A thought-provoking, soul-stirring wake up call to the youth of India. An engrossing entertainer from a genre that's still young in Indian cinema. A film that fiercely eyeballs you, grabs you by the solar and rattles the nonchalance out of you. A glorious tapestry with layers upon layers of the moments and decisions that make the lives of beautifully defined characters. Engrossing entertainment meets taut social comment with perfect timing in Rang De Basanti. Wake up India, Rang De Basanti is here!
The film revolves around a group of five friends played by Aamir Khan, Soha Ali, Kunal Kapoor, Siddharth and Sharman Joshi, who go through an entire roller coaster ride of changes. The changes aren't the ones youngsters usually encounter - these are changes that are very concrete and change their lives completely. The central character or sutradhar of the film is Sue McKinley (English actor Alice in a wonderful portrayal) who is a young documentary filmmaker who comes to India armed with her grandfather's diary and a mission to make a documentary film based on the freedom fighters of India. This diary has the personal experiences her grandfather encountered while dealing with Indian revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. It also tells her about the lessons he learnt about life and living.
Sue comes to India after quitting her job in London. Her friend Sonia (Soha Ali Khan) welcomes her and makes all the arrangements for her to shoot the documentary. After scores of fruitless auditions, she is desperate to find the actors for her documentary on the freedom fighters. And suddenly, she realizes that she need never have looked any father than her friend Sonia's gang of Aslam (Kunal Kapoor), Karan (Telugu movies' superstar Siddharth), Diljeet or DJ (Aamir Khan) and Sukhi (Sharman Joshi). Aslam is a mast maula poet and is very secular in his outlook, and hence very different from his parents and family. Karan is the not-so-spoilt son of a rich businessman (Anupam Kher) who deals in MIG aircraft parts.
DJ is an amazingly lively character full of energy and enthusiasm. He is the only son of dhaba owner Mitro (Kirron Kher). Beneath his enthusiasm lies a fear of not making it big in the world outside his college campus. Sukhi is another heart-on-sleeves character. He is also DJ's soul mate. Laxman Pandey (brilliantly played by Atul Kulkarni) is a political party worker who is a firm believer of his party's principles which, however, he later realizes are all fake. He is the kind who considers all Muslims as traitors and Pakistanis as people who have only hatred for India.
In the first half, the film develops these characters and precisely tells the audience how close they unconsciously are to their characters in the documentary. The first half is rocking and bombards the audience with comedy, a pinch of romance and good foot tapping numbers (AR Rahman) with lyrics (Prasoon Joshi) that acquire even more beauty when seen in the film.
In the second half, suddenly, the carefree lives and attitudes of DJ's gang changes due to a huge twist. Ajay (Madhavan) who is an Air force pilot, a good son, a patriotic Indian and Sonia's fiancee, and also the ideal of DJ and his gang, is killed in a plane crash. This incident rattles the happy-go-lucky friends who so far had been resigned to Fate and the fact that corruption is far too deep-rooted in India to be eradicated. But the loss of Ajay jolts them and they decide to take things in hand, realizing that if they are to make a difference and make the youth of India wake up to reality, they will have to take up the challenge.
The transition, the speed at which the film moves, and all the sequences fall in place very well without boring the audience for a single minute. You literally watch the film from the edge of your seat, waiting to see what happens next. Howev