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Friday, August 12, 2005

Mangal Pandey "The Rising" - A Sneak Peek

Based on the historical backdrop of 1857, this movie narrates, in the words of director Ketan Mehta, the story of a brave sepoy Mangal Pandey, from the 34th regiment of the Company Army, who started the first revolt against the British government, countering the use of cartridges greased with cow and pig fats and gave rise to the struggle of independence in India.

The movie takes off at Barrackpore dist, Calcutta, 1853 which was the headquarters of the 34th regiment. The director has blended the essence of Bengal as well as the nostalgia of Victorian times successfully. As each bullet is fired in any part of the movie, the DTS sound system of Venkateshwara Talkies is blaring with glory. While watching the movie, the first things that come to our notice are the awesome gigantic sets and the magnificent yet realistic costumes. The digital technology being used for the Sati scene and crowd multiplication is really of high quality. The Rising shows Aamir Khan in a new, much-hyped getup, which didn’t quite impress me, as he looked more as a tinker. But he really deserves some laurels for his outstanding performance. It really filled some patriotic feelings in my mind and that will surely capture the true spirits of the oncoming 15th august.

Ketan Mehta did a great job in casting the foreigners as they did their job with complete dedication, especially the guy who played Capt. Gordon. I don’t know, on how many assumptions the story is based but it really does complete justice to all the historical characters and dates. Ketan Mehta has also portrayed the social evils that existed then and the British govt. being against those evils; for that he really needs some applause.

Black holes
The movie being directed so well, fails to clinch the audience to their seats because of a weak storyline. In some parts of the movie I was forced to say “aaaaaa…”. In some parts, as I noticed, the director failed to present the historical flavour as it seemed to me quite modern. I mean there is no necessity to show Mangal Pandey drinking and dancing with the gypsies just for the sake of filling some ‘masala’ in the movie. Surely this movie will act as an educational medium for the students, so some scenes need to be deleted. Ya, I am talking about the scenes having a tint of eroticism in them. Also, Mangal Pandey’s character has overshadowed other characters, even the character of Tantya Tope who was a person of more historical significance, according to me.

The songs in the movie, except ‘Mangal Mangal’ and ‘Tumhari adaon se’, were quite unnecessary. Some songs were not even placed according to the circumstances. The songs speaking truly were quite boring. I guess, for the first time, the maestro A. R. Rahman has failed to reach our expectations. A job poorly done, sir.

Talking about the performances, both the actresses, namely Rani Mukherjee playing the prima ballerina a.k.a ‘tavayaf’ and Amisha Patel playing a widow, did a poor job. Both of them having very short roles and the presence of Aamir Khan, could be the causes of the fiasco. But still, they also join the list of failures with A. R. Rahman, according to me.


I give the movie 6 out of 10 stars. Guys, you can watch the movie once in the theatre, but never watch it on CD. Plz post your comments, and do give some rating.


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