Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra: A Tribute

Posted: February 22, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

I saw Dehli 6 today. And loved it. But more about it later.

I thought it fit first, to write a few words about the filmmaker, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. And I must add, if it was not already obvious, that I am a big admirer of this very talented director. I would believe that he is among the best that we have in Indian cinema today. And I am looking forward to many excellent films coming out of his repertoire over the years.

I presume I was one of the few people (lol) who had seen his first venture. It was called “Aks”. In fact, I remember that we had gone from our company, and several of us in a group, in fact. And all of them did not last through the film. Several left mid-way. Yeah, it was that kind of debut.

I had sat through the film. And while not really enjoying it much, I was certainly impressed with the subject chosen, the method of expression. Very bold, Very different.

In fact, it tackled an interesting subject – shades of Good and Bad within the self. And how one can manifest over another. To an extent, the theme carries forward in Delhi 6 too. In the form of the ‘black monkey’ metaphor.

So though Aks was no great success, I presume it got its fair share of critical acclaim.

Which got him going on his piece de resistance movie, Rang De Basanti. An excellent film for the times, it delivered its message in no uncertain terms. About the angst of the youth, about the restlessness that they face, and their clear thought about not wanting to take any more nonsense. The presentation was extremely creative. From the eyes of a foreigner who was here to make a film, and taking on idling youth to do her movie. And then even as she went over her story from the times of India’s freedom movement, the extent of juxtaposition of the story to current times, and to the lives of the actors, was the way the story got presented. Interspersed with great acting performances and excellent music (A. R. Rahman).

Rang De Basanti did create a stir beyond the film itself. Where people came out of theatres feeling good, they also carried the message forward, and the people’s voice against various unjust political wars, can be partially attributed to the impact made by the film.

RDB was a classic in that sense. Got Mehra a lot of acclaim and recognition, and finally he was taken to be a serious film maker. He won a host of awards for RDB.

But all through the fame and glory that he got, and the many TV appearances as a result, what came out from Mehra was a consistent humble message. Acknowledging Aamir Khan. Acknowledging Ronnie Screwala. And others. Maintaining a calm front that kept talking sanity, never letting success go into his head.

In fact, one program on TV really brought him out as a class act. He was on the Karan Johar show along with Rakesh Roshan, Raju Hirani and Kunal Kohli. Along with Karan Johar there, they made for some of the more successful directors in India. And in this interaction, the one voice that kept responding to many questions in the best way, was the voice of Rakeysh Mehra. In fact, that show kind of gave an impression that Rakeysh was the most thinking director from amongst them, Karan Johar was certainly the smartest, Raju Hirani had a good feel for the masses (maybe a good ad filmmaker’s trait), Rakesh Roshan was perhaps the best businessman, and Kunal Kohli was out of place there!

And now, Delhi 6. Another great work from Mehra. Some part of his style and his convictions carry on, I guess.

The part of the evil inside people, comes back from Aks.

The mixing of history / mythology to current story characters is done here again, as was done in Rang De Basanti. In this film, it’s the Ramayana and the black-monkey story (from Delhi folklore) that are mixed up to drive the film’s message across.

But more about the film in another post.

For now, I would just reiterate my admiration for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Really glad to have such great talent working together at the same time – Mehra, Ashutosh Gowariker, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Farhan Akhtar, Raju Hirani, Madhur Bhandarkar, etc. Film enthusiasts like me never had it so good.. 🙂

  1. […] of course, it’s the director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra himself. I have paid a separate tribute to him. That he has also written the film makes for special […]

  2. […] have already covered my tribute to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and talked about the actual performances in Delhi 6 in earlier posts. So what else can I say […]

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