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Mangal Pandey - The Rising Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, August 11, 2005 • Hindi ]
Mangal Pandey - The Rising Review
Cast:
Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Amisha Patel, Toby Stephens, Damien Lewis
Direction:
Ketan Mehta
Production:
Bobby Bedi
Music:
AR. Rahman

Mother India, Mughal-E-Azam, Sholay, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Gadar, Lagaan - now add Mangal Pandey to the list of the aforementioned all time classics.

An extremely well told story of India's first cry of rebellion, 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising' shakes you up completely and makes you sit and take notice. That's because the message is simple - though there were national leaders, political parties, freedom fighters and the common men who joined hands together to get back the reins of their very own motherland, the first person to have given a though towards was a lone man - MANGAL PANDEY.

Take a bow Bobby Bedi [producer], Ketan Mehta [director], Farrukh Dhondy [writer] and Aamir Khan for coming up with this highly engrossing venture that could have had its fortunes tilted in either direction. Thankfully due to tout execution, excellent research and thoroughly convincing portrayal of the legend, 'Mangal Pandey' comes out from the history and fables as a flesh and blood character who could be just one of us.

The movie catches your attention from the very first frame of the movie when Mangal Pandey's hanging by the army of East India Company is postponed due to backing out of a hangman. He stays on to live for a few more days and in the meanwhile his superior and friend Captain Gordon [Toby Stephens] takes the viewers a few years back in time.

It was the time when Mangal, one of the many sepoys of the 5th company, 34th Native Infantry Regiment, Barrackpore, saved the life of Gordon in a fierce battle in Afghanistan, hence setting up the ground for strong friendship and loyalty. A friendship, that both of them thought would be everlasting, only to see it being challenged at a later time. Though Mangal was never happy with the aristocracies of the Company, he still tolerated them due to his loyalty for the army.

Meanwhile the friendship between Mangal and Gordon continued to thicken with every passing day. From Gordon's own disgust with the functioning of the Company to his support for Mangal, to the saving of Jwala [Amisha Patel] who is about to be burnt as a 'sati' - everything contributed to a trusted relationship between the two young men.

But introduction of controversial gun cartridges changed it all. Made of pig and cow fat, it was required to be chewed by the troops before use, hence causing widespread resentment amongst both Hindus and Muslims.

The troops were ensured first by Colonel and then by Gordon himself that cartridges were free from any animal fat. But as soon as Mangal Pandey discovered that this was not truth, all hell broke loose. Mangal, who was the pioneer in believing the words of Gordon lost everything - his religion, trust and friendship.

This is where Mangal Pandey rose as a rebellion. Under the leadership of Khan [Mukesh Tiwari] from Berhampore regiment, he and his fellow men gave the army their first setback when they refused to use the cartridges and in the process also rebelled to loot the arms and ammunition. The news of this rebellion spread all over the country with rulers like Nana Saheb, Tantia Tope, Bahadur Shah Zafar and Rani Laxmibai joining the first war of independence in 1857 that paved the way for the future!

Ketan comes up with a great dramatic adaptation with painstakingly delicate details about the India of the 19th century. The town, its streets, culture, costumes, body langauge, language, untouchables, 'sati-pratha', celebrations, festivals, brothels, arms - everything has been detailed out exceptionally well that takes you back in time.

The best part of the movie is that it never once sermonizes. Neither does it go overboard on the spirit of 'deshbhakti' or 'azaadi'. It talks to the point and raises one simple point about being united and to stop serving the oppressors.

The script is fool proof for majority of the movie inspite of non-availability of a single source. Ditto for the screenplay that b

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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