Rang Rasiya – a must-watch Ketan Mehta film

Posted: March 1, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Saw a preview of the film, Rang Rasiya last night. It is yet to be released, and this was a private screening. I enjoyed the film thoroughly.

Before viewing the film, the story of a painter’s life did not seem fascinating to me. But I am glad that I went in spite of such reservations. For the story of the painter, Raja Ravi Verma makes for very fascinating viewing. That he is a real life character and this story is from our history boggles the mind even more. What a character Raja Ravi Verma was!

Indeed, what hit me most about the movie was to discover the character of Raja Ravi Verma. And understand some more about the character of mavericks. Geniuses of our world who live by their own rules, and where passion rules above all.

Ravi Verma was an amazing artist. But he always needed the right inspiration. Which at most times, was found amongst the women who came into his life. Beautiful women, whom he then visualized as Goddesses, or as other mythological characters. And painted them for preserving their beauty for posterity. As a dialogue of the film states that “you are beautiful, but you will not remain beautiful for ever; my paintings will..”. Passion enables Ravi Verma to create scores of paintings one better than the next. He enjoys the adulation of women. And loves to enjoy life as well.

But beyond paintings and beyond inspirations for paintings, Ravi Verma was a special man! A class above. He, who gets a once in a lifetime opportunity of an audience with the Maharaja of Baroda, only to refuse what the King wants him to paint, and suggest something else. And he gets his way. His confidence convinces the King to give him his way. Ravi Verma, in his quest to capture the looks of India, travels far and wide across the country. Absorbs the scenes of India, and again rediscovers his inspiration to come back and create more fascinating work.

He was different. Because he wants the art exhibits to be thrown open to public viewing. To get a sense of how his work is appreciated by common people. And when that happens, he discovers how much of an impact his work can have. Seeing a painting of a Goddess that he has created, common men bow down like they would, at a temple!

Still later, Ravi Verma is shown to have that dash. Where fascinated by the concept of a printing press, he is willing to put the last shirt on his back, to stake, and get the printing press, so that his works can be mutiplied, and the impact is felt across a much larger cross section of society. He is successful in this endeavor too. Or later when he encounters motion picture for the first time, and is again, ahead of his times in appreciating the impact that it would create. So much so, as to sell off his press, to create some money to give to a young Dadasaheb Phalke, to go an bring the magic of cinema home! Indeed, in that respect, he was the true entrepreneur and also the true VC, way before those terms were invented!! His argument in the court, when his opponents have dragged him there, is reminiscent of Abhishek in Guru.

I have become an admirer of Raja Ravi Verma, after seeing the film. Perhaps such streaks of brilliance is what separates the many good professionals from those who stand tall, as First Among Equals!

Ketan Mehta is the pefect director to handle projects of this kind. He has a feel for India’s culture and history, and he does a great job here too. Randeep Hooda is quite a revelation, at least to me. I thought of him as an average actor, till this movie. Here in Rang Rasiya, Randeep scales new heights and shows amazing acting range.

The film is an Adults Only certification film. It is expected to release in a few weeks now. I am sure it will please a discerning audience and makes for a great multiplex product!

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