But then, when due to some tragic events these characters in the film were shaken from their easy-going lives and when they felt a soul stirring sense of responsibility towards their country – the young Indian audience felt the same and experienced the same prick of conscience.

rang-de-basanti-poster1‘A generation awakens’ was the tag line of the film and from the film’s posters to it’s media partners (CocaCola, LG, msn, Airtel, Provogue) – everything related to the film and it’s promotion were focused on that tag line itself.

Such was the power of Rang De Basanti that after watching the film former Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, used the line ‘Aag hai mujhmen kahi’ (There is a fire somewhere within me) which is a popular lyric from one of the film’s song.

Almost 10 years have passed by since it was released and still Rang De Basanti remains one of the most influential films in the history of Indian Cinema.