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Bose The Forgotten Hero Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, May 23, 2005 • Hindi ]
Bose The Forgotten Hero Review
Sachin Khedekar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rajit Kapoor
AR. Rahman

There's so much to see and ponder over in Shyam Benegal's epic "Bose - The Forgotten Hero". One cannot really take it all in during one viewing. To do full justice to Benegal's achievement one needs to go back to the work's nuances in leisure.

I've done that. I've waited a week before writing my review.

Bio-pics are tricky things. They work only when the central character holds up the drama.

To play Subhas Chandra Bose, one of the most turbulent and adventurous national leaders India has ever produced, couldn't have been easy. Sachin Khedeker simply slips into Bose's personality.  The actor doesn't assume the legendary nationalist's personality by trying to look like Bose (though admittedly there's more than a passing resemblance).

Khedeker instead tries to get into the mind and heart of this freedom fighter who wandered from country to country to glean support for India's freedom from British rule.

If there was no self-congratulation in Bose's indomitable fight for self-governance, there's no hamming in Khedeker's portrayal of the enigmatic hero.

We can stretch the analogy further to include director Benegal in the web of understatement that characterizes this true-life drama on the dynamics of political freedom.

The prolific director has lost none of his penchant for creating the drama of humanism through images that seem at first, ordinary, but are actually emblems of an existential dilemma.

Wisely, Benegal's astute writers Shama Zaidi and Atul Tiwari focus on the dialectics of the human drama rather than getting submerged in the politics of the turbulent period when India sought to find its liberty from foreign rule.

One of the myths regarding Bose, which the film effectually squashes, is that Bose was at loggerheads with Mahatma Gandhi.

During one of his many heartwarming conversations with his lieutenants, Bose, getting sentimental, says no one will ever know his true regard for Gandhi.

Ideological conflicts spring out of this socio-political epic to qualify and define the man and the politician. There's no confusion or overlapping between the two roles in Benegal's vast range of vision.

Thanks to his extraordinary team of actors and technicians, the filmmaker ably re-constructs Bose's life and ideology as being two halves of one remarkable personality.

The battle sequences shot on location are gratifyingly authentic. But it's the humane moments which motivate Benegal's script to humanise Bose and make him appear more of a wandering ideologue than as the fiery rebellious misfit that Indian history has chosen to judge him.

The controversial portions where Benegal's Bose is shown to marry a German woman and produce a baby girl are done with the soft but firm hands of a visionary who won't let history obstruct his vision of the protagonist's personality.

All through Bose's struggle for India's freedom from foreign shores we see him as a pragmatic yet sensitive patriot.

A great deal of the film's compelling conviction comes from the actors.

The film springs a number of marvelous performances. While Khedeker runs across the narrative in a zigzag of inter-personal politics, the other members of the cast come and go creating a compendium of ambrosial cameos.

Divya Dutta (watch her where she pretends to feed kheer - rice pudding - to the missing Bose in their Kolkata home), Ila Arun (watch her in the farewell sequence in Kabul where she gifts Bose with three gold coins to free her country) and Rajit Kapur (constantly shadowing Bose) are outstanding in their own space.

Remarkably enough

Rating: 0 / 5.0


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