Rang De Basanti–A Deliberately Late Post

During the last Washington DC blogmeet, there was a question as to what my next post would be.

I said “A post on Rang De Basanti”.

When I briefly said (in one line) what I thought of the movie, I was told that, based on the experience of certain bloggers who had expressed similar sentiments, such opinion, publicly expressed, would lead to a deluge of vituperative remarks in the comments section.

Since I was, at the time, already in the middle of a heated exchange on some other topic, I was reticent to open up the Western front on opinion shrapnel. Hence I decided to delay the post—-at least till the “Be The Change—I just saw Rang De Basanti” hysteria died down.

However since quite a few months have passed since then, I think the time has now come to gingerly put my head on the chopping block.

“Rang De Basanti” is an over-hyped piece of tripe.

Yes I said it then. And I say it now.

And here is my explanation. [Spoilers ahead for people who have yet to see the movie]

Let’s accept it. All of us, at some point of time, have muttered under our breath : “The only solution to India’s problems is to line up all politicians and shoot them.” It’s a desire we all share, a desire shaped out of decades of watching the ruling babus shamelessly aggrandizing themselves at the cost of the country.

There is indeed nothing wrong with wanting this to happen.

Just like there is nothing wrong with dreaming of rolling in the sands of Mauritius with a bikini-clad Mallika Sherawat or dancing close with a bare-torsoed Salman Khan (depending on your gender and sexual orientation).

What connects “shooting politicians” with “rubbing against Mallika” is that they are both fantasies. While many a director have realized that the way to make a quick buck is to pander to the second fantasy, there have been comparitively few that have realized the potential of playing up to the first.

Which is what Rakesh Mehra, the director of “Rang De Basanti” has done. He has sold a fantasy. Except that unlike the seller of skin flicks, he has packaged his blatantly commercial exercise with a wrapper of pulp nobility— a kind of jingoistic activism that makes people feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Its something he has done with some success. And kudos to him for that. But puleeze, it’s only a movie (and that too a pretty ordinary one) and nothing transcending that. Certainly not a landmark movie in Indian history nor a life-altering one. (Or should I add, it should not be a life-altering one)

There are some supporters of RDB who shall retort: “Chill yaar. Don’t overanalyze the movie. It’s just timepass and let’s keep it at that.”

To which I say: Fine. No objections there.

However the problem arises when people take this movie way too seriously—deifying RDB as a roadmap for solving the problems of the county, an anthem for the youth, a clarion call to get off our asses and do “something”.

And what is the “doing something” this movie advocates? Shooting a minister.

Yes yes I know. At the climax of the movie, one of the protagonists says that what they did was wrong, not supportable but it was the only way out.

Point A. It was not the only way out. It was not even A way out. Period.

Bhagat Singh indeed had no other way out. Neither did my grandfather. When Binoy, Badal and Dinesh entered Writer’s Building and started firing, it was because there was no other way of getting their voice heard.

But not any more. We have a democratic process in place, which inspite of its worst flaws, is nothing like what Mushy Baby serves up for his country:” Do you want Musharraf to rule as Supreme Commander of Armed Forces or as the Head of the Faith or as President for Life?”

Many would still say: “There is no real democracy in India and shooting corrupt politicians is the only way out.” For those who say this, I can only point to a bunch of very intelligent but misguided people from the last generation who thought exactly on these lines. They were Naxals. And where did their assassination of “enemies of the class” lead to? Social change. No. Instead we had stabbings of traffic constables, a vice-chancellor of a university, a brother of a freedom fighter.

And before you say that this was a fault in implementation and not in the idea itself, I shall raise my hand and say “No. The fault lies in the idea itself—the idea that lasting change can be brought about by merely killing some people.”

Democratic, peaceful change is not dramatic. Nor easy. But that is the only way to cleanse the system, unless the democratic system itself is not in place. I know that slow change does not make gripping cinema or send pulses soaring. Which is why Rakesh Mehra has to show ministers getting shot. Yes it does make for good, clean fun but please do not take it to heart.

Point B. Yes. The protagonists do say at the end that what they did was wrong (even though it was “justified”). It’s quite another thing that the entire movie conveys the exact opposite message by glorifying the act and drawing parallels with Bhagat-Singh.

This is somewhat like mafia movies where the ostensible message is “Crime doesn’t pay” despite the fact that for 95% of the movie the don is shown having the time of his life with the flashy guns, the gals and the power to make people piss in their boots. Sure he gets shot up in the end but who cares? After all wasn’t he originally a nice guy who had “Mera baap chor hain” tatooed on his arm when he was a kid?

What I found particularly galling was Madhavan doing “Rang De Basanti” publicity by saying “Be the change” rather than saying “Go and watch my movie”. Again a very manipulative marketing tactic by which your rage (justified) at the political system is channelized into buying a Rs. 200 ticket to go and see “Rang De Basanti”. And then coming out as a RDB zombie, pouncing on anyone who did not like the movie and say: “How dare you not want to be the change?”

I remember reading a blog where a blogger, after a typical RDB rush, gushes about how it is the greatest thing he has ever seen, how totally it has changed his conception of life and how he will now become the change.

Three months later, I wish I could see how much change he has brought in himself.

Because change, dear friends, does not come from watching a movie. It comes from forming an opinion—which again is a painful process borne out of reading serious literature, listening to speeches of learned men, thinking, filtering and internalizing. And then acting on that opinion.

It does not come from walking out of a darkened hall with three friends, heart pumping after listening to “Masti Ki Patshala” on Digital Dolby and saying “yaar let’s change the country”. What you feel is simply a charge-up—-an emotion that will disappear before you know it and the only change you will have accomplished will have been to enrich the movie maker’s pockets. [Which reminds me of a friend who said that he always feels like James Bond after he has watched a Bond flick].

And in passing let me express my gripe about modern media, as exemplified by RDB, which is responsible for “dumbing down” serious issues like socio-political change by serving easy-to-digest, high-on-caffeine, bite-sized conscience snacks, garnished with commercial “feel-good” seasoning, that exists to give you a rush but no real nourishment.

I have been castigated before for being a cynic. I am sorry to say but this is not cynicism.

Selling idealism, packaged as an attractive product, however is.

You so-called optimists are of course free to believe otherwise.

Now comes my second objection. RDB would have been good had it worked as a movie. In my opinion, it did not.

I am sure a lot of people liked the first part because they felt it was a realistic depiction of college life, down to the lingo and mannerisms. As for me, I never roamed around on bikes or tottered drunk on the edge of wells—-so even there I could not exactly empathize. Just like I failed to with the dudes of “Dil Chahta Hain” who drove a Mercedes convertible.

But the fault there may be mine. Blame my upbringing for that.

The second part is a trainwreck—-especially for a movie with intellectual pretensions. There is a most inept assassination which the way it is shown is more an act of revenge than an act of revolution, a rather hard-to-digest police charge on peaceful protesters where the mother of a dead AirForce man is sent into coma, the rather fantastic order from a disembodied ‘voice’ to the commandoes to shoot down the gang of boys, and then of course that Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid-esque banter at the end complete with the freeze-frame.

It seems that Rakesh Mehra was so busy pumping up the adrenaline that he forgot to make a gripping movie. Not that he ever knew how to—–people like me who labored through his faux-intellectual exercise in vacuousness otherwise known as “Aks” can testify for that.

There  I have said it. It’s off my chest.

And now that has been done, I can go back to being “the change” –like remembering to keep the toilet seat down after I am done.

And hope that an impassioned RDB fan wont sneak upon me and pump bullets while saying “Die cynical blogger die”.

292 thoughts on “Rang De Basanti–A Deliberately Late Post

  1. Hmmm… too much anguish and disappointment for a mainstream bollywood. Me keeps my brain out before getting into theatres unless and until there are very strong recommendations from a couple of my friends whom I trust (the last recommendation being Hazaron Khwahisein Aisi) :-).

  2. On second thoughts, overhype certainly pisses one off and a man has to vent it out. BTW I too used to feel like James Bond sometimes after watching one of the flicks ;-).

  3. GB,

    Suffice it to say that our verdicts about the movie are similar. The movie is total bullshit. I mean the first part could have led it to a decent flop, but the second part was as immature and puerile as they come . But the director was not a fool. He had a certain constituency in mind. Imagine a class of 15-16 year school students. If a teacher told them sex jokes, used slangs liberally and sowed incendiary thoughts, he would be very popular , nay, a demigod in the eyes of those students. If you have read Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City, at one stage he says that the social structure in India leads to the genesis of lots of ‘ angry young men’ who are disgruntled with society. In a 3 hour crap like RDB, these individuals through several rushes of adrenaline can idetify themselves with the characters. I read somewhere that the majority of India’s population is under 25. So the director must have thought, win them and you’ve won the market.

    But you cant go too far with such an immature theme. There were many other things about the movie I didnt not like. As you say, college life was stretched well nigh near utopia in some scenes. And why so much profanity? Profanity if necessary is fine but they seemed to have been liberally thrown around just for the sake of it.

    Also, after that guy lost his life in the plane crash, the defense minister became the sole villian. This kind of childish inferences are well….simply unacceptable. And they had the balls to justify the actions of these teens with the revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. At some point of the movie, I saw a parallel with an old Christian Slater movie, Pump up the Volume. But if they say that this movie reflects change in Bollywood, ….I have nothing to say.

  4. Vasabjit Banerjee May 3, 2006 — 3:51 am


    Have not seen the movie, but did read about the rather disturbing glorification of violence. Especially, when put in context of democratically elected leaders, it takes on rather sinister meaning and in the least proves the directors naivette. That said, the Dirty Harry movie series did such a thing, so did a whole subsection of Hollywood Westerns, as well as the television series, Dukes of Hazzard. Has American democracy fallen?

    Artistic freedom, however terrible it may be, needs to be maintained. There is an implicit notion in your critique that art must serve or act according to certain social and political norms. That is a slippery slope, indeed. Manet’s paintings were considered shallow and immoral at one time; though I dare not compare him and the said movie.

    Let it be, I say. The chattering classes, Bina Ramani and her kind love movies that make patriotism clean, tender, macho, and fashionable. If you notice voting patterns (which I do for a living) these folks do not even bother to vote, let alone do anything patriotic.

    Vasabjit Banerjee

  5. @Ranjan: Point accepted. In “Military Raaj” Mithunda puts the politician’s car on the railway track as the minister shrieks in terror. Truly an amazing ending.

    @yourfan2: Yes of course. The central premise of the movie was extremely juvenile.

    @Vasabjit: I never argued against “artistic” (or should I say commercial) freedom—did I ever say that such movies should not be made? Of course they should. So should Mithun-da, Sunny-paaji and Mona Chopra-behen movies. I just think they shouldnt be called high art or generation-changing. Maybe “Gunda” can qualify for “legendary”. But that’s it.

  6. Arnab da,
    Agree with you that the basic idea of the movie was flawed and the movie definitely treated the sequences (of the assasination and the climax) a bit too simplistically.

    However, despite your mentioning otherwise, I would still accuse you of taking the movie too seriously. Of course, anyone who comes out of the theatre and boasts of changing the world is being naive at best. On the other hand anyone who fails to feel the adrenaline rush and the pure entertainment value of the movie just because he/she gets down to rationalizing the minutest detail of RDB defeats the whole point.

    If I want to see reality, I’d sit home and watch news or some bullshit documentary. Right from Mother India to Sholay to Deewar to Don to DDLJ to Rangeela to … the list is endless… cinema has been selling fantasy. We are a sucker for well-told fantasies.

    Even I do not agree when people opine that shooting all politicians will solve all the problems of the world. Bull-crap. At the same time, if ‘someone’ actually goes ahead and does it, I will be interested in listening to his story. Why he did what he did. What were his motivations..however flawed or irrational they be. And that’s why I enjoyed RDB. More than trying to fish out any solution to the country’s problems, I was watching a very well-made movie about few youngsters who feel betrayed by the system and go on to take an extreme step. Simplistic, yes. Entertaining, enjoyable and arousing, hell yes!

    Disagree with you that the movie fails. It doesn’t. As far as story-telling goes, with all its flaws, it succeeeds in giving the audience (you excluded, of course :-)) something to talk and think about, something to ponder over long after we leave the theatre. And along with it ‘cinema’ definitely wins. It gives us some hope for Bollywood, if not for the country 🙂

    Also, I somehow never get this thing about ‘relating’ to characters in order to enjoy a movie. You mentioned that DCH didn’t work for you ‘cos you couldn’t ‘identify’ with those dudes in a Merc convertible. I wonder, how many movies there have been which have a middle-class bong dude, who goes to the US to do his Ph.D and is a popular blogger as their protagonist? ‘cos otherwise you wouldn’t ‘identify’ with the character. Watching a movie – is it more about listening a story or trying to figure out if the characters suit our own sterotypes and hence must confine themsleves to the experiences and problems that ‘we’ have been through? Maybe I oversimplified it, but would appreciate your comments on this.

  7. @Anurag,

    I disagree. Firstly, I am the last person to take RDB seriously. My beef is simply with those who do—who see it as something more than pure TP. I dont want to take names but just look around the blogosphere and read some reviews where RDB is presented as a landmark Indian movie—even the “best ever”. Ahem.

    As another example, Suyog wrote a less-than-complimentary review of RDB on his blog and wow the comments , bordering on fanaticism, were dirty ! Now tell me, who is taking things seriously?

    Second point. I am a great fan of both the book as well the movie—“The day of the jackal” where an unnamed assasin tries to bump off Charles De Gaulle . That is thrilling cinema because of its fast pace and because the director is in control of his craft. Lagaan is also a very simplistic, good-guy-wins-against-all-odds fairytale but it was made so beautifully and with such a lack of pretension that I enjoyed it to the hilt….can see it again and again. Howeve RDB is all about moralizing, preaching all kinds of , for the want of a better word, jingoistic garbage—-it’s not in telling a good yarn interestingly.

    Third point. You dont need to relate to characters in order to enjoy a movie. However when people talk about DCH, they say ” Oh it’s our story” (Just like some say for RDB). I beg to differ:—they are not mine. That’s all. Again I dont see where I said that you need to align yourself with characters to enjoy a movie—the Star Wars series is my all time favorite and I do not relate to the life of a Jedi knight.

    You want to know what kind of a character I would identify with? A character–part of a group of a few friends— hailing from a middle class background, who comes to college to STUDY, hangs around, dreams and through the insecurities and the baggage of an Indian urban middle class upbringing strives for something greater in life. And can such a movie be made attractively without a convertible Merc and psychadelic discos?

    I bet it can.

  8. Hi Arnab,

    I totally agree with you. This is much over-hyped movie. If you want to talk about changing generation and changing face of current India, ‘Yuva’ was much better than this and in true sense ‘follow-able’. For that matter, even ‘Nayak’ (Anil Kapoor) which was almost a fantasy movie, but it did send out right message, unlike RDB.

    Setting up analogy with Bhagat Singh, that was totally *pathetic*. yes that’s the only word. It was insult to Bhagat Singh and his act. Bhagat Singh started out with clear vision of past, present and future, unlike this lads, who woke up a morning and said “Hey let’s shoot the defence minister” and even before 24 hours have passed “we might be wrong in what we did”.

  9. Fnally, a balanced discussion on RDB. I could not believe my eyes when I was watching the second half. The protagonists blame the Defence Minister for killing their friends on the basis of his one statement to the media…then they kill him without any hitch in what was the simplest assassination plot where the Director’s idea of Z security is a couple of Delhi police pandus (Rakesh mehra does not know of the Black Cats, I guess).
    Then when the Defence Min is held a martyr, the heroes go and take the radio station hostage in what was the simplest kidnapping plan. Then they spout some revolutionary lines saying they are college students, their friend was a martyr, the Defence Min was an idiot, etc. etc. and the ppl actuallly believe them.
    And then coms the best part. The black Cats arrive (Ohh…Rakesh Mehra does know abt their existance!!). Now normally, our commandoes are expected to take even hardcore terrorists alive, if only to interrogate them. And here we see them fire at an unarmed Aamir Khan. Bollocks, plain simple manipulation of people’s sentiments. As if any Govt., however idiotic it is, will be idiotic enough to give the idotic order of killing these fellows and turning them into mrtyrs.
    Best was the people reaction in the end. As if the director was giving instructions to the ppl how to react to the movie!!

  10. All of you trying to force me into watchng the movie now 😉

  11. Thanks for doing this post.

  12. I noticed three ‘internalized’ scenes in RDB.
    1) Aamir Khan jumping off a cliff on his bike is internalized from Braveheart.
    2) Aamir Khan and Siddharth getting shot is internalized from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
    3) A small scene at the end of the film where you see a hand brishing across a field of yellow flowers is internalized from Gladiator.

    Overall I enjoyed the music of the movie but yeah – the story was (in the words of Life of Brian’s Pontius Pilate) ‘howwibly faw fetched’.

  13. Absolutely concur with you, Arnab. I don’t know if people noticed the easy scapegoating of ‘Hindu fascists’ and the BJP. They might as well star George Fernandes in it. I’d actually been advised by this gujju friend of mine from GeorgiaTech to watch it as it was ‘inspiring’ and ‘novel.’ The whole moralizing with pretensions was utter bullshit like you said. With such intellectual gems as “Kya Azadi? We do not have any freedom” to “Kill all politicians,’ the simplistic outlook was just repulsive. Of course my friends found it brilliant.

  14. It wasn’t tripe, Greatbong, nothing that inspires so strong a reaction is ever entirely tripe.

    I, as a kid who grew up watching Rehman go from strength to strength in the South perhaps see something that all the North Indians enthusing over RDB don’t realise. Much of the movie is made by its music. And Rehman, when in the mood, can make the trashiest movie utterly unforgettable. Seriously, think this over. The more moving parts of the movie, the more memorable sections, are triggered off by the RDB music we hear so much. There’s a lesson there.

    I liked the movie but I never thought it was a roadmap to a better life.

    But GB, the movie sure did strengthen my resolution to make sure my kids grow up with the values I found old-fashioned in my parents. You see, they were passe, but they sure helped your differentiate between right from wrong. You know the kind of stuff I mean, values which don’t allow you to (for example) criticise an ‘elder’ however wrong they may be. I fought against such writs all my childhood, but they did teach me to hold my tongue at crucial moments. Something I’m never admitting to the parents though! 🙂

  15. Although I enjoyed the movie, I didn’t agree with the climax at all. In fact, it sent a wrong message if the intention was to send any message at all. I didn’t blog about the movie either…must be one of the rare desi bloggers. And I completely agree with your analysis that people took the movie rather seriously and thanks to the Lok Paritran hype then, they were simply suckered in. You are right, let us go back and see what have those people done after having promised to “be the change”

    Nice post! Be ready for the brickbats from the avowed RDB fans though.

  16. this is the first time i am commenting on any blog entry despite being a regular visitor to many
    I completely agree with you here about the movie, arnab. To me it sounded like another truckload of jingoistic bullshit made famous by our great sunny paji-the paki basher. The irony of the whole tale is that the people most “impressed” by the movie are the yo-dudes & hip gals of the metros , who, if asked, might ( i am using “might” for the sake of being fair) not even know the national anthem or the national song.
    The cool gang in the movie is a bunch of 30-something losers who have nothing better to do in life than to hang out in DU in the day & drink & drive fast bikes in the night – well herein emerges another irony- drinking & driving is so cool and if you don’t do that …u r a dork- how about that as another “learning” from the movie.
    this comment might sound like a personal , serious rant about the movie but the fact remains that this was a well thought out, strategised move to capture the imaginations of a generation which is more faux westernised than ever.
    and according to papers today, mr mehra has been sued by karan johar & yash chopra for calling RDB the biggest hit in the history of indian cinema.
    what saddens me the most is the way we worship mediocrity- in all wakes of life. that alone might be the reason why a nation of educated, highly sought after intellectual force falls in love with & is inspired by the story of a bunch of murderers who kill solely because a friend has become a victim of corruption ( they couldn’t be bthered otherwise – case in point -sid) and later justify it by calling it the only means to change the society. hmmm………long live the country

  17. Ah,

    Havent seen RDB expected it to be a load of tripe – think mithunda movies would have been better 😀 :P.. Anyways, the other movie in recent times to talk of change was Yuva/Azhutha Ezhuthu – well, atleast mani rathnam tried to show change there as through a democratic process rather than take the adrenalin rush and you know what happened to that movie..


  18. I haven’t watched this movie and thanks to this post by greatbong, i won’t be watching it ever. Recently saw an interview of Amir Khan where he was justifying his statment on NBA. Mr. Khan went on to compare himself with Gandhi.
    Now this son of a rich Bollywood producer born and brought up in the plush north western suburbs of Mumbai does not realise that the entire patch from Mahim to Borivili and further is a reclaimed land where over the years, millions of fisherman have been displaced from their homes and livelihood.
    Amir Khan stays somewhere in that patch, like most bollywood stars. He has expressed his outrage over people being displaced from their villages as far as Narmada dam goes.

    Someone should go and tell him that the very area he was born and stayed most of his extremely extravagant life was snatched from poor fisherman.

    Gandhi? ya right !

  19. Greatbong,
    I have a slight disagreement here. With due respect to Bhagat Singh and Co., I think the parallels were quite spot on, in many places. Leaving aside the outrageous Mohan Agashe-Dyer link and other places where the contemoporary situations were forcibly portrayed (very unrealistically) to seem as pathetic as we perceive our pre-independent times were like. Minister going on air accusing the pilot to defend himself was a juvenile way to handle and is put in just to paint him black. Same with the Lathi charge against a peaceful demonstration. (For all we know, our pre-independent era could have been much better.)

    Bhagat Singh indeed had no other way out.
    I wonder why. May be I am ignorant. I am not endorsing Gandhian way as well. But, the way Bhagat Singh and Co. took to, was also a fantasy and with less foresight. Of course, the whole nation talked about it, just like the whole nation talks about RDB. (And this time, it was only a film!)

    Well, may be, I am wrong.

  20. Hi Arnab,
    Pls do read my blog also on same topic, gultybb.blogspot.com, where i gave my views on why i think along with Black, this is the most over rated movie of the decade. I have seen otherwise sensible people also going ga ga over this movie. Of course considering that im not much of a star bloger like u, not many comments to my revu out there. Gimme a V for Vendetta any day, that has much more sensible dialog and script. I really dont see any difference between this movie and the numerous Mithun Da vigilante movies of the 80’s, only difference is that this movie is more slickly packaged. I think my verdict is simple, RDB is a pure action masala movie, its like a Robert Ludlum novel, to be enjoyed but not to be taken too seriously. High time Rakesh Mehra and Aamir Khan, give up their activist avataars, and concentrate on movies.
    BTW tell me 1 thing, how come the makers of V for Vendetta, Batman Begins never promote their movies as intellectual exercises, but their movies have more sense than our intellectual masterpieces.

  21. GB, I must say that I liked the movie and came out of the hall all pumped and ready to change everything sad and bad about our nation. As you said correctly, such feelings don’t last long.

    But there is a reason why people like it. People like me, who pay pay Income Tax, Service Tax, Education tax and what not, people who follow the law, are made to suffer, are denied what is their right. Sometimes corruption and so many other things (I don’t want to count) just get on to your nerves. And that’s where RDB fits in. People like it because it appears to be a quick fix. A single solution to all the problems.Which it is not.

    Things change by doing the small simple “right” things. Things like not jumping the queue, like following the traffic rules, like being polite to others, like refusing to bribe the traffic police man and yes ofcourse ‘like remembering to keep the toilet seat down after you are done’.

    Let us remember RDB was just a movie and we are a young nation. Just 58 years old.
    Let’s be the change, the GB way.

  22. Nikhil Subramaniam May 3, 2006 — 7:35 am

    I tend to agree with most of what you say. And it does hold true when you think of the movie as a medium for revolution and change. The movie cocked up big time.
    My hangup about the film if nothing else is the trigger point of the ‘revolution’. Are these five friends oblivious to the other problems of the country so much so that only the death of a close friend can change their stance. Politicians have been bumbling fools all along. Wouldn’t they feel like killing other politicians who have waxed uneloquently on communal riots, corruption etc. I find it baffling that there is nothing else in their life apart from drinking, being garrulous and jumping off bridges into shallow lakes. Surely, they would have heard about a young engineer being bumped off for blowing the whistles and a few hundred everyday people being massacred. Why did that not become a subject. If we line up our problems in a descending order, politicians-who-say stupid-things would not rank very high. So why make such a big issue out of this.
    Rakesh Mehra hardly questions the merit of the MIGs themselves. That was the crux of the issue. It is not only a defence minister who would want to bring in cheap,third-rate jets. There are a lot of other people involved. What RDB has done is make the problem of MIGs seem like a two-man problem, the rich arms merchant and the corrupt defence minister. Naive, i must say.
    Would the boys have taken this action against the textlie ministry had their friend Madhavan not got a house in a new city, because there isn’t cheap housing schemes for the middle class and all mills are converted into luxury apartments. It must be an equally cruel life.

    Everyone who says do not overanalyze the film must first ask others not to hype it up as a vehicle of change. point counter-point effect.

  23. arnab
    the effect of RDB on the youth is clearly visible from the recent demonstrations by the youth in support of the JUSTICE FOR JESSICA case, the protest against RESERVATIONS and their joining hands with the NBA activists. So the point im trying to make is that even if the movie has been able to give the youth a hint about “how to make their voices heard” i think it has solved its purpose.
    you can call my views parochial because i know u will, but u also cant forget the scarce general knowledge and limited interest in understanding the politics and dynamics of our country of the youth today, that ull have to admit that a movie like this serves the purpose of the spark which may lead to the ignition of the otherwise sleeping minds of the youth today( not youth in its entirety but a reasonably comprehensive section of the youth) which is more bothered about partying and enjoying life than thinking about themselves or their country. And it is not necessary that this youth if ignited and made aware will think like what the director has depicted in his movie and will go on an expedition to kill all undesired politicians.

  24. Ah,

    Kamya – the point you make on jessica lal – well, if it had not been at malini ramani’s restaurant, if it had not been the haryana minister’s son, how many of us would have heard about this case?? And more importantly, there were protests against reservations when they were introduced the first time around, as for NBA, i think it has been around for the last ten years, so has aamir khan and co, so why was there no support then..

    Youth and in particular the college going crowd is pretty aware of what is happening.. I prefer yuva to RDB for the simple reason that atleast in Yuva the youth are shown making a move towards democracy and getting into the system to change it rather than show them killing someone to clean it.. And believe me both movies fail to ignite the spark which may be ignited if a Hazaaron Kwaishein Aisi is made in today’s milieu.. it does require a wee bit more than a movie to ignite the the sleeping minds of the youth today..

    Havent seen the movie – havent seen DCH either – so i guess i have no locus standi to comment on either – but i must say that both movies did not in any way want to make me watch them.. lagaan did – though i waited for my cable guy to show it on TV..

  25. 1) while you cannot bring change by getting inspired by a movie, what RDB does is it sets you thinking
    2) while assasinating a minister was an example in hyperbole to drive home the point, it is not realistic and what proves the point is that even though RDB is a “hit”, none of the ministers have been hit (assuming pravin mahajan was not acting on inspiration from this movie)
    3) while the lathi charge leading to the mother being in a state of coma seemed an exxageration, the killing of innocent kashmiris by the army (albeit in minority) is a case in the point. What happens in hte north east is again debatable. That this should happen in delhi, i believe, was a way to grab the attention.

    over all the movie makes few points but where is fails is in creating incidents that would make it all believable.

    and while shooting at corrupt people is not a solution, would you blame jessica lal’s sister if she took a swipe at manu sharma?

  26. Well, I agree here. RDB was pop-patriotism and pop-secularism. Nice to know that someone thinks like me on this one. I have been in hot arguments on this one with friends.

    But I do sympathise with the families of Mig-21 pilots. Why dont they just retire the planes which cannot be maintained. Very often, army machinery is “cannibalized” to keep other similar machines in working condition. Say for example, a working spare part from a defective Mig-21 is removed and fixed to another Mig-21 to keep the latter working. So instead of two planes lying useless, atleast one works (maybe till the cannibalized plane’s spares arrive).

    And yes, I am no fan of George Fernandes, but the parallels between defence minister in the movie and him are too strong to ignore. Its like blaming someone via a movie without his guilt being proven. The poor guy just cannot do anything about it. If he protests, he is helping the movie at the counters. The fact that he is a politician does not help 🙂 in fact he would invite criticism and a CBI investigation.

    AFAIK, the planes were bought sometime in the 70’s when Congress was in power. The spares were bought by the successive Congress and BJP governments. The only fault of George Fernandes – he did not ground the planes, instead he flew in one. Its not easy to ground squadrons without compromising the air power. Newer planes should have been bought earlier. Very bad planning here.

  27. GB, very well written. I share the views but never was able to articulate it as you have done. Hats off!

    I thought Swades itself was over-simplistic and pandering to fantasy – but in comparison, that was a masterpiece. Atleast, it was honest and didnt try to manipulate the audience too much.
    You wrote a review on Swades? If so I missed it – link please! If not, why dont you write one now. At the least, it deserves a review from you, good or bad.

  28. Hi GB,

    My first comment (although, been following your writings for a while now). I agree with most of what you’ve said about RDB, except that its a decently gripping movie and is certainly not a ‘tripe’ if you look at many of its cinematic values.

    Ofcourse the concept is lame, and meant to charge up emotions by over dramatising issues (the lathi charge, the commando order to shoot etc) as is true for many other decent bollydwood movies.

    But still, there is a good screenplay (bad story, but good screenplay), v good dialgoues, good camerawork, good editing, and very good acting being displayed there. Come on, isn’t that enough to make a watch-able movie? Ofcourse it challenges your senses, but not so much as most other bollywood fares.

    And btw, I would not be too much worked up over the emotions it tries to peddle…those are mainly for youth (as you yourself said, haven’t we all gone through those kind of fantasy phase?) who would sooner or later ‘grow up’ and see the real sense. I would love to find out the age profile of those who liked this movie.

    And finally…for those who really defend this movie for the ‘bring the change’ kind of emotion…I would recommend Yuva…a similar-in-concept movie and yet tries to show a realistic ‘way out’ of the current socio-political situations. Not going into the review of that one here (it had its pluses and minuses) but atleast that one tried to scratch beneath the surface a bit

  29. Bang on target! It is all created by our so called media which does not know what to focus and what not. The movie has good entertainmentvalue but socual change? I think it has as much value w.r.t. social change as a David Dhavan /Shakti kapur movie like Raja babu.

  30. hi greatbong,
    i agree with you that the views promoted in the film are extremist and most probably wrong, but i strongly disagree that the movie itself was a failure. i admit that i am 24 and hostel life has had a great impact on me but still i’ve seen plenty of cinema from all around the globe to know what i hate and during two viewings this one never came anyway close to being hated. i personally like convulated non-linear plots and unconventional cinematography(be it black-n-white or sepia) and this one had these 🙂 to go with these the music in the film was top-notch and so was acting. aamir was brilliant but the real show stealer for me was sharman joshi who unlike the former hadn’t got tailor-made scenes. i also dont feel that comparing college kids to revolutionaries is a sin. direction, editing and screenplay were good. there are some patches which are fairly half cooked like auditions of students and the characters of anupam kher/mohan agashe/wahida rehman. but still there are plenty of pluses to pass this as an absorbing film. i know that this is not going to change my life neither is any other film for the but that cant be the reason to dislike it.
    also please unrealistic doesnt mean bad
    p.s. after reading yours and some other reviews of united 93 i am looking forward to it, hopign agaist hope that it releases in bangalore and i dont have to watch it at home.

  31. just a modification in my earlier comment
    unrealistic over-hyped doesnt mean bad

  32. For me, RDB was certainely one of the best movies of indian cinemas in recent times especially in the context of all the crap coming up. The point is not whether movie was giving the correct message or not, the point is that it was able to relate to the feeling of today’s youngsters (like me and my friends). Even the movie never tried to explicitly prove that killing of the politician is good. Even when one of the listener in the radio asked Siddhart whether he is doing a good thing, he replied that he don’t know whether it’s good or bad, he just felt doing it (or some bla bla). The point is that lot of us feel the same way many times, just we don’t have guts (or we are logical enough) to do it. After seeing the RDB, you feel oh God! this is really what I want to do in such a situation ( I don’t care it is gud or bad, after all we all try to find the short cut for expressing our anger). All this quota issue in IIT’s and IIM’s make me feel how true RDB was to our real life (except the ending sequence, which I still feel was gud one). Delhi Medical Students demostrate against quota issue and police lathi charge against them. At that point, a person like me definitely feel like killing Arjun Singh. Regarding Social change, tell me how many movies have brought the social change ? This movie wasn’t about what is right or what is wrong, it was about what u feel (and feeling aren’t logical). And as far as I am concerned, I feel exactly the same as in RDB. And last but not the least, it was a commercial movie after all. Rakeysh Mehra did a commendable job by keeping it not only entertaining but also realistic to a large extent.

  33. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: Of all the movie reviews that you write about I have only seen this movie. So I don’t feel hesitant to send my comments. Yes, I agree with you. I have no problem of accepting RDB as just an entertainment (personally I didn’t like it) but I seriously object when this movie is being projected as to bring about a positive change in the outlook of the society.

    I will tell you my personal experience. Some time back when Bhagat Singh movie was released, our maid servant went to see it with her family and told me that although they heard about Bhagat Singh’s name as a freedom fighter from school(don’t forget we are in WB!!!) they did not know all those details. She also told me that their para club members have decided to put up a picture of Bhagat Singh in their club room because he should be respected!!! So by this yardstick the above mentioned movie has made some positive impact on them. She has also seen RDB (our maids go to movies much more than I do!!) and told me that her husband and his friends were discussing that the corrupt ministers/ employers should be shot the way it was shown in RDB! I shudder to think to what extent their minds have been influenced by RDB. College going students mercifully have the training to decipher how much to absorb and what to discount. But what happens to these school drop outs or just school passed public’s (who outnumber the college students) mind? These are the people who garland Tendulkar’s portrait with flowers and then when he is out of form gets garlanded but with shoes. It seems they don’t understand or can’t accept that good form is something which is not attainable all the time. Do they understand that it is just a movie not meant for ‘change’- that ‘change’ does not come through bullets? If there is only a few who don’t understand that, then we are in for real trouble.

    You have written in one of your comments “hailing from a middle class background……… through the insecurities and the baggage of an Indian urban middle class upbringing strives for something greater in life”. First of all there is nothing wrong to have ‘insecurities’ and any ‘baggage’ of any particular class. I hail from a middle class family and although I find a few things objectionable, I am generally proud of my so called baggage simply because that has made me who I am today.I rather have ‘baggage’ than be footloose. Now I am in a so called higher middle class and trust me they also have ‘baggage’ and lots lots of ‘insecurities’. I don’t know what you meant by “strives for something greater in life” – that something greater is person specific – it may be intellectual, financial, power, fame, control or emotional. Whatever it is – everybody strives for ‘something greater’ not just middle class people – even our maid servants do.

    Lastly, reading thru all the comments (till posting this comment) you still have not got any grubby comments. How come? Have they all gone to sleep?

    @ An Ideal Boy: I could not agree more with you when you wrote: “Things like not jumping the queue, like following the traffic rules, like being polite to others, like refusing to bribe the traffic police man and yes of course ‘like remembering to keep the toilet seat down after you are done’.” I am a woman, yet I must admit that women are the worst offenders as far as queuing is concerned. Specially if they happen to be ‘talking in hinglish’ – they always ‘appeal’ to be allowed to jump the queue for some excuses or other. And I also suffer from the toilet seat syndrome!!!!

  34. To begin with, I really had high hopes with this movie, I know I was foolish to do so, but I really did( guess, I’m one of those who never give up on bollywood). I read some pieces about the movie before it’s release and I was like, here is a brave movie which’ll tackle the faulty systems and corrupt officers within the army. But no, they go ahead and blatantly make a scapegoat out of the minister. In this country, it is easier to slap around ministers and policemen in films, but army is given this demigod status which is very unreal. True, that, it is for these brave men only that we are safe in our houses, and kudos to that. But the defence is comprised of people who make mistakes, who are also greedy, it is also part of a system where under-the-table deals happen. Not that it has not been done, there have been movies like DrohKaal where a top intelligence officer is shown corrupt, or a Dil Se, where, though suggestively(and that, in a way brings out the brilliance and brutuality of the act) jawans are shown raiding villages and raping women. People make mistakes, people act like demons, and the jawans are people, not God. So can we please have films which deals with army also as humans not make God out of them. J.P. Duttas and Farfan Akhtars of the world listening? 😉

  35. YOURFAN writes:
    @kamya arora: You wrote: “the effect of RDB on the youth is clearly visible from the recent demonstrations by the youth in support of the JUSTICE FOR JESSICA case,….” Who says that the support for Justice for Jessica came about only from YOUTH and that too as an effect of watching RDB? Who gave you that statistics – I honestly would like to know. I know a lot of people who smsed and emailed and they are parents of young/not so young girls/boys – who certainly can’t be called ‘youth’. Even my elderly parents and their elderly friends smsed for showing support to Jessica’s case. Even 10 years back, this type of case would arouse strong sentiments. But the only difference is that, then we did not have the sms, email facilities by which people can respond quickly. Sitting down with a piece of paper to lodge a protest is not a protester-friendly concept and that was the only option back then.

    You also wrote: “cant forget the scarce general knowledge and limited interest in understanding the politics and dynamics of our country of the youth today, that ull have to admit that a movie like this serves the purpose of the spark which may lead to the ignition of the otherwise sleeping minds of the youth today”… I don’t think today’s college going youth have scarce knowledge about the surroundings. I think they are well informed. By the way do you honestly believe that people having “scarce knowledge and limited interest in understanding the politics and dynamics of our country” can be positively influenced by just a movie???? You must be joking.

  36. ur last 2 lines sum it all up. goooooood!
    And dont u dare forget its RakYesh with the Y thats why Aks failed at the box office!plus he’s now gone some place to hone his writing skills.
    For me first half was great TP with all dancing in gay abandon throughout,then i wanted to go home.
    REalistic is just not the word for it.and the sickening parallels.
    who orders attacking peaceful protesters esp in the glare of media cameras?that was the worst parallel.
    NO social change here ,TIMEPASS after exam times…yes!

  37. social relevance ..look at Mani Ratnam films including feelings logical or otherwise.

  38. ““Rang De Basanti” is an over-hyped piece of tripe.” — So perfectly and aptly put. Exact same sentiments were shared by me and Chetan when we came out of Loehmanns theatre that night – we were both bewildered as to what was exactly good abt this movie!

    YOu echo my sentiments – and u are much better at words hehe – I have been having a RDB discussion on and off with friends – next time I have to make a point, I am going to refer this link!



  39. Bloggers beware

    Any comments on this. Wondering if IIPM will sue me.

  40. I am amazed at the people who expect movies to have an impact on real life and are “afraid” that the “youth of the country” or the “simple poor folk” might take the lessons to heart and start killing ministers! What unadulterated elitism to assume they you understand filmmakers’ movies better than the simple simons of the slums!

    Arnab, you screwed up big time here. Your reasons for disliking the movie just don’t add up. What are you complaining about exactly? The message? You yourself mentioned that gangster movies celebrate gangsters. So by that standard is Godfather a bad film because it glorifies violence?

    Okay let’s us agree for a minute that the movie was sold as a patriotic exercise – cynically so – especially given the Bhagat Singh parallel. What if I say that United 93 is being sold as a cathartic experience to Americans purely out of a cynical motive to make money out of a tragedy? The fact is that movies are products and need to be sold so that we, as self-styled experts can comment on them. Get over it.

    RDB definitely works as cinema, and I have to fault your taste here. It is interesting, funny, tragic, and thoughtful in turns and the audience is totally immersed in the film throughout the length of the film. Have you seen it in the theatre? I have, and I can vouch for the fact that people came out of the theatre moved and shellshocked, some crying, some with set jaws, all thoughtful and pensive. And at least for some time, everyone went away with the intention of being better humans. That is the achievement of the movie, especially at a time where so many others are released and still fail to make you think 5 minutes after the end.

    Even if we forget all the idealism next day, the fact that the film made us feel idealistic for some time is more than even a jingoistic film hit like Border does. Don’t knock that Arnab. There are precious few films like that around in Indian cinema.

    Some of you have ranted about the “unrealistic” aspects of the film and funnily enough, cited Yuva and Dil Se as counterexamples! Yuva was good but that failed as a film on several counts, especially the sight of an overgrown Ajay Devgan fighting elections on an independent platform in West Bengal and winning seats. Does that sound realistic? Wasn’t that a fantasy as well?

    Dilse failed as a film on almost all aspects. The editing was jerky, the characters half baked (What was Mita Vashishth doing?), the acting (Shah Rukh Ham) inexplicable. Was the sight of Shah Rukh singing a song on radio when he is supposed to be a insurgency correspondent realistic? Or was the fact that he prefers to blow himself up for love? Please…

    Let us appreciate what we have here with RDB. It had excellent casting – Alice Patten was the best firang ever on the Hindi screen. Sharman Joshi was great, as was everyone else. Atul Kulkarni was an inspired casting choice. Even the small characters (Om Puri, Kirron Kher, KK Raina) are memorable. Aamir Khan was great, as usual. The dialogues were crisp, funny, probing, memorable. The story did not flag, regardless of realism. The editing was excellent, the intercut of the sepia (actually not sepia, but a more azure shade indicating the past) and the color depicting the present day was expertly done. The music has the best Rehman compositions since Lagaan.

    In short, what’s not to like?

    I have a feeling Arnab, you set out prepared to dislike the movie and wrote accordingly, watching the movie in a way that the elements somehow retrofitted into your pre-perception, if that makes sense. All I can finally say is, c’mon man, can’t you see the difference between an RDB and a Black. Black is an awful movie, but RDB is most definitely not.

  41. Have to disagree with you here GB. I was going to write a long detailed reason – but ‘Shan’ covered many of the points.

    If the Indian audience was duped by the ‘make a change’ publicity campaign and went to see the film expecting a roadmap for improving the society and getting rid of corruption – it is their fault – not the filmmakers or marketers. I cannot fault the latter for pulling the right strings to make money.

    Also, if you actually thing about it – RDB is really serving old wine in a snazzier, jazzier, 21st-century, age-of-MTV-blogs-and-barista package. Many of the 70s and early 80s Bollywood films involved convenienty dumping the corrupt politicians and police officers as a form of public justice. Dare I say that even Mithunda indulged in several such roles before converting to the dark side. Amitabh made a career out of it.

    I went into the theatre with little expectation and was thoroughly entertained. I do agree with you though that the second part of the film, including the murder, was unconvincing. But, I was in a good mood while watching it, so I let it pass. Some other day I may have had a more visceral reaction as you did.

  42. when u go to a horror movie, u have two choices. one – whenever an old lady with lamp comes out of the darkness suddenly, u cud remind urself that it is just a movie and start laughing just to prove that u r not afraid. two – u cud involve urself into the movie and shout at top of ur voice when a real scary scene comes up. i guess u wud choose option one. yeah come on yaar. when u step in to the theatre, u know for sure what sort of movie it is. RDB is for multiplex youth. the one whose wallet is fat even if it contains only credit cards. obviously it is bound to be popular. if you want thought-provocation read some nice literature, history books, watch history channel et al.
    RDB is a well-made movie. why?? 1.it didn’t elaborate how they planned to kill DM. if director had, then ppl wud accuse of giving away ideas to the terrorists. 2.great music. afterall in real life, if i feel happy there is no ARRahaman to play “mast ti ki..”. 3. star cast was cool. aamir taking back seat.

  43. blue mountain May 3, 2006 — 2:55 pm

    The effect of RDB on the youth is clearly visible from the recent demonstrations by the youth in support of the JUSTICE FOR JESSICA case, the protest against RESERVATIONS and their joining hands with the NBA activists.

    Great one !!!

  44. yeah it was a timepass movie…i liked two songs in it though…they were real heart wrenchers….
    music played a huge part in it. i think if the music was crappy.. then people wouldnt like the movie so much… coz.. well. like you said.. it was very much out on the tangent there…

    i gotta say i love your blog….its cool that youre so blatantly honest.

  45. @Nishit: Agree with you about Bhagat Singh. He was, like most freedom fighters of the time, a very well-read intelligent human being whose political ideas and roadmaps for action were formulated after long periods of study, discussion and introspection. To compare such a studied stance with the impulsive action of the boys at RDB actually trivializes the intellectual foundations of the Indian freedom struggle.

    @Dhananjay: You could ride a SUV through the plot holes.

    @Manasi: 🙂

    @:-) You are welcome

    @Soham: Point. That “Gladiator” inspired “I am home” thingie I cringed at when I saw it a few months ago.

    @Tushar: Yes its a point well made. I noticed how the entire movie was hell bent, in not-so-subtle-ways in villifying the BJP —-Atul Kulkarni’s mentor is obviously a BJP man and so is the defense minister. Maybe the director thought that doing this would make the movie fly through the censors during UPA rule. I dont say the BJP is good but then targeting one party (when everyone does it) reveals a barely-concealed, opportunistic political agenda.

    @Sue: I disagree. Tripe, cleverly marketed, can provoke a strong reaction. As to the rest of your observation, that is something personal to you (the effect of RDB on you) and I cannot say that I totally understand how RDB was responsible for the realization.

    @Patrix: Yes I am ready :-)….so much so that I have been running shirtless through fields all day getting ready for the fight.

    @Peachrose: Valid points.

    @Sanjiv: As I said Mithunda could have handled this movie with more style. It would certainly have been more watchable—why they even had “Aye sala” in one of the songs. Of course without Mithunda, it was just another profanity.

    @Kaunteya: Yes. Aamir Khan. Someone please tell this man to stop taking himself so seriously, on and off the screen. Where is the Aamir Khan of “Rangeela”—-I miss that man. He is without doubt the greatest actor of his generation—-yet why oh why does he always have to do the same kind of roles…

    @Zero: Bhagat Singh’s political ideas came out of years of study, thought and deliberation. He was not a hot-blooded youth who killed without thought and on impulse. Remembering him as such would do a great disservice to his intellect and to the intellects of many freedom fighters like him. I have made the point in the post: democracy is the main discriminating factor between the situation during Bhagat Singh’s time and the time shown in RDB.

    @Ratnakar: V for Vendetta exists for pure fun. It never takes itself seriously nor does it market itself as something other than pure escapism.

    @An Ideal Boy: I totally understand why people “like” it. As I said it appeals to a fantasy in all of us.

    @Nikhil: Totally agree.

    @Kamya: Firstly there was nothing “parochial” in the comment—no hint of regional chauvinism and “my daddy best”. I just hope that we as a nation have not become so brain-dead that a movie like RDB has to serve as a spark. Please. I dont think the youth of our country are politically unaware, in any way. And I wouldnt draw a causal line between the Jessica Lal incident and RDB: no evidence for that. Far worse things happen everyday to people and I see no such “be the change” from the youth.

    @Sanjiv: Yuva I didnt much care for as a film especially the horrible miscasting of pan-stained Ajay Devgun but the basic idea (as a message) was much more digestible than RDB.

    @ABC: Yes I would. If I didn’t we would have a society as is prevalent in the land of the Pushtus and NWF tribesmen with blood money, generational revenge and the like.

    @Satish: I have pointed out why I think they targeted Fernandes. Let me say I am no fan of BJP but for a movie ostensibly about cleaning up the “system”, Mr. Mehra seems pretty well focussed on which party the enemy belongs to.

    @Raj: I agree with your assessment of Swades. With all its faults (cinematic) and naivete, it was a honest effort.

    @Worma: Production values have become greatly improved in Bollywood over the past 10 years—uniformly across the board. And so I am not all that gaga over those of RDB which are good but nothing that stands out (again in comparison to other big budget movies of today). “Asoka” which IMHO is the worst movie I have ever seen had spectacular production values—“Roshni Se” is so beautifully done that it almost brings tears to my eyes (no sarcasm here). Still that cannot save “Asoka” from being pure undiluted disaster.

    @Vishal: :-)….Raja Babu was a movie that promoted literacy right? “Main angootha chaap parna aur likhna jaano na…Aaa eee oooo ooou”

    @Apoorva: Respect your opinion. But cant agree.

    @Deepak: I think I clarified, in the post, the point as to why the mumbled apology at the radion station doesnt make things any better.

    @yourfan: I don’t think that anyone really is going to shoot politicians as a result of this. Because its not easy to shoot one (unless you are his brother) and most people, no matter how much they claim to be “moved” are not going to sacrifice their lives for something that idiotic. However the influence these kind of movies exert on the not-so-well-educated cannot be underestimated: I sincerely believe that eve-teasing is a crime that has been abetted (almost created) by Bollywood where the heroine is almost always shown “enjoying” the act.

    I didnt say upper middle class people dont have baggages: every social strata does. I just meant I would be interested in seeing a movie ( as in I could empathize with the characters) if the protagonists were middle-class men and were striving, in their own way, for something greater (where the definition of greater is intentionally left vague)

    @Vimal: Drohkaal—now that’s one amazing movie. Preachy sometimes but gripping. Taut and tense. Explosive climax.

    @Varsha: So at least he became the change—by changing his name.

    @Suyog: 🙂

    @Satish: As long as it is not libel (i.e. accusations not backed up by a source) I dont think anyone can sue you.

    @Shan: Firstly sir—stop attacking the reviewer. You are free to like the movie and disagree with my assessment but do not try to ascribe motives to what I write: like I set out to dislike the movie.

    If you feel there is everything to like, I dont even want to argue with you….because somehow when someone says :” You disliked the movie because you wanted to” there is nothing to talk about except to say ” You liked the movie because you wanted to”.

    @BongoPondit: The movies of the 70s and 80s were clearly fantasies. Noone marketed them as “wake up oh youth of the nation”—-they had none of the faux intellectualism of RDB. They were simply escapist fantasies—I mean “Rishte main tumhare baap laagte hain. Naam hain Sahensah”—need I say more?

    @Ram: Sure. Read a book if you want “to be the change”.
    Watch a movie if you want to be simply entertained.
    Just dont confuse the two.

    @Blue Mountain: You forgot to add the “dropping of Sourav ganguly” That was also because Kiran More saw RDB and decided to “make a change”.

    @Grafxgurl: Thank you. I liked the songs too but personally do not consider this to be one of AR’s better works.

  46. This has every chance of getting lost here, but I will have my say. Leaving aside all the patriotism – be the change debate, I completely agree with you that it does not primarily work as a film.

    The sheer energy and raw humour of the first half — with its goosepimply moments — are brilliant.

    But details, details! Apart from the flaws that have been pointed out, the one I found most glaring was, this girl Sue turns up with a back-pack to make a film, on what one assumes is a very low budget, and ends up making a sepia-tinted period piece with all the right props, extras galore and almost on a Gandhi-like scale?

    And the trite parallels — Soha Ali Khan saying ‘maar dalo usse’, the cycle wheel outside the spot of violence, the Top Gun walk!

    If that isn’t lazy film-making, I don’t know what is. Rakeysh Mehra should have stuck to making just a youth-centric film that mirrored these lives, another DCH, which he proves he is quite good at.

  47. @ greatbong: I guess this is where we differ: I consider the fantasy in RDB at par with the 70-80s stuff. In no way would I consider the film igniting any form of passion in me.
    I will admit that I was quite removed from the hoopla and the publicity related to the movie – therefore I probably do not realise that they are trying to promote a ‘message’.

    Also, give the amount of internalization still going on in Bollwyood (e.g. two of the three movies I watched this weekend – will have a post on it soon on my blog) – I was just happy to see some sort of original material.

  48. @Marauder’s Map: Oh of course…lazy film-making. However some great movie do have plot holes and have several places where you need to suspend disbelief. However RDB is not one of them—a great movie that is.

    @BongoPondit: Original material –RDB? How so? Soham’s comment detailed some internalizing—do you mean to say that the theme is extremely original ?

    Jésus de Montréal

    A group of actors putting on an interpretive Passion Play in Montreal begin to experience a meshing of their characters and their private lives as the production takes form against the growing opposition of the Catholic church.

    From here.

    Source: a discussion on my Orkut community.

    A bit of internalizing eh guv’nor?

  49. Inspite of all the plot holes, lack of character development and political jingoism , RDB is still an entertaining movie with catchy music and a fresh storyline. It would have truly worked if the makers and specially Aamir khan didn’t take themselves and the movie so seriously and sell themselves as instrument to mass awakening. I wish they kept it like a Govinda film, a tacit agreement between the actors and the audience about the movie’s intent to purely entertain and not take anything outside the theatre past the movie screening. The push of RDB to be socially and politically relevant irritates.

  50. @GB: got me on the theme…..did not know about this. OK so well adapted 😉
    Also Re: Soham’s comments – I think its stretching a bit to call all those scenes ‘internalized’….the Braveheart and the Gladiator-type scenes I remember seeing in other movies (a weak argument but nevertheless)
    Internalized is what I call ‘Malamaal Weekly’, ‘Taxi 9 2 11’ (very bady copied – which is worse), that copy of Old Boy etc.

  51. Proud Indian Producer May 3, 2006 — 5:42 pm

    Net legal proceeds of RDB are estimated at over 10 million USD. If you count the unaccounted assets ( pirated DVDs and the like ) it easily exceeds 20 mil USD.
    On an initial investment of 7.5M USD.

    Now I don’t know about your net worth, but most likely it is some tiny fraction of 1 mil USD. In other words, your house and car(s) and salaries and gadgets and equities and all the rest will not add up to even $200,000. That’s assuming you have no debts. Now if I bring in your SS and insurance and other monthlies you are pretty much eking out hand to mouth existence like every other NRI in USA.

    Compare that to Ronnie and his purely INDIAN team who boldly forked out 7.5 mil USD whilst sitting in INDIA and handsomely tripled it in a period of less than six months. Even a Buffet is awestruck.

    I cannot give you exact details of what is happening right now as we speak, but I have it on good faith that Ronnie’s next bet is on the likes of – pay attention here – 300M USD !!! Even a Fox or a Warner isn’t taking such big bets. That’s because your industry in Hollywood is a dying dodo with 7% audiences, whereas we in India have a 70% theatregoing audience. In rural India the numbers are 90 . We have the manpower, they are inclined to watch movies, and we make money. You write blogs. Guess who the world pays attention to ? The majors are investing close to 5 Billion USD this year alone in Indian studios. Add the hedge fund proceeds and the numbers quadruple. Next year will see movies from Bollywood the likes of which cannot even be conceived by the West. The audience will lap it up and sensex will shoot through the roof. And you will still be blogging about plot holes while driving your Corolla through pot holes. Keep at it Sir.

  52. Mystic Margarita May 3, 2006 — 5:52 pm

    This review brings us back to the basic premise of cinema – do audiences go to see a film expecting to be entertained or do they go to the theatre to learn values and change themselves? In short, is cinema a form of art just for art’s sake or does it have didactic purposes?

    I think most of us merely expect films to entertain us – through their story, execution, music, and other nitty-gritty. Rarely, a film comes along which inspires emotions strong enough to last a few hours or maybe a lifetime. But bringing about change is NOT a film’s goal, unless it’s conceptualized by someone with strong social/political convictions.

    That being the case, there’s no denying the fact that RDB has touched a chord among the youth of today, who in general are extremely indifferent to issues that have nothing to do with their insular world of money, career or partying. From the cinematic point of view, some sequences and the end of the film are unrealistic given the present state of affairs in the country where no one strongly feels the need to bring about change any longer. Maybe, during the Naxalite insurgence, the end wouldn’t have been deemed so impractical.

    In conclusion, though RDB is definitely a commercial venture and flawed in parts, it has succeded in its basic premise – to entertain. An added bonus is that it has managed to make a strong impression in the minds of some people, in spite of its unrealism.

    I agree with you, Arnab, that RDB is a fantasy just like any other potboiler Bollywood churns out. But it’s a relevant and a more original fantasy that’s definitely preferable to the unoriginal, skin-fest tripe that cater to the basest and lowest instincts of the youth.

  53. @Shreemoyee: Irritates is right.

    @BongoPondit: I dont recollect the Braveheart thing but the Gladiator copy was not acceptable to me. Sorry.

    @Proud Indian Producer: Thank you for making my day. Yes sir I am raking out a hand to mouth existence even though I am not an NRI. I do write blogs because I am a failure unlike you. However I would appreciate, dear PIP if you could stop PLAGIARIZING Hollywood with its 7% audience and do something based on your OWN creativity.

    But I needlessly crib. Thank you for making my day. Again.

    @Mystic Margarita: Again I wouldnt make the distinction between low skin flicks and RDB—what is low and what is high is a matter of morality best left to people like Maharashtra’s Deputy CM. Both RDB and skin flicks appeal to a rather base kind of fantasy (base as in “appealing to emotions rather than intellect”) —hence I do not make any distinction between the two.

  54. Mystic Margarita May 3, 2006 — 6:08 pm

    Arnab, I don’t find the compartmentalization of emotion and intellect to be realistic. Any fictional work, whether it’s a film or a novel, has to appeal both to the emotion and the intellect of the reader/viewer to be relevant.

    It’s the task of non-fiction and documentaries to merely state the fact and appeal to the intellect without letting emotions get in the way.

  55. Proud Indian Producer May 3, 2006 — 6:22 pm

    I guess instead of sitting in India and supposedly plagiarizing from your precious Hollywood movies, we should sit in NRI-land and plagiarize from McCafferty and Rushdie and Madeline Wickham like your non-NRI pal Kaavya ? Puh-leeze. Sir, every filmmaker of repute starting from John Ford to Spielberg to Bergman to Coppola have claimed extensive influences from European auteurs who inturn look towards Ozu and Kurosawa and rest of the Orient who look westwards again and so forth. Perhaps you’ve never watched the mandatory Criterion interviews. RDB is as original as it gets – a valid parallel of post-freedom India with British India strikes you as being derived from some lameass Montreal play watched by less than half-dozen Canadians and their drunken grandmoms ? You Sir are a breed apart. Forget 300M USD, forget 7.5M, you make a 5 minute clip with your shiny sony $299 walmart camcorder and post it on youtube. Within 5 minutes, I will post where when and how you plagiarized every single derivative moment of your 5 minute clip. An Indian is inspired by Indian history and you talk of plagiarization. Please Sir, take your cynicism elsewhere.

  56. This warmed the cockles of my heart. Finally… the RDB post. Was wondering what was keeping you so long. Everyone I know and his dog LOVED this movie, and what you say is the exact same thing I felt. It’s just a collective wet dream for all of us to get that ‘quick-fix-shoot-them-quick’ solution. Which is fine… but to call this steaming turd of a movie as ‘the voice of an awakening generation’ makes me want to retch and shake everybody vigorously screaming “WTF?!!!!!! HOW?! WHY?!!”. The best part is that there have been special screenings in universities here in India and abroad, allegedly to raving, frothing at the mouth hordes of impressionable youngsters.

    For me, as somebody else has commented earlier, Nayak (that Anil Kapoor flick), was a much more honest and sensible effort (discounting the trippy dancing pumpkins, scarecrows and assorted ‘southern special FX’ – they look really cool when you’re sloshed though), wherein the hero tried to change the system, by working it, and making it work. The gratification here in this case lasts a while longer, cause it actually gives you a little bit of hope that the system has not failed totally. Yet.

    I was beginning to think it’s just me… thanks to you and all the like minded commenters on here for hating this. It really means a lot to me to know that I’m not alone, considering this movie is now the second highest grossing Indian movie of all time, just behind Gadar (have you reviewed that one earlier? Ear plugs should have been compulsory in all theatres when it was released. Sunny-paaji and Amrish Puri. 4 Iron lungs, with titanium vocal cords. Enough said.)

  57. YOURFAN writes:
    @Proud Indian Producer: Your yardstick for estimation of “net worth” of GB lacks few vital points. GB has a brain with which he has earned a PhD(do you know what that is?). You forgot this extremely vital point. You or your ‘Ronnie” will never be able to have that kind of brain and thus no matter how much money you and your Ronnie make you will always be “ very very poor” (because you score zero on this point) due to this vital point. Thus in the estimation of “net worth” you and your Ronnie will always score way way low compared to GB. So you see, you not only lack any “productive” grey cells, your accounting ability is also of zero quality.

    Another important point : Besides, quite a few producers are killed by mafias and gangsters over money matters thus reducing the quality of life which becomes a negative quotient of “net worth”. Just remember all the parameters of “net worth” before you start calculating “net worth”.

    With regard to blogging, the adulation he gets is also another parameter for accounting “net worth”. Here also you and your Ronnie will score zero and thus lower your “net worth”. So as the saying goes look before you leap you should think before you start to estimate “net worth”. You and your Ronnnie are pathetic persons who might have money power but won’t have any respect from others. And that shows because of your Freudian usage of the word “Sir” twice!!!

    Since this is your first comment on GB’s blog (I think so) I should inform you that I am not GB in disguise. All the other readers who frequent GB’s blog know that I am a woman who is a great fan of GB’s writing and hence I call myself Yourfan.

  58. Vasabjit Banerjee May 3, 2006 — 8:16 pm

    @Proud Indian Producer: Well, to be honest I have been involved in movie exhibition since before my physical existence. That’s all that our family did for more than 75 years. The question is not about influence, but ‘lifting’. If you want influence, see Ray’s ‘Nayak’; clearly he picked up techniques from Truffaut and the French New Wave directors. If you want things on the vein of Kurusawa, see ‘Mirch Masala (by Benegal?). There is a subtle difference between being influenced and simply plagiarizing. At least, during the credit roll tell us from where you took it; it would acceptable to the audience.

    As about the Indian Movie industry and your rosy prognosis about its future, we shall let time be the judge. More interestingly, there is a pitched battle going on between people who want to organize the industry and those who want to keep it the way it is (read: money laundering Guthka kings meet killer Mafiosi in sleazy Dubai hotel). If Bombay is organized, it will surely make more profits. The movies are popular in Central Asia, Mid-East, and East Africa, not to mention the emigre population. The only problem being that ‘organization’ will open the whole industry to takeover by international capital. One will still have the major companies, but they’ll be bought over by Sony or Fox; that ultimately will be their fate.

    Moreover, when the takeover happens, in comes copyright law. And, if you have seen what the TRIPS (Trade in Intellectual Property Rights law in the WTO) looks like, it is rather scary. When plagiarized books are discovered in the US, they are immediately taken off of the store shelves; this happens even before legal action. To comprehend why, just read the law (it’s free on the i-net). And, when reading it, ponder the facts that I mentioned.


    Vasabjit Banerjee

    P.S. By the way, GB makes more money than most regional production companies spend on individual movies: D

  59. Nice line of thought. GreatB!!
    I agree to your point on selling dreams by the Director.

    I also liked what you said about the college life. May be there are guys who partied crazily and slept near wells and drove mercedes convertibles.I had a friend who would not let me drive his Maruti Alto when I was working.

    Hindi films is all about extremely rich people. Expensive clothes, cars, designer shoes etc.Never have I seen a hindi movie in recent times in which Rahul or Raj is a middle class guy. Only in hindi films can you learn BA and become CEO of a company.

  60. Good things in RDB – Motivate people to patriotism, make them angry against corruption.

    Bad things in RDB – Unrealistic events (like laathimaar on protesters), minister accusing the pilot (no minister in reality would do that), showing saffron color clothes on all corrupt party workers (clearly an attempt to involve NDA while the politics of Mig corruption was going on since 1970s).

    So, the motive could be good, but what they made out (the movie) is really bad.

    I didn’t see any of my friends or other people coming out of theatre – moved and shellshocked, some crying, some with set jaws!

  61. Movies are made for people; and if people like it or get carried away with it, it should be termed a success. It is just that you are not a regular joe.

    That’s how bollywood – or any business – works.

    Soon there will be series of copycat movies.


  62. Reading the post gave me an interesting perspective…however my reaction after watching the movie was quite different. According to me it told a story of individuals who ended up doing something that they believed in. Remember the scene where Mr. Khan tells Sue that he is a nobody in the ‘outside’ world…thats exactly what these people felt when they saw that they could not do justice to their friend’s death (it was a personal feeling so I dont think it requires justification). This incident led the ‘frustrated’ youth commit to the actions which they would never do in the normal course of their lives. Its like newton’s third law..every action has an equal and opposite reaction. it only means that they were frustrated enough to find justification in killing which they would never find if their friend had not died.
    Also personally after seeing the movie and reading about lokparitrana(it being a bigger influence ofcourse) I have been motivated enough to spread the news about lokparitran across the indian association in the city that I stay in. So it must have affected me in some way.

  63. Cinema, as far as Bollywood is concerned, has never been very artistic. (Ok maybe a few flicks starring Mithunda..:))). So I do not think Vasabjits “Artistic freedom, however terrible it may be, needs to be maintained” qualifies as a valid arguement. However, when you compare RDB to the other pieces of condensed crap that Bollywood has excreted, it does stand out to be a rather well made movie. In India everyone plays the jingoistic card, especially the politicians(Pokhran), so I guess we would be a bit harsh on Rakeysh Mehra if we pin him down for that. But, yeah, you are right..It’s just a movie. RDB is more of a wannabe Bhagat Sing meet his potential Tiananmen, however, it’s definitely better than Aks.

  64. After the extremely hilarious PIP, I’ve sort of lost the will to comment. But since I travelled this far down, I shall anyway.
    You have the guts, boss, you do. I doubt I’d be able to say that of films like RdB – commercially successful films with intellectual pretensions. Also, in subsequent bits, you said what I tried to politely say in my post on the film about ten times better and with more clarity. And then, of course, you said several thngs more.
    Still, over all, I liked the film. It’s shot well, the music grows on you and what you and several people here see as trite parallels within the film (the actors behaving like their characters in Sue’s documentary), I like to see as meta-narrative (I suspect partly because it let’s me show off my knowledge of such words, but shhh on that).

    Like I said, I’ve nothing much to say really; except that the one-sentence trashing of the film seemed a bit harsh, y’know…(what? I liked the first-half, I’m allowed to say such things)

  65. he bhogoban, loke eto seriously bollywood movie dyakhe ar ta niye lebu kochlaye eta jana chhilo na. ki chap life-e! er theke tomar mithunda-types movie review guloi bhalo – besh light-hearted ar khub sundor humour thake.

  66. everything from good to bad, from right to wrong is relative. when was the time you last saw a sensible hindi movie which was not a foreign movie ver 2.0. in such an atmosphere RDB being a hit is no surprise but if some one tries to relive the fantacy even after coming to the light, then he is little insensible guy.

  67. Arnab, interesting to see that you chose to react only to my last sentence and not to the other paragraphs where I gave my reasons for believing that the film had artistic merit.

    Also, I did mention that “it seems to me” that you had an inherent bias against the film. That means I was not sure. So there is absolutely no need for you to react the way you did, dismissing my comment because you felt I was “attacking the reviewer”. Touchy, aren’t we?

    I guess critics like you are so hard to please that you are actually very happy when Indian films live up to your (very low) expectations and give you a “Classic – Dance of Love” or “Chingari”. You get to make fun of it in your reviews. Your readers chuckle. Everything’s right with the world. And people like Yourfan and others, along with you, can all shake their collective heads and think – “What crap Bollywood produces. When will Bollywood throw up a Tarantino? Or Soderberg? Sigh!”

    The fact remains that Hindi films hardly have a chance with critics like you. An English film like United 93 (why was it made anyway?) only has to answer the question in your mind – “How good is it?”, while a Hindi film first has to answer the questions, “How bad is it?”. That’s the difference.

    NOTE: I am sorry if I sound petulant and I really should not be generalizing about “critics like you” because I know that I will be proven wrong. But I think we NEED more quality films like RDB and less of nonsense like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Black, and Kal Ho Na Ho . And to see a good effort being trashed summarily makes me despair.

  68. My problem with RDB was the fact that it was a ‘fantasy flick’ and should’ve been sold (and bought) as one.

    And just to say it aloud once – I disagree with everyone who asid the acting/directing was brilliant. It was as flawed as they come. I think Sukhi was the hackneyed-est character. And I think Sharman Joshi sucked at that too…

    All said and done, it was a nice film to watch, the music of RDB towered over the film, and yes, it had its brilliant moments.

  69. @Vasabjit : Mirch Masala was made by Ketan Mehta – he of the Mangal Pandey massacre – not by Shyam Benegal.

  70. Ok..time for me to ramble yet again.

    Arnab Da,

    From what I make out from your comments so far, it seems that you are irked by the way the movie was marketed – a vehicle for social change and all that crap. For you the movie didn’t live up to that hype and your betrayed expectations took form of a bad review. Just my opinion Da. Please do correct me if I am wrong. Also, my take on some of your responses to fellow-readers. Your response to –

    Nishit – Trivializing the foundation of our freedom struggle? If a movie is capable of doing that, I wonder how strong those ‘intellectual foundations’ were in the first place. Them being inspired by Bhagat Singh doesn’t affect my stance about our freedom fighters the least. How do the acts (flawed or whatever) of the ‘inspired’ affect our opinion about the ‘inspiration’? RDB never drew parallels between the character of the youngsters and Bhagat Singh. It was only the act of violence against authority which was being referred to.

    Tushar – Targetting BJP. Certainly it looked like it. Which other party would come to mind when talking about hindu fundamentalism. But opining that the intention of the director was to sail through the censors in the UPA rule is an absurd and senseless statement. I mean, read that again. Does it still sound sane to you? This comment makes one feel that the reviewer is hell-bent upon finding flaws with the movie.

    Kaunteya – (This one’s a bit personal ) Missing Aamir Khan of Rangeela. Wow! You really think that nothing should change even after 12 years! Sounds like one of those news reporters’ ‘analysis’ that ‘Sachin cannot play like he did 15 years ago’. Khan didn’t exactly fit the role but certainly didn’t let us down with his performance. And him doing the ‘same kind of roles’? Da…looking at the past 7-8 years – Sarfarosh, the dumb Mela or even Mann, Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai and the atrocious Mangal Pandey – please justify Aamir Khan doing the same kind of roles.

    Ratnakar – Judging V for Vendetta to be pure fun and accusing RDB for sending out the wrong message? Come on Da, you certainly can be more consistent. Both are fantasies capitalizing on the junta’s disgust for politics and government – fantasies, nonetheless. But of course, Vendetta justifies the protagonist by establishing that it’s an authoritarian and dictatorial regime that prevails in England whereas RDB is set in a ‘democracy’. Kudos?

    BongoPondit – Paralles with Jesus De Montreal. Not you too, Arnab Da. Not you too. I mean, isn’t there any difference between a couple of youngsters getting inspired by biblical tales and another group relating to their freedom fighters? It’s like me accusing you of PLAGIARISM just for writing film reviews when millions from around the world are doing the same. But come on, don’t you yourself see the fallacy in the logic there? Should I put ‘theme’ above ‘content’ all the time? And yeah…those dudes at Montreal certainly trivialized Jesus Christ.


  71. I don’t usually bug someone with my side of a picture, so I’ll only return to it this once. I seem to have started overlong comments too, and I apologise for both. Just this once and never again.

    GB, I have been following AR since Roja and I swear to you, then he puts his mind to it, his music makes a movie. RDB had great stuff going for it, but the things that you object to, the careless politics of the story, for example, are cleverly masked by the music. The end of the movie, the parts where the story gets silly, are all marked by overwhelming music. The average viewer tends to focus on the background score then, rather than intently follow the nuances (ahem) of the action. These are the people who go around ranting they want to be the change.

    I will understand if you don’t agree with what I’m saying, but don’t dismiss it entirely. I have never claimed AR ‘made’ the movie. But he certainly helped in large part to ‘make’ the parts that people claim to find the most ‘awakening’.

  72. YOURFAn writes:
    @Vasabjit Banerjee: Thank you for your well thought out comments to Proud Indian Producer. I was honestly wondering about where you are because from your previous comments I came to know about your background and who better than you can comment on these particular accusations made by Proud Indian Producer. Thank you for sending the comment which are very precise and well thought out. As regard to this Proud Indian Producer what I really detest is his way of attacking on a personal level and insinuation. I have no problem if someone has different view than mine or say anybody’s ( I have stated this a million times) but what I abhor is the personal attack and name calling. See when this person was talking about some point he HAS TO WRITE “you make a 5 minute clip with your shiny sony $299 walmart camcorder and post it on youtube.” Why couldn’t he make the same point without the reference to so called shiny $299 ……? The answer is this person lacks cultural refinement and is stupidly arrogant. Thank you again for your valued views.

    @GB: I bow to you for not losing your cool at the arrogant behavior of less culturally refined Proud Indian Producer’s(PIP) comment. I felt I should protest against this crudity of PIP. I acknowledge that anybody has the right to disagree with anybody (and that is the reason why your blog is so interesting) as long as it is not abusive and not of personal attack. The reason why I say I bow to you is that I always maintain the decorum. But if attacked by anybody on the level you have been attacked, I would REACT – may be not in equal measure but DEFINITELY WOULD REACT. BUT YOU DID NO SUCH THING and that is why you have earned my respect and I think that is why you are “great”.

  73. Aah…I’ve been taking too much space for ‘justifying’ my stance and trying to understand GreatBong’s PoV. Must not do that anymore and be parsimonious with my comments.

  74. There’s phrase someone I know coined – “The Dil Chahtha Hai” generation. The folks born during the 80s and attained maturity in the boom of 1995, who never saw the desperate attempts for sheer survival of the nation in the 60s and 70s, who never understand nor appreciate the legwork done to get to our current levels. They do not understand the nation, how things work outside their own immediate spheres, misjudge socio-econ-political dynamics…. and sport a reductionist, grossly oversimplified approach to the most convoluted things. These are the same folks who bloviate against the neta/babu/pandu/judge system of India and goes “Yaar, it wud be so cool if the army takes over right? Ya know, Musharaff next door is choooo chweet and cute!”….. while never bothering to vote nor attempt to understand the factors that determine Indian politics. This is not exactly an age bracket like Gen Y etc, but reflects a Kupamanduka mindset which is prevalent in large swathes of Indian society. Especially the youth. Middle class, upper middle class and high class youth to be more exact. (This is a huge demographic.)
    But at the same time, there’s a feeling of being out of the power-axis, an inability to be a part of the true mainstream….. a feeling of not being a coca-cola can is prevalent among the DCH. This feeling is subconscious and is a jarring note in the otherwise perfect DCH world. This is one reason many “rich kids” tried to change things faaaaasssst via Naxalism in the 70s. There are some filmakers like Mehra, Farhan Akhtar (through Lakshya), even Mani Ratnam (through Yuva) who realise this and cash in to the fanatasies of DCH as leading lights of “change”. The DCH have noone else but themselves to blame for being “out of the equation”. The Jessica Lal, reservation fracas are attempts in breaking out though….. But people ask, when an uppity model (from the DCH “world”) is shot by a Neta’s son, the rich kids go ape….. But when day labourers are run over by their favourite “Sallu”, everyone is apologetic!” (Reservation issue is another thingie I have mentioned in an earlier post of GB). One doesn’t change things by being parochial or by represting narrow interests only….
    Similar tussles are going on, but in a larger scale, in Pakisatan.(The miniscule plutocratic elite vs the rising Fauji foundation/Mullahs as the latter try to muscle in into the former’s turf). Pavan Nair’s “Being Indian” makes a good study of the indian phenomenon….

    Now, this theory doesn’t allude to the class war thingie…. but it does show how the flawed understanding and attitude towards the system will get us all in trouble. The reason I’m saying this here is hyped up trash like RDB tries to manipulate and cash on this very section. Give them a sect of colorful characters they can identify with or wish to emulate, an ambience and background that appeals to them, a black and white issue (despite pretensions on being otherwise) that is “so cool anti-establishment”, grossly distorted picture of the Govt and the Mig-21 issue and the attack of the “useless Govt” against the well meaning folks, i.e you target audience suckers! And voila, *You* have the power of God to make things change by shooting a minister, taking over the radio station and broadcasting your message before going down in a blaze of glory! Well, dying sucks…. but you die cool and looking good, right?
    (BTW, the first thing any coup or anarchist attempts in a take over is capture the TV and Radio station. Given the reach of Radio, which exceeds any other form of media, even the Vatican will go ape if someone takes over that mass media institution. For example, in 1967 the IAF Su-7 jets bombed strategic points of Aizwal when Mizo terrorists tried to capture the Secretariat and the Radio Station… till the infantry and armor rolled in.)

    This dumbing down and sheer debasement of the youth by the tall claims and the ad campaign is what gets my goat. Heck, this ain’t the first movie that exhorts you to shoot your way to a solution. No probem with that. No problem in these folks trying to make money through hype and ads too. IMO, what’s dangerous is the use of subliminal messaging thats employed in the movie and the ad campagn….. and the susceptiblity of the DCH types in falling for this. What’s distressing is the hordes of DCH claiming “Dude, I am sooo awakened!” and the RDB mania thats swept across a huuuge section of youth. It’s a democracy and everyone has rights, but this sort of self-dumbing down, lemming like behavour and affronts to one’s sensiblities is too much! Heavens! We have seen some inspiring (atleast thought-provoking) socio-political dramas like The Deep Hunter, (a good part of) Syriana, Alexander Nevesky, Der Untergang etc; one can’t even one compare a formula monstrosity like RDB (and even Hazaron khwaishen to an extent) to classics like these!

    Nywayz, look at the bright side…. this RDB thing turned out to be a fad after all. Something like those WWF cards that once held our imagination. Once the hype died down and the the movie made good turnovers, they turned off the media-hype tap and everything’s “back to normal” (Yearight! Like there ever was an “awakening” besides what’s claimed by the lemmings!). I bet Rakyesh is laughing his ass off to a 300 ft yacht or something…..

    Just My Thoughts.

    PS: New lease of life to the RDB controversy….Ronnie Screwalla making outrageous claims. There’s an article in Rediff…

  75. Honestly, I love love this weblog because of yourfan_i

  76. @Mystic Margarita: I dont think that RDB appeals to the intellect.

    @PIP: Point taken. Thank you. Come again.

    @Tapan: That claim is now being disputed. Good to see that Prabhu-bhakts have seen through the hollowness of RDB.

    @Sanjay: Interesting point. Hindi movies were not always like this—I think it is a post-HAHK trend that the protagonists (except in gritty mafia movies) are always obscenely rich.

    @Right: I beg to differ on what their motives indeed were. I think it was to make money by marketing social change. I find that a bit cynical though I totally agree that Raykesh has every right to make money as he deems fit.

    @Kuntal: Copycat movies? As in pulp patriotism peddles? I thought we have a steady stream of them—some well made, some not so (Maa Tujhe Salaam)

    @John: This action-reaction is “revenge” talk not of people who desire to “make a difference”. It is natural to want to kill the person who killed your loved one. But let’s not call it by any name other than revenge.

    @Abhijit: Beg to disagree. Compared to the high production standards of most mainstream Hindi movies, RDB can be best be called above average.

    @Rimi: Meta-narrative? These are the times I regret not being an English major. But wait, here’s one: looking at the huge numbers PIP throws about in his comment, he sure has GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

    @Anonymous: Time pass re baba.

    @Ram: There is no time, no space, only zero—Prabhuji (Classic dance of love)

    @Shaan: It seems to me that you are being rather foolish. I added the “seems to me”—so please do not take this as personal.

    But before you fling accusations at me, kindly to be going through my blog and reading my reviews of “Shabd” (a Hindi movie) and my 2005 Picks of the year to see that unlike what you would like to believe (seemingly) I have no chip on my shoulder against Hindi movies.

    Because people who dont do backwork and then criticize, it “seems” that they do it because they…..have a grudge perhaps??? Seems…so please…

    @Di: Okay…


    Dear friend,

    Please dont mind if my replies to your reply based on the replies of others given in reply to my post sound abrupt and small. Cause you make a lot of points.

    1. Irked by the marketing—YES.

    2.Nishit: Freedom fighters can be trivialized by making them appear to be vengeful vigilantes when in reality they were great intellectuals whose acts of violence were culminations of long periods of study and thought.

    3.Tushar: You would be incredibly naive to suppose otherwise. If a Congresswala was shown there and you think the censors would have passed it, then I can only remain silent.

    4.Kaunteya: Aww please. Aamir Khan in every movie nowadays does pulp patriotism and will inevitably die in the end (RDB, MP and Fanaa [from what I hear]). He is not too old to do comic roles (his Coke ads are pure genius) unlike SRT who now is too old to swing his heavy bat like he used to and has lost his wizard-like hand-eye coordination. I dont even see the comparison—sorry.

    5.Ratnakar: You said it. No democracy there. And V is never marketed in the way RDB was.

    6.Bongopondit: If you think that the analogy is here is even worth commenting on, allow me to beg off it. What you have said is like saying:

    Person1: Dude MS Windows has always copied features from Apple (True)
    Person2: No dude. You cant say that. They are both OS-s.

    The level of OSs(reviews) is at a higher level of abstraction than specific features (theme of a movie).

    @Sue: Okay perhaps. Again music is such a personal thing—and RDB didnt do it for me the way Roja did. Roja was simplistic but it was a pathbreaker: the bad guys were “real terrorists” and not Dong jo kabhi wrong nahin karta (Tehelka) type comical stereotypes.

    @Yourfan: You are too kind. Silence/ acquiescence too can be extremely potent. It is actually the only way to fluster people like PIP—they are like people who go into a Jewish biker pub with a Swastika on their ass. We all know what he wants and the fun is in not giving it to him. However there are times when I have lost my cool, when commenters whom I respect often seem unwilling to understand (because of their own prejudices sometimes) what I am trying to say. Of course that doesnt mean my losing my cool is justified. Maybe I should just try harder. Or stay silent.

    @The Wanderer: Very interesting and if I may so, very blog-worthy.

    @Akash Sen: And I love YOU just for you being you. Just like I loved that clown in Ajanta circus who fell down from his bike again and again just to make everyone laugh. And still came back for more.

  77. YOURFAN writes:
    @Akash Sen: I am just ecstatic to read comment about me!!!! Since I am the reason for you to like this blog – I think you owe me a favor. Would you please introduce me to Akash Sen’s “youhaters”? That will make my day because I like to be in the company of like minded people.

    @GB: I DID NOT “FLATTER” YOU. I HONESTLY MEANT what I wrote and I am known in my circle of friends and relatives to be very forthright to the extent of being blunt. I don’t believe in flattery and hypocrisy.

  78. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: In your reply section you missed Vasabjit. Of course you may say he addressed to PIP and not to you.

  79. If any movie can make someone blog on it after probably 4 months of its release….. its achived its purpose and more!:D The movie has definately inspired a large percentage of its viewers(excluding the majority greatbong regulars, of course) to think about the topic and contemplate some action at least once after the movie.
    The marketing of the movie for me is spot on…. perfectly packaged… and questioning the morality of packaging is quite naive ( in MY opinion)
    If it influenced a few bloggers to rave about it, u attribute it to the bloggers lack of knowledge rather than the effectiveness of the movie?
    Please understand that I am not ‘attacking’ the reviewer or have a ‘grudge’ against him.. and (b4 urfan strangles me)have no statistics to support my claim that a large percentage got influenced by it, but at least ppl i know who watched were… just my opinion on the post.

  80. @yourfan: Just said that as a figure of speech. Me being flattered doesnt mean that you did the flattering. Again, regardless of people thinking of you as actually me, thank you.

    And yes I didnt reply to Vasabjit as he had replied to PIP (valid points he raised let me add, of course as to whether my net worth is greater or lesser that the budgets of regional production companies I shall let pass :-))–I want to avoid as much commenting on the guy as possible.

    @Satish: yes saw that.

    @Rahul: Says volumes for shelf-life of ideas and movies if 4 months is considered huge. As to the rest of your comment, kindly allow me to let that pass without comment on my part since you have already used the word “naive” and I see no benefit in both of us using the same word to describe the other.

  81. GB,

    First You rock.

    Second “Cinema is for entertainment, Literature is for contemplation” Waah Waah ! GBS (George Bernard Shaw)would be proud of you, so would be Prabhu.

    Third If unadulterated dung like RDB inspires “this” generation, I dereference myself from it.

    Fourth While phrase “Do something” has its humorous aspects, it is in general not a good principle to base your action on. A better catch phrase will be “Socho, Samjho aur do something”

    Fifth I wish people will stop saying DCH or RDB inspires or represents present generation, I too happen to belong to present generation (even though barely) and these movies do not represent or inspire me

    Sixth This doesn’t mean I will not watch them. But I will watch them for escape, fantasy and good old time pass.

    Regards (& Keep speaking truth to the man ;-))

  82. Ah!!

    you put out exactly what I couldn’t put out but wanted to. 🙂

    Even I couldn’t relate to the college part though I have heard from people that they can relate to it. We had a big moucher (person with a big moustache) for a gate keeper and he acted as if he would get some award for being so strict.

    Even if we got permission from the HODs, sometimes, he did not allow us to go out of the college.

    My college was one of the first to ban sleeveless and mini skirts and many other things which other colleges are now adhering to.

    I hate RDB simply because I couldn’t have that kind of fun and nothing else. They make me feel I missed something in life 🙂

  83. Come on Arnab, I dont think you are in a dire need of a publicity blast to do such a contentious post and crave for overwhelming number of comments on it.

    Besides I just can’t buy the fact that you believe what you have written about RDB. How can you be so different in your outlook towards a well-made, thought provoking(what you call as an ephemeral emotional overrush), bollywood movie, when you belong to the same group of Gunda loving fans.

    I haven’t met anyone till now, who has despised (OK rebuffed) RDB in such a manner like your’s. Yes, there are neutral verdicts of people about the movie, but your’s sounds like a deliberate attempt to override the complete whiff of it along with the sentiments of millions of those who have for all practical purposes for the first time tried to adopt and practice the good morals of a bollywood movie.

    Watch it again and if you still feel the same, you ought to watch it again. Thats all I can say.

  84. @GB, YOURFAN_i’s: I have no clues why you guys reacted in unison so uncharitably to my so naive a comment. I repeat, make no mistake that I stand by GB’s and YOURFAN_i’s assertions and allegations alike, to the letter, regardless of space and time. I did not like Rang De Basanti for all the perfect reasons described here. The songs suck. The story has no social relevance and was only motivated to meet cheap political ends. I did not like the movie because I could not identify myself with the class of fun-loving, noisy, youthful, joyous, unselfish, vibrant, friendly, western-inclined students shown in the movie. On the contrary, my favorite movie is Chingari and I recommend that everybody should watch it, because, unlike RDB, the movie is built on finest acting by the cream of the crop and underpinned by an equally cerebral story line and whatnot, it holds aloft some social issues so poignantly that, God forbid, after watching the flick, you may go a hermit in repentance of being so ignorant all your life.

    And I love YOU just for you being you. Just like I loved that clown in Ajanta circus who fell down from his bike again and again just to make everyone laugh. And still came back for more.

    Firstly, thanks for the love. ummm.. Allow me to add, sir, will you please? This is not just Ajanta Circus. Every circus starts with “great”. It was Great Ajanta Circus. Yes I missed it once. But not now anymore. You see, I am so fortunate to have found another Great-circus and that too for free!!! Did I say something else instead of Great-circus? Again, the clown does not fall from the bike, the species that falls is called monkey. But the cruel part of it is that everybody claps, more and more, as the monkey falls, jumps around, rolls down on the floor, makes a face and similar funny things. But we have to appreciate that the monkey is meant for that only in a circus. For me, I only hope that the monkey grows up and becomes aware that it is naked, fully.

  85. @Gaurav: I always speak the truth—or at least my version of it 🙂

    @Arunima: Well you can always make the change. However I think the people in DCH were shown to be having more fun and they all stay alive and healthy at the end.

    @Shishir: You are so perceptive. You noticed that small para in -4 font which said :” Please please comment on this post.” In passing, one small thing. Why are you so intolerant of somebody else’s disliking of what you think is a masterpiece—why do you like Shan need to ascribe motives for why I intensely dislike the movie? And just look around the comments section and I am sure you will find quite a few publicity hounds like me.

    @Akash: No it was the Ajanta circus held in Park circus maidan. I dont recollect a naked monkey which perhaps you are confusing with the things you had to do backstage as part of your job responsibilities. In any case, before this gets any dirtier  (because I see you are going from “love” to “naked” very fast) on both sides, let me say I shall desist from replying to any of your provocative, wise comments and take care to avoid the otherwise-lovely country of Belgium on my travels.

  86. I agree with you completely. Patriotism seems to follow a sine curve with us desis. We suddenly get this rush of patriotism during 15th aug, and it dies just as fast!


  87. GB – A great slap on the face of the ‘foolish’ shan. Well said!

  88. Wow, you’ve unleashed a hornet’s nest as you no doubt thought you would! I didn’t read all the comments, there being too many to scroll through, so I may be rehearsing old arguments – sorry about that! I remember saying to my friend after watching it that if I were younger I’d have enjoyed the film more! But I thought it raised interesting questions both about our past and the present and on the nature of injustice, retribution, political consciousness and change! Is violence a justified way of correcting wrong? Were our freedoM fighters wrong to kill the British soldiers? Are the Palestinians or the IRA justified? What do we do when we are fighting large powers that do not listen to us? How do we deal with grief and loss and apathy? I think the film was saying that these people took some kind of action and we all need to do something to fight the system instead of giving in and staying put – what they did was not important, that they did something against the emptiness was in itself admirable! Don’t know if I make sense? Have been reading your writing off and on -like it:)Cheers!

  89. Vasabjit Banerjee May 4, 2006 — 2:13 pm


    Not your net worth, but your annual income’s more than regional films’ budgets. One of the issues, I guess it is relevant to the present context, is the idea that intellectuals and researchers are somehow universally underpaid. Somehow, the best deal is either NOT pay taxes or work on Dalal Street. Well, if India really has to be ‘changed’, this is a first step: pay your professors, your researchers. I simply wanted to hammer the point in.

    On a technical note: what’s the budget of an average Tamil movie? Well, forsaking the superstar oriented ones, the run of the mill movies are somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 USD (just multiply it by 45 and you’ll know my line of logic!

    I have the worst case of allergies due to the damned pollen!

    Vasabjit Banerjee

  90. I have already commented about this (off topic) in your earlier post “Brother in Arms”. Just to sum it up…Aamir Khan has lost his plot.

    Now GB & some of the readers might not like it but I think SRK rocks. You can watch his movies over & over again even if its Swades without thinking whats he trying to say.

  91. “No problem in these folks trying to make money through hype and ads too. IMO, what’s dangerous is the use of subliminal messaging thats employed in the movie and the ad campagn….. and the susceptiblity of the DCH types in falling for this. What’s distressing is the hordes of DCH claiming “Dude, I am sooo awakened!”

    So said the Wanderer. That was a fabulous comment, one of the best Ive read on an Indian blog….hats off….and why I quoted that part from that comment was because of the subliminal message part. I was contemplating writing a comment echoing the same thought’s of The Wanderer ….but Im lucky that he did it before me…and in a superb way which I could possibly not have matched.

  92. @Abhijit: Beg to disagree. Compared to the high production standards of most mainstream Hindi movies, RDB can be best be called above average… I am not talking about the production standards. Yash chopra, Karan johar and the likes put a lot of attention when it comes to production standars. Yet, they come up with absolutely meaning-less and drab movies. Yes, I agree that “Be the change” does sound very stupid, yet when you consider the fact that the film has good music, more than decent acting, more than decent screenplay(Yeah the end is bad..but we gave Parineeta that), and good camerawork..would you not agree that it’s eminently watchable, unlike, say Mistress of Spices?

    There is no space, there is not time, there is space-time and everything is relative. So if I take Bollywood as a frame of reference this film does stand out.

    BTW..you are nearing the 100 mark..:))

  93. saat german, jogai eka, tobuo jogai lore (lol!)

    chaliye jao bhaisokol :

    tobu bihongo, ore bihongo mor, ekhoni andho, bandho koro na pakha……

  94. Had they used the tagline “RDB: A Pretentious p.o.s.”, I might have enjoyed the film a lot more. But then, this film isn’t even worthy of a MST3000 treatment. How sad is that!

  95. Oooooh! I finally read through ALL the comments! 🙂
    I have come late, mainly because I was confused… I have mixed feelings towards the movie.
    I absolutely agree with you that the claims of “patriotism” and “awakening” and “change” are utter nonsense. I also agree that the parallel drawn between the freedom fighters and the protagonists is stupid. The minister’s reaction to the MIG crash, the police action on the protesters, the easy murder of the defence minister, the commando action at the radio station… everything was silly and unrealistic to the nth degree (n tending to infinity). The movie is absolutely “an over-hyped piece of tripe”.
    However, I liked the movie.

    For me, like or dislike is a relative term. When I go to see a movie (or read a book), I have some expectation. If it meets or exceeds that expectation, then I like it, otherwise I dislike it. Therefore when I say I don’t like Satyajit Ray’s “Chiriakhana”, I compare it with other Ray movies and not with “Jamaibabu Jindabad”. Similarly, I didn’t go to see “15 Park Avenue” and “The Legend of Zorro” with the same expectation. I don’t expect a great storyline or scientific perfection from “Spiderman”, nor thrilling action in “A Beautiful Mind”.
    RDB Matched up to my expectation. It is definitely better (in my opinion) than K3G kind of movies… family drama, or routine boy-loves-girl-but-parents-disagree kind of films. I liked the music, though this is not Rahman’s best. The acting was OK…not great. What I liked was that the focus was not on Amir Khan alone.
    But it was a fantasy, just like dancing with a bikini-clad Mallika. Nothing more, nothing less. Trying to sell it as anything other than that is wrong. It not only cheats the audience, but does the movie wrong by raising expectations. See the movie as another one of those “Hindi Cinema” (as we say in Bangla), and you’ll like it.

  96. are you being paid by the proud indian producer to keep this movie alive in the blogosphere?

    have you made anyone gone out and seen the flick in order to comment on it?


    i will not see this movie.
    i will not change.
    i will be an indolent indian eating dal-bhaat and dreaming of biriyani.

    when are you going to write about Fata Keshto?

  97. When I gave the action reaction example I meant it as revenge and not anything else (you have noted that too). Revenge is a personal choice that the protagonists decided to take ( its subjective whether you agree with that concept or not). They did not kill to make the country better. they did it for their own personal satisfaction to prove that they will not go down quietly. I saw this movie on first day first show and expected it to be a period drama so basically I had not read any reviews or been under a preconceived notion and after coming out of the movie this is what I felt. I disagree if someone would call it a patriotic movie because its not. However it does depict the protagonist’s choices and the reasons behind them in a very clear manner making it a good movie for me. But I guess lets agree to disagree on this one.

  98. Sougata Sarkar May 4, 2006 — 8:15 pm

    To Proud Indian Producer,

    What is the relevance of this “net worth” that you bring up? PIP, a steaming pile of dung is a steaming pile of dung regardless of the net worth of the owner of the orifice that it came from.

    GB is merely expressing his opinion of something that he thinks is unadulterated sewage (or something to that effect). Are you saying that he is not allowed to do this because the producer of this alleged sewage is richer than him? In other words, are you establishing a pecking order here for the expression of opinions — a pecking order that is determined by net worth?

    Going by that logic, I should check myself before cussing out Bill Gates every time Microsoft Word changes my formatting on me, because of course, good ol’ Billy-boy can buy me ten million times over and still have change left over for a vacation in Aruba; and the down payment on his own personal cruise ship to get him there.

    — Sougata Sarkar.

  99. @proud Indian producer: You seem to have this impression that Gb is one of those NRIs who stays in us and complains about everything Indian. Even that is fine. But finances! I was taken aback when I read your comments. So you think you are a big swinging dick eh! ? 🙂

    Ok read this very carefully. This is from Hanibal Lecter to Jodie Foster in ‘Silence of the Lambs’when the latter visits his cell.

    “Oh, Agent Starling, you think you can dissect me with this blunt little tool?
    No. I thought that your knowledge…
    You’re so ambitious, aren’t you?
    Do you know what you look like, with your good bag and your cheap shoes?
    You look like a rube.
    A well-scrubbed, hustling rube, with a little taste.
    Good nutrition’s given you length of bone,
    but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you?
    And that accent you’ve tried so desperately to shed: pure West Virginia.
    What is your father, dear? ls he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp?
    How quickly the boys found you.
    All those tedious, sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars,
    while you could only dream of getting out, getting anywhere,
    getting all the way to the FBI.”

    Hmm….GB indeed could have refined the above passage and told you the same basic theme. But he is too dignified to debase himself with a fucker like you. After all if you think that GB is poor and hence you can belittle him; it would just take a person richer than you or your ronnie to bring you firmly back to earth. And then you will find out , with immense sadness, that instead of the big swinging dicks that you think that you guys are, you are nothing but a bunch of cheap cunts. But then there are several rich people than cunts like you. But most of them dont brag about their wealths , as they posess, as yourfan says, a certain degree of refinement. You bastards certainly dont. Not that there is something bad about being rich or that a poor man’s mentality is cheap; but I just sense that you are the kind of a person who used to lick the gravy of the plates of the guests and fucked the maid who washed the dishes….sudden wealth has blinded you and now consider yourself what not! Yes you now drink rich wine, screw rich whores, but there is still a longg way to go before you can yourselves as persons of class. And there is a raw nerve somewhere…again as yourfan says ….you can never achieve what GB did….to you success is just cash and happiness is the copulating pleasure wheich even any of umpteen street dogs in India derive from. And indeed, life is cash…grass is green and sky is blue. As the translation of a bengali saying goes ” A dog cannot digest ghee”. 🙂 And when you talk about investments…let me rub salt by saying that your precious little thingie is nothing but a cheap speculative junk bond. Your words sound like that a cunting day trader who makes a killing one day on the OTTCB and takes potshots at a value fund, GB. RDB is further proof that efficient market theory is a mistake.

    I am sorry for the harsh words here (tch tch ) but you deserve it!

  100. take care to avoid the otherwise-lovely country of Belgium on my travels.

    It’s heartening to know that you want to see the world, coming out of your damp, stinky, fetid “frog-in-the-well” existence. But, were it not for YOURFANs, I guess nobody is interested to know your travel-agenda. In a light jest (hope you don’t lack such wit), I only heard that those Benelux countries are happy hunting ground for the gays, whores and hallucinogenic drug addicts (no offence intended for any country). Which category are you?

  101. Dude! Your blog comes as a great ‘publicity stunt’ to attract more readers…
    The very choice of your topic and your stance on it in itself selling this blog.

    Smart! But people who really love RDB and think that it makes sense, will keep thinking so even after such convincing statements…

    It’s like…

    Movie’s over…It’s a hit…It’s touched people’s heart…Blogs are written on that…RDB is a hot topic…oh it’s getting stale now…AAH! I SHALL NOW REVIVE IT AGAIN AND TELL YOU WHAT IS ALL THIS ‘REALLY’ ABOUT!

  102. 🙂 Have been looking forward to this review for a long time. Even though I read it soon after it was published, decided to follow the comments before commenting. Must say that it is to your credit that your writing this review didnt provoke too many hissy fits. Apart from the usual suspects there wasn’t too much vitriol spit around here from the majority of your readers and the discussion remained civil compared to other negative reviews posted around the blogosphere.

    Those commenters who have raved about the technical aspects of the film and have said that the film needs to be appreciated for this aspect even though the story was flawed, please read this detailed discussion by a film professional. And those who profess love for the plot aspects read this review by Chandrahas of Middle Stage.

    For me the most disappointing aspect of the film was the stark contrast in which the real life incident on which the film is based on played out and the acts of the film’s protagonists. Abhijit Gadgil, his friends and his mom conducted themselves in quiet dignified manner when faced with the similar situation and yet got late but deserved justice from the government.

    Keep blogging.

  103. Wow – all these comments over a Bollywood film – wonder if anothergreatbong post on a Satyajit Ray film will attract so much attention ? (not to subtle hint requesting more such posts)

    I guess the one heartening aspect is that people are actually expecting good editing, screenplay and other such technical aspects from a Hindi film. For a long time, Hindi films have been held to a much standard and anything out of the ordinary.

    Btw, a slightly off-topic comment, but since there was some discussion on ‘internalization’ in the comments section, here goes. Was just watching the old Tapan Sinha directed Bengali film, Harmonium, made in the mid 70s. The films depicts vignettes in the life a varied group of ordinary people – as they consecutively come in possession of an old harmonium. Quite a good, heartwarming film actually (although some technical gurus might rate it pretty low given the jerky editing and some odd make-ups and plot points!).
    Anyways, this theme is actually quite similar to that of ‘Red Violin’ made in 1998 ! No suggesting any plaigarism, but interesting how similar themes might have occured to different people at different times and place. (or I may just be a plain ignorant and the theme could be pretty universal). Also, many of you may know about the striking similarities between Satyajit Ray’s short story “Bankubabur Bondhu” and Spielberg’s ET. The former was actually supposed to be made into a big-budget Hollywood movie starring Peter Sellers, but Ray pulled out at the last moment disgusted by the shenanigans of the producers.

  104. Arnab, pity that you are making so much about me ascribing motives to you, especially since that is exactly what you have done, and more pejoratively, to Raykesh Mehra and the marketers. Anyway, it’s your blog and you are just asserting your right not to like any aspersions on your intentions…fair enough.

    I also notice that Yourfan2 has let loose a volley of dirty invective involving various genital parts at PIP. And that’s acceptable because? Oh yes, I almost forgot the eponymy.

    A great slap on my foolish (‘foolish’ in inverted commas? Whatever for? Newly coined term, is it?) face? How remarkably ‘intelligent’ of you to perceive that! 🙂

    We have been at cross purposes before, and this time too I would respond more to your juvenile comment using wit and humour as weapons, but I don’t entangle with unarmed persons…

  105. Well…..quite a pasting that. 🙂 Havent seen the movie myself…but have read good reviews about it. I guess the major problem we have here is that there is sooooo little quality art going around these days that a semi-decent movie gets hailed as the next classic by everyone. This is not limited to Bollwood….it’s everywhere. And I feel it is majorly because Marketing has taken over everything. Earlier the primary focus used to be a product….and then people used to market it….now…well….we all know what happens. We have “classics” which are the rage for…..say…6 months…and then everyone forgets about it. Why? Because we have the next classic staring down at us…(…and there is absolutely no slant reference to The Mithun-da movie….that is a true classic ;)).

    Case in point: The Coldplay phenom. X&Y is crappy beyond belief. And it is the highest selling album of 2005 according to IFPI. WTF? I mean Coldplay are good but….they have absolutely no musical direction. Pick any Coldplay song and you can place it in any of their 3 albums. No musical progress over 3 albums and we have a classic band? I think not. But the sad truth is that they are the biggest thing going around right now. I wonder where they would have been if they had come out in the 70’s with Led Zep and Floyd and Deep Purple and Hendrix and Zappa and Van Halen around…..

    How many people will still listen to Coldplay 30 years down the line? And how many people will still stand by RDB 30 years down the line?

    Your guess is as good as mine.

  106. YOURFAN writes:

    @ALL: I happened to visit Isaac Schrödinger’s blog where there is a post on the same topic. There I found the following comment posted by Akash Sen. I am also adding the comment that Akash Sen made on GB’s post so that people don’t have to search amongst all those comments. PLEASE READ BOTH THE COMMENTS BY AKASH SEN AND DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION. Unless of course, he claims that there are two Akash Sen s and hence two diametrically opposite comments on the same movie. That can be disproved by tracking both the comments which will show that they are coming from the same source – unless of course he claims that the same computer is being used by two different persons with same name!!

    Lose Control by Isaac Schrödinger
    Comments Posted by: Akash Sen May 4, 2006 6:57:46 PM

    “Killing of the politician is not justified. Neither is it justified for the Indian Govt. to buy outdated MIG fighter planes, allegedly for kickbacks, and thereby to put the heads of the pilots under guillotine. I think, if nemesis had to be imparted to the corrupt politicians, the story could have been formulated otherwise. Except this, I believe Rang De Basanti is an excellent movie in every respect. So I only hope that the audience would separate out the milk and throw away the water. To discard the milk along with water may be self-depriving.”

    Rang De Basanti–A Deliberately Late Post by Greatbong
    Comments Posted by Akash Sen May 4th, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    “I repeat, make no mistake that I stand by GB’s and YOURFAN_i’s assertions and allegations alike, to the letter, regardless of space and time. I did not like Rang De Basanti for all the perfect reasons described here. The songs suck. The story has no social relevance and was only motivated to meet cheap political ends.”

    EXCERPTS from Akash Sen’s PROFILE:
    He has written “Over a long time I have grown used to being constantly MISUNDERSTOOD BY MY FRIENDS AND FOES. ………….. to CONVERT AT GUNPOINT all the people on this planet to the religion of science.”

    Speaks volumes about this character – doesn’t it?

  107. Some of you have attributed to me this comment –
    I did not say that.
    Rangeela or no Rangeela – i hardly care of that chap. I was commenting on Amir trying too hard to be in news by having an opinion on everything… the latest being his unsolicitated advise on Narmada Dam..

    I just meant that if he was so concerned about people being displaced from their villages he should first come out of Juhu or Bandra or whereever he stays because all those areas of NW Mumbai were reclaimed and poor fisherman were forced to migrate at somepoint in time.

  108. I have read all comments till now.

    I accept that the movie should not be taken seriously. It is a good movie, ok. It awakened a lot of us, all right. Good acting, ok. Lets forget about the political overtones and how easy it is for a son to kill his father without even talking about it, without even confirming if he is guilty.

    Now, having read both sides of the story, I must tell what I felt coming out of the multiplex. The movie did not leave me with a feel-good or feel-bad factor. Neither did it awaken me. I felt, kind of disgusted. It left a bad aftertaste.

    Comparing Aamir Khan and other bunch of pub hopping guys in the movie to Bhagat Singh and other “real freedom fighters” was disgusting, IMHO. Ok, once this is done, too many scenes depict the similarities between the college kids and our freedom fighters. Its as if, the director is trying to force the analogy down your throat.

    Plus, you cannot really imagine the college kids (going by their behaviour) to be really honest about their change of heart. The two halves were extremely contrasting, it was jarring. Yeah, its a movie, anything is possible (see David Dhawans movies). But the attempt of the movie makers to advertize it as an awakening film seems fake. It takes a lot more to make an awakening film, Mr Rakeysh (or whatever) Mehra. I suppose Prakash Jha would have done a better job. It is not an awakening film by a far shot.

    Also, the show of secularism seems to be forced. Typical stereotyping. The forced show of friendship between a Hindu and a Muslim, to drive the secularism in. When in reality, there are a lot more issues, which cannot be resolved by Bollywood style secularism.

    The situation is similar to the movie “Mangal Pandey”. Distortion of history. Nowhere in the movie is Mangal Pandey shown to have a wife and kids (how come descendents of Mangal Pandey appeared on news channels). There was no prostitute that Mangal Pandey loved, and there was no British friend Gordon. AFAIK, Mangal Pandey does not shoot himself, as shown in the movie. Where did the movie makers get their idea from? Did they do any research. Ok, accepted, its a movie, but it forms a wrong image. One cannot just say “all characters are fictional” for a few seconds at the beginning of a movie, and go on to distort somebodys life with lies and deceit. Similar was the case with Ashoka, the movie. You cannot relate a Shahrukh romancing Kareena with Ashoka. By the way, there was no Kaurwaki in reality. Ashoka was – distortion of history again.

    To all pro-RDB commentors,
    You might think, “Hey, its just a movie, we know the real history, whats the big fuss”. My point is “You know the real history, so you can say that. There are many who dont, and will form a wrong image in their minds. School going kids will carry a wrong impression, and they wont realize the truth”. Is that justified. When Mangal pandey is discussed in class, kids would thinnk “he had an affair with a prostitute”.

    You know what? My image of Gandhi was from the movie Gandhi, which I watched on Doordarshan when I was in school, every second date of October. After taking the effort to read more, I have a much different opinion of MK Gandhi (a different story altogether). But not everyone would take an effort to find out more.

    This is what I want to say. Convey the truth if you claim that your movie is historical or includes historical characters like Bhagat Singh.

  109. Also, I must add that Aamir khan sucks big time when he takes his role in RDB too seriously in real life. Like Kaunteya said, he is guilty himself and should not throw stones at others.

  110. move on GB ! dont reply even one liners to below the belt comments ” over a movie”

  111. YOURFAN writes:
    @Shan: You wrote: “I also notice that Yourfan2 has let loose a volley of dirty invective involving various genital parts at PIP. And that’s acceptable because?” Oh yes, I almost forgot the eponymy”.
    Without going into arguments (of various readers) for and against the movie I have to make only one point to you. I have always been of the view that there is nothing wrong or unacceptable about having differences of opinions – everybody has a right to differ and form his or her opinion. But what should be condemned all the time is the usage of abusive words and personal attacks. Decent, appropriate sarcasms are permitted in a civilized forum. Having said that, at the same breath, I also should mention that if somebody (in this case GB) is being attacked by somebody (in this case PIP and Akash) on a personal level, then he/she or any body(in this case Yourfan2 and several other readers of this blog including me) have the right to REACT. As long as it is a verbal REACTION (not physical) the person/s who first started the name calling/abuse should be able to withstand the REACTION and should not be looking for shelter or shoulders to cry on. Yourfan2, Sougata Sarkar, Vasabjit, me – just to name a few and some others just exercised our rights and we REACTED – EACH IN HIS OR HER OWN WAY REACTED. Reaction to a situation (good or bad) is a human nature – and a quite acceptable nature by any yardstick. I hope you can distinguish between who started it at the first place and who is REACTING.

  112. Well – you have a point there. But I was kind of amused to see candles at India Gate for Jessica – looks like these days, to even do something, people need to borrow ideas from movies. Maybe RDB in a way has helped people to find a way to protest…

  113. @YOURFAN: I love you. I love you dear. Only if you could understand. Come here you. Look into my eyes. You will know. please.please pleaseeeeeeeee.

  114. Arnab,

    What democratic process are you talking about????

    When they claim that it was the only way out, they give the reason for that…..Name one politician who is in jail for his crimes.

    Why don’t you name one & I will believe that RDB was a crappy movie with no real lessons for the Indian youth.


  115. Hahaha….Akash, Yourfan has you by the b0lls.
    Yourfan, now I admire you. You James Bond or what?


    Ok guys chill.

  116. @Shan- Its not my nature to use abusive language. But when you have someone belittling someone like ” eh tu kya hain be, dekh mere pass kinta paisa hain ” you cannot but feel like breaking the bones of that person. These are basic things which one learns in schools that you should not brag about your wealth . More often than not, its a case of self respect. A person with self respect would not have done so. Do you see the chairman of Exxon or any of the CEOs anywhere using language like that? Only a cheap desi film producer would have talked like that. I repeat, a comment of that sort deserves a strong reply.

    Regarding your comment, you are free to disagree. OK so you think the movie is better than the standard bollywood fare(agree with you there mate). But Gb when reviewing this movie would pass a absolute verdict, not a relative one right? Of course, comparisions will be drawn, but he can have his own views right? After all its his own blog. You simply didnt do the right thing by saying ” I have this feeling that u .. etc” ……same thing happened in CC’s blog (the middle stage)where C. Chowdhury replied to you like ” your comment is so full of false accusations that its like RDB itself “(remember? ) . Then again you changed your stance …just like you did here. The problem is you are trying to convince the reviewer to accept your views. But why attack personally? What if I say ” You liked this movie because you are a Congressman and immensely enjoyed the potshots taken against the BJP? “. Would that be right or wrong? Whatever it is, it would be foolish and stupid, as it would be tantamount to an ad-hominem attack.

    @Joy: You said:
    “No musical progress over 3 albums and we have a classic band? I think not. But the sad truth is that they are the biggest thing going around right now. I wonder where they would have been if they had come out in the 70’s with Led Zep and Floyd and Deep Purple and Hendrix and Zappa and Van Halen around…..
    How many people will still listen to Coldplay 30 years down the line? And how many people will still stand by RDB 30 years down the line? Your guess is as good as mine. ”

    I like that analogy. Exactly my toughts.:)

  117. I came late so I was not able to read all the comments. So my comments may be repetitive.

    I generally agree to what you wrote. Just a few technical points.

    1)Vituperative, aggrandizing! I never knew these words exist outside Baron’s GRE book!

    2)“Rubbing against Mallika” is not a fantasy. It has been done to death by quite a few mortals. Even you, Greatbong (Yes, I saw your photograph!), have a shot at it if you try seriously. Had you wrote “rubbing against Madhuri”, I could agree.
    3)I don’t believe Bhagat Singh, Binoy, Dinesh had no other option. I don’t think terrorism had substantial impact in shaping British policies during Raj. I could be wrong, but you have to prove so by facts, your opinion is not enough.

  118. I find GB and his chamcha’s (Yourfan) reactions to Shan and Shishir’s (perfectly reasonable) comments about RDB highly disturbing and immature… Your true (i.e. unpleasant) colours really come to the surface when someone disagrees with you!

  119. Seems there is another HP in the readership of Arnab. Anyways..

    Agree with most of the points mentioned by Arnab about not RDB being an awakening film and all. So, no probs with that.

    But, definitely for me the film was different and barring the last 15-20 minutes, was enjoyable too. And no, after watching the film I neither felt like killing any politician nor caught the Be the Change bug. So, one can say I just enjoyed the film as I normally tend to do when watching Aamir Khan’s films.

    And in all the comments, for me the comment by Sue about AR Rehman’s music being one of the prime catalysts for the movie to be a great hit was striking. And now, to think of it I think I would like to say Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics too strike a chord somewhere(atleast with me). Be it Paathshaala to display the nonchalance among the friends or the Lukka Chuppi song or the Khoon Chala during the protests, they definitely were situational. And for me, the Roobaroo song is just too cool!
    yeah, I know this post is about the movie..so excuse me for blabbering about the music!!


  120. @Yourfan,

    I am not sure if there is actually a conflict between Akash Sen’s two comments. Over there, he was just pointing out in normal tone and here, I probably think he was trying to be sarcastic and all. This is just IMHO.

    I am not aware of the past exchanges between you and Akash, so would not like to comment further.


  121. >>
    I don’t believe Bhagat Singh, Binoy, Dinesh had no other option. I don’t think terrorism had substantial impact in shaping British policies during Raj.

    @sudhendu, do you think these guys were terrorists. They would have been, *if* the British government allowed us democracy.

  122. ” I don’t believe Bhagat Singh, Binoy, Dinesh had no other option. I don’t think terrorism had substantial impact in shaping British policies during Raj.”

    Quite right. These “reactionaries” did not quite understand the somewhat fuzzy concept of swearing by Allah, Kali, Jesus and Vande Mataram to gain “freedom under the rule of Britain.”

    They did not try to “shape British policies”. They just wanted them out of India’s administration. If you are Bengali, please read “Pather Daabi”.

  123. @Shan – Ha Ha,Whatever you try to prove, the fact remains that you got a great slap on your ‘foolish’ face. And sorry for poiniting that out. I didn’t know some people easily get angry.
    Being a hit movie doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good movie. Would you call super-duper hit movie ‘Ram teri ganga maili’ a good movie? Few years back, there was a hit song – ‘Mere angane me tumhara kya kaam hai’… Would you call that a good song? Similarly, RDB can not be called a good movie simply because it is popular.

  124. My two cents:

    The very fact that the film has elicited such voluminous response from such a large section of people, proves that it is not a ‘bad’ film. In a consumerist society, the only ‘bad object’ is the one that does not sell. In other words, it did not leave anyone indifferent, rather it did in fact create enough sensation in our minds that so many of us have actually shed our innate lethargy in order to participate in this debate — and possibly have our personal opinions weighed against those of others.

    Neither is the film entirely crass. There are broad strokes used here and there I agree, but a film is not made only with dialogues. One has to consider all aspects of the film, from the use of colour, music, camera, the facial typage of the actors — to the rythms in the editing, the mise-en-scene — in effect, every aspect that plays on us viewers psychologically. And my initial reaction to the film, based on all these aspects, is the it is an extremely clever film, perhaps a pathbreaking model that will be studied by other directors and producers in times to come in terms of how best to use the tools of making a film as described above — all of which already exist, but few in Bollywood make full use of — to create an impact on the new multiplex and transnational market for Bollywood films.

    As for promoting revolution or torpor — I’d say it does neither. Firstly, because works of art cannot, and have never been an active player in the vanguard of ANY revolution because of the content it promoted. It’s the ‘use’ of any work of art for a particular purpose in a particular setting that has given it a social worth larger than its intrinsic aesthetic value. What instead RDB does is… by creating a distinctive product, it promotes product differentiation in a market that is swamped with similar looking and sounding products, thus hopefully will shake the market.

    Now to the story, or narrative. And the politics it promotes.

    As has been pointed out, it is no different from the vigilantism promoted by the 70’s ‘angry young man’ films. The reason it irks, is because here in RDB, the ‘reality effect’ of the filmmaking is stronger than the out-and-out pastiche (complete with a liberal dose of tomato ketchup) of the Amitabh or MithunDa starrers. Thus it ‘appears’ more real than the older films. The scriptwriters are scrupulous in promoting the same machinery of the state they purport to oppose, don’t they. Ultimately, subjective positions will necessarily differ amongst different viewers, but this much I can say with certainty! In terms of it’s politics, RDB is thus more of Swades than it seems to be.

    Having said that, given the apathy of the Indian middleclass (who are the target audience of the film); and their general lack of awareness of films beyond Bollywood, it might create (as it seems to have done) more flutter than the average film, and thus boost its gate receipts! So much for fomenting revolution!

    So what was most irksome for you guys? The cutaway shot at the beginning, showing Bhagat Singh reading Lenin?

    Guys, whether you agree with the film or not (I am extremely suspicious and angry about the fact that such a film has been made, but for reasons different from most of you), learn to doff your hat at someone who can pull of such an act of aggrandisement — juxtaposing Lenin with Golwarkar within three hours of footage, along with Pepsi, Hindi speaking gori chhamiya, guns, Mig 21’s, current affairs on (M)TV — and pull it off!

  125. GB saab,

    good show !! the movie deserved to be panned the way you did it.

    To all supporters of RDB, what was right about the movie ?

    1) Was it excellent technically ? – MyOpinion – No

    2) Did it have good music ? – MyOpinion – Above average, some will say good.

    3) Did it have a good plot ? – MyOpinion – Not at all. There are so many holes, one doesnt know where to begin.

    4) Did it raise an important social issue ? – MyOpinion – Apart from the general fixation with high-corruption that every other hindi movie has, no. Their understanding of the whole Mig21 issue was superficial. Crappy spare parts ? What spare parts were available after the breakup of USSR ? Why did we buy and build so many Mig21s ? Cause its a superlative 2nd gen plane, perhaps the best in its class/gen and we got it at a friendship price. In 1980 Rs, a Mig21 Bis cost us about 2 Crores to build, in comparison, a Su30 costs ~130 Crores, other 5gen planes cost >> 200 Crores each !! When did we have money like this ???

    5) If the Mig21 issue was used as representative of corruption in general, was it done in a good enough way ? – MyOpinion – Not in a way any better or worse than so many other movies have done in the past. Otoh, there have been excellent movies raising the issue of endemic corruption in a very poignant way, e.g. Jaane bhi do yaaron and many others.

    6) Did it tell us something about Bhagat Singh, Bismil, Rajguru or how their examples can be followed in todays India ? – MyOpinion – No !! nothing at all !! Please read some revolutionary literature penned down by these worthies or their comrades and you will reach a much more nuanced understanding of what these heros. I recommend, “Singhasan Dol Utha” by —

    7) Was there an overall message of the film, that is lofty enough ? – MyOpinion – Was there a message ? 😀

    In light of all these factors, RDB is reduced to a hyped up movie, with a hackneyed theme, fantastic/unbelievable plot, inconsistent/incomprehensible message, average/above avarage execution, good music and a motivated and superficial analysis. If you guys want others to take RDB seriously or you think there really was a kernel of value that GB/others who agree with him missed, please point it out in civil terms i.e. without reference to $299 camcorders/hindutva/you suck.

  126. dear yourfan2
    why do you rate the male genitalia ‘higher’ than what we ‘shemales’ possess?
    i wish i knew enough psycho-babble to profile you.
    it would have been hilarious.
    can’t we politely agree to disagree?

    satire is amuch better tool than profanity to convey your ideas.

  127. YOURFAn writes:
    @Basanti: Your opinion of somebody’s comments to be “highly disturbing and immature” is debatable. Nevertheless; I admit you have every right to express your opinion as long as it is done in a civilized manner. But your definition of whoever supports GB’s opinion which is contrary to yours is a “chamcha” is DEFINITELY “highly disturbing and immature”. Besides, don’t you think that to have so many “chamcha”s (tapan, Sanjay Atwal, Right, arunima, Joyforever, Sougata, Vasabjit,Yourfan2, Sudeep, Satish, me – just to name a few – not an exhaustive list of course) compared to having a few “mature” people like you and your ilk convey something? Have you wondered why so many people are GB’s so called “chamcha”s? Introspect, you will get the answer to my question which will positively increase your maturity level.

  128. YOURFAN writes:
    @Akash Sen: “gandha taari bheshe aashe” – Rabindranath Tagore. No plagiarism (you should remember the incident!!). For Non-Bengali readers the quote means the smell is wafting out.

  129. @YOURFAN: dahhhhhhhhhhling …here I’m …see I’ve come back … ummm.. but please don’t cry, baby ..don’t cry for god’s sake… my heart sinks if you cry … don’t you know how much I love you… now smile baby ..smile for me , sweetie ..smile …smile … yesssss ..that’s it … you naughty bird….

  130. To extend the Naxal analogy and unconvincing we-were-wrongs a little further, here is Kanu Sanyal admitting mistakes –

    … naxalites in West Bengal had trodden that route in the early sixties and had realised the futility of armed rebellion and killing of individuals

    However, he was still all for an armed revolution some forty odd years after that realization:

    .. Sanyal, a close associate of Charu Mazumdar, the founding father of the naxalbari movement that originated in West Bengal in 1967, said that armed struggle was the only means to achieve the revolution to purge the anti-people policies of the government.

    It becomes a bit difficult to take the realization seriously.

    I found the marketing for RDB to be cynical for two reasons. First, as you said, the attempt to elevate an escapist fantasy into something more serious by using the context of Indian freedom struggle is troubling. Second, the use of all-politicians-are-evil-let’s-shoot-them strategy of sublimation will definitely distance the viewers from political processes when the democratic solution is exactly the opposite – more participation and a demand for accountability.

    In late 80s, Samaresh Majumadar wrote a similar trashy Bengali novel Garbhadharini where a bunch of privileged kids fantasised about social revolution by bombing race course, luxury resorts and police stations. As far as pulp goes, it was not bad. But the attempt to provide a Leninist-Marxist-Maoist analytical framework so late in the game and the fact that it was published in Desh, the most respected of Bengali literary periodicals, were a bit troubling.

  131. I have writtern a retort to the detractors here: http://desicritics.org/2006/05/06/000359.php


  132. @ DIPANJAN:when u say “I found the marketing for RDB to be cynical for two reasons. First, as you said, the attempt to elevate an escapist fantasy into something more serious by using the context of Indian freedom struggle is troubling.” U r bang on.its not only troubling its even irritating to trivialise the extreme traumas physical mental,freedom fighters have gone thro.
    compare that with the post ‘ party time ” awakening” of AAmir & co .
    Plus am dying to ask all who were inspired, awakened wat is it that has changed in u and how have u contributed to society via this change?
    except ofcourse in bet sowing wild oats AAmir has done a flash act aka Arundhati Roy abt NARMADA
    and poetry overflowed !!
    BTW in an interview when asked wat does INDIA celebrate on 26 jan the fellow ASlam of RDB went blank giving obscene options on ZOOM channel

  133. You say:

    We have a democratic process in place

    Yes, the 27% quota proposal went through the 93rd constitutional amendment bill. A perfectly democratic process. So I think we should not be protesting.

    You are miffed with the shoot-to-kill mentality that has been shown. Thats ok. We don’t want another Naxal revolution shaping up.

    But you can’t defend the democratic process functioning in India. You can not hide the truth behind rhetorical arguments like ‘everybody is given a fair voice in a democracy’. It is not a pink bubblegum world where everybody abides by the rules laid down, respects the liberty and opinion of an individual. Whatever is functioning in the name of democracy, is a sham, a farce. The basic reason being the leaders at the helm. You know the truth. Most of them come through by totally un-democratic routes, with a complete disdain for the sentiments and demands of the general population in the country. You can’t pretend to be in the dark about such things and sing praises about them with grand titles like ‘ Hon’ble so-and-so Minister of State for……..’ Honourable? Not many words have gone through such magnitudes of distortion like this one.

    The current scenario is a burning example. Now, Arnab, having stayed in Bengal you can not be unaware how the CPM has been able to stay in power inspite of taking the state to the depths of ignominy. We all know Jyoti Basu is a cold-blooded criminal who would put even Hannibal Lecter to shame by his gifted ability to wash his hands off all the mass murders that have taken place in the 25 years of his regime. After the Keshpur massacre, his take was “Orokom to prayee hoi“. Same can be said about Buddhadeb too. Forget whatever image he is trying to project. He remains an anarchist at heart and the mask of well-behavedness fell down when he ordered to remove the docu “A day in a hangman’s life”, based on Nata Mullick, from Nandan. Yes, a plain and curt ORDER standing in the premises of Nandan. No law, no procedure was followed here.

    But still the city’s aantels and other feet-licking ‘artistes’ can not get enough of Mr. Buddhadeb and the CPM. Understably so. As long as aantels continue to live in utopia and ‘artistes’ continue to get free lands for setting up film institutes and tax benefits, they are never going to have any problems. But the problem is that it is the opinions and views of these two groups of people only that continue to get prominence in the media, especially in Bengal. In the end painting a prosperous picture of ‘Sonar Bangla’ complete with His Majesty Buddhadeb in his white-starched-suits-but-tarred-soul and his subjects smiling smugly at some ‘Sangeet Sandhya’ on a fine Sunday evening. Everything is well. The city lives on.

    And oh, Yuva was a far saner film than RDB. Thats the way it should be.

  134. That’s the problem with Bongs and all desis in general 😛 …. the propensity to overanalyze. It’s just a movie guys. The first half may not have been realisitic in its portrayal of actual college youth (I commuted in local trains for all my engineering and was too tired to do anything else) … but it has that aspirational hip feeling that DCH had too. Nothin wrong in that. The second half obviously wasn’t the greatest. It’s a movie yaar. I enjoyed watching it in the theatres and loved the fact that here was a well acted ensemble cast of actors who had delivered a great movie… but that’s it. The others who feel that “maar daalon unko” is a solution to the problem are laughably naive and so are all the flame wars on blogs in regard to a movie. Kuch kaam nai kya. It’s like Donnie Darko… It’s a cool movie and it is one of my favorites… but I won’t sit and analyze the whole movie and go join discussion forums to discuss the whole plot.. that’s a plain waste of effin time.

  135. Well done Arnab. I must say I share the exact same sentiments but couldn’t have expressed them so aptly as you did.
    Its one thing watching a movie for the sake of entertainment and another taking it way too seriously. Fans would argue that movies that highlight social issues need to be seen in a different light. Its very easy to lose track I guess.
    But I feel RDB doesnt work even as a movie (after you drop all the baggage). Whether Aamir Khans huge moustache (shreiks of Mangala Mangala start pounding my head) or his totally fake Punjabi accent or a wafer thin plot… The movie just doesnt work! But hey, thats just my opinion.


  136. I luved the movie.It was total time-pass . Gud music , gud acting , gud locations and if it wasnt for over-the-top jingoism , a pretty gud story as well . If that wasnt enuff , then it had the added attraction of not having either of the Bachchans in its cast … now, if that dint make RDB “different” i dont know wat will.
    In the hindsight , i wud make a small change in the movie. The assasination of the defense minister was too easy and pretty far-fetched. Given a chance i wud change that part. I wud make DJ and his friends get a gun and present (a birthday gift??) it to the minister’s brother (yep, i wud add such a character) .. and then wait for him to do the job… rest of the story remains the same .
    Now the story became more believable and life-like… dont you think??

  137. @yourfan, sanjiv,arnab: the fact that both the demonstrations…THE ONE in the movie and the other in the jessica lal case were held at INDIA GATE is a significant proof of the fact that there was some kinda inspiration somewhere. the SAME VENUE is the evidence arnab. yes, no , maybe?????

  138. is this working

  139. hi greatbong,
    how r u doing.

    by the way, i just cant believe this.
    ive seen a lot of pseudo-intellectual reviews like this. but they all came soon after the movie got released.

    Anyways, let me write down why ur review is incorrect. its like a FOX NEWS report.
    and im writing this for archival purposes. so that other people can read the truth. im not expecting u to agree that u were wrong. ur Ego wont let u realise. as the whole purpose of you writing a review is to assert to urself or to others that u are smart and intelligent, thats all.

    Coming to the matter:

    Your entire review is based on the assumption that RDB fantasizes the following line
    “The only solution to India’s problems is to line up all politicians and shoot them.”

    im sorry to break ur heart, but ur assumption itself is wrong.
    the above line is a question asked by a caller at the radio station. and Karan answers “how many politicians will u kill? they are one among us, we have elected them. if they are corrupt, even we are corrupt.”

    so where does this movie fantasize that line which is a question asked by a caller?
    moving on…

    well ur whole review mainly exists in the ‘2 points’ that u made.
    there is a need to counter those two points to bring out the truth to the readers.
    and please read wat u wrote again closely, and u will realise that those 2 points that u made are relating to the subject “KILLING THE MINISTER”.
    go back n check.

    Point 1: you say – “Yes yes I know. At the climax of the movie, one of the protagonists says that what they did was wrong, not supportable but it was the only way out.
    It was not the only way out. It was not even A way out. Period. ”

    one of the protagonists says that it was the only way out?
    heres the question and dialogue for u

    Q. caller asks “you have set a kamzor example for the youth by killing the minister”
    Ans. karan says “yes sir. you are right. we r sorry. but tell me the name of atleast one politician who is in jail for his wrong deeds”

    so what do u understand from this? that they think this was the only way out? if it was, why did he accept that it was wrong and he was sorry?
    greatbong, what d u think?

    il tell u what i think. karan thought it was the only way out. but he realises now that it is wrong.

    thats what i think. and its the most important thing about the story. that what they did was wrong. and they realise it. they die in the end bcos their route was wrong. its a lesson to u and me, greatbong, who want to do someting for the country. its a lesson that we cannot do what bhagat singh did. u will die achieving nothing if u go that way. times have changed.
    so how to go about it?

    karan says “police mein bharthi honge, military join karenge, IAS banenge, Politics ka hissa ban kar is desh ka sarkar chalayenge”


    all that lectures that u wrote under that point are not relevant to the movie’s review at all. u just showed that u have good political knowledge and that u are a wise fellow.

    Point no.2 – though the movie shows the right path in the end, u have a problem with it.

    u say “This is somewhat like mafia movies where the ostensible message is “Crime doesn’t pay” despite the fact that for 95% of the movie the don is shown having the time of his life with the flashy guns, the gals and the power to make people piss in their boots. Sure he gets shot up in the end but who cares?”

    its a very valid point. i seriously wish the reviews of movies like sarkar and company point out some valid points like this. but unfortunately for u, this point is irrelevant here.

    u say “It’s quite another thing that the entire movie conveys the exact opposite message by glorifying the act and drawing parallels with Bhagat-Singh”

    can u be more clear please? the entire movie glorifies which act? i dont know what ur saying but almost entire movie glorifies what bhagat singh and co did. and i dont think theres anything wrong with it. as what they did was actually glorious.
    and in the latter half of the second half, the movie draws parallels between the act of the guys and bhagatsingh.
    but when they watch on tv the praises for the dead minister, they realise that what they did did not work.
    their act was a failure in itself. they were misguided youth. actually not-guided. the movie teaches us from their failure. tells us that their route was wrong.

    do u think about writing a review while watching the movie?? i think whenever u find a nice point u can exploit u can feed it to ur head. and then write irrelevent lectures here.


    and what u wrote after these two points is just ur damned opinion. like when u say this movie will not cause change bcos of this n that. are u a freaking psychologist? it inspires me to move more towards doing something for the country. it doesnt inspire u. how can u generalise that movies like this wont help in any way.
    u say movies like this ‘dumb down’ serious issues like socio-political change. ya sure the director should have opted for an NRI romance.

    no thanks for ur pseudo-intellectual self-assuring review

  140. @Yourfan: LOL! Spoken like a true chamcha! My maturity levels or lack of are not in question here. I

  141. @Yourfan: LOL! Spoken like a true chamcha! My maturity levels (or lack of) are not in question here. Neither is GB’s popularity. And nor am I referring to anyone else as a chamcha except YOU. No-one else has made the type of malicious remarks as you have and your machinations are well noted by all those who read this blog regularly. You are a highly embarrassing (albeit amusing) presence on this blog. Your whole purpose appears to be either wah-wahing every second word uttered by GB or attacking those who dare to disagree with your idol. Ppl like you do no justice to bloggers like GB, except to show him up in a bad light. Now go introspect on that and maybe you’ll discover a mind of your own!!

  142. @Basanti: I do not usually reply to such comments, but whoever you are, you are crossing the limit now. People like Yourfan, Yourfan2 and me are not “chamchas” of GB. GB has the right to express any opinion on his blog, and we choose to agree or disagree with him according to our free will. Probably you haven’t noticed, or chose to ignore, all of us have at some point or other have disagreed with GB. I did not fully agree with GB about this post, but I didn’t abuse him for writing it either.
    And if you were as mature as you claim to be, you would have understood that people who disagree with GB are not attacked here. It is only when people like you and Akash Sen and some cowards who are too afraid to even write a nickname try to insult him with personal comments, and try to analyse his point of view to look for hidden motives, and try to compare his net worth with their own assets, do we protest. It is indeed the greatness of GB that he allows unmoderated comments in his blogs, which many of the other ’eminent’ bloggers don’t. So it is our duty as readers to see that this priviledge is not misused by people like you to launch personal attacks against anybody.

    @Anonymous: Who gave you the right to analyse GB’s “purpose of writing this review”? This is GB’s blog, isn’t it? So isn’t he free to write anything with any purpose here? And you said “let me write down why ur review is incorrect”… that is the most hilarious statement I have read… Dude, if you understood the meaning of the word “review”, you would know that a review is entirely the writer’s personal opinion, and it can’t be correct or incorrect. If you are so keen to show everybody the “correct” review why don’t you start a blog of your own and write it there? You can name it http://anonymous.blogspot.com/ 🙂 (Since you don’t have the guts to take even a nick name) and write as many correct reviews as you want… those which are not written to assert your smartness and intelligence to others. I will come to comment, I promise, and probably become your “chamcha” too!

  143. @basanti: No insults will be tolerated against YOURFAN and his several incarnations. I warn you. I’ll be greatly disappointed if YOURFAN gets hurt and retires from the scene.
    @joy: You are da MAN.

  144. “hard-to-digest police charge on peaceful protesters” –

    Sirjee! Welcome to Indian Democracy …
    Probably this news never reached you in the US of A where you live peacefully but Peaceful protests by medical college students against Reservations was also met by the very honourable ‘Minister’ Mr. Arjun Singh by a police charge …

    I have always failed to understand the criticism of this movie for ‘depicting wrong facts’. Everything they showed in this movie has a precedent in free India. If you want to criticise the line of thought(as you did in your forst part of criticisms), I would rather allow you to (though I would not agree with you). But your second objection shows a lack of awareness on your part.

  145. Greatbong ebare Anandabazar e, bah!! 🙂

  146. Arnab, this is my second comment on your blog, after our first comment exchange here didn’t go down so well :). But I just couldn’t resist writing this, and do hope you have the patience to scroll all the way down to see this.

    I think your post is absolutely brilliant. I haven’t seen RDB, am not terribly curious to see it, because the kind of films I enjoy are either intellectual films or classic Bollywood-style (the earlier Amitabh, Govinda, et al.), not Bollywood films with intellectual pretensions.

    The one point that struck me in your post is the idea that lasting, stable reform comes with painfully incremental change, not violence. I have an Iranian friend and we often discuss the Iranian Revolution of 1979. And he contrasts Iran and India and tells me how lucky we Indians are that we chose the path of slow, participatory reforms that are ultimately more durable. The Iranians thought they could change the social order overnight and got saddled with a brutal, fundamentalist regime that set the country’s social and political situation back by nearly a century.

    Sometimes, it seems that in our disappointment over what we feel we are entitled to, and what we haven’t achieved, we forget what we do have: a stable democracy that has persisted nearly 60 years except for that one year Emergency blot, a fairly free press, decent higher education institutions and independent judicial system.

  147. To GB and all his avatars: Congrats, dude. You also made all your readers proud by making it to Anandabazar Patrika, the last (sorry the first and foremost) flickering light of Bengal’s cultural greatness.

  148. @Thalassa:

    I think your post is absolutely brilliant. I haven’t seen RDB, am not terribly curious to see it, because the kind of films I enjoy are either intellectual films or classic Bollywood-style (the earlier Amitabh, Govinda, et al.), not Bollywood films with intellectual pretensions.

    You must be a true intellectual.

  149. @GB- Congrats on being mentioned in Anandabazar. When I first read your review, there were zero comments in the coments section. But I was wondering, why the hell were you using terms like “putting my head in the chopping block” etc. It was tentative and uncertain, like a man who could see the storm coming and very unlike the GB we know and admire- intrepid and bluntly honest. 149 comments down, I fully undertsand the reason of your skepticism and doff my hat to your clairvoyance. After all, as some reviewers have inferred, your purpose of writing this review is “for gaining a lot of comments ” , “To appear smart and intelligent ” and a lot of other things(sic). But what was not so was this response of yours to one of the above commentators:

    “You want to know what kind of a character I would identify with? A character–part of a group of a few friends— hailing from a middle class background, who comes to college to STUDY, hangs around, dreams and through the insecurities and the baggage of an Indian urban middle class upbringing strives for something greater in life. And can such a movie be made attractively without a convertible Merc and psychadelic discos? I bet it can.”

    It was written straight from the heart and the emotion spilled through the computer screen, so to speak. My respect for you went up a few notches when I read that. Congratulations again for a great review.

    @Dipanjan: As usual , a very nice and illuminating comment.

    @Yourfan: The way you supported GB in this post and the last one has been indeed very very touching. Thanks again, and may I request you not to respond to Akash Sen please?

    @Joy Forever: You a psychologist? 🙂 Otherwise how did you read my mind and put in words my thoughts? Your words are worth repeating :

    “It is only when people like you and Akash Sen and some cowards who are too afraid to even write a nickname try to insult him with personal comments, and try to analyse his point of view to look for hidden motives, and try to compare his net worth with their own assets, do we protest. It is indeed the greatness of GB that he allows unmoderated comments in his blogs, which many of the other ‘eminent’ bloggers don’t. So it is our duty as readers to see that this priviledge is not misused by people like you to launch personal attacks against anybody.”

    Exactly. Exactly. And brilliantly put.

  150. Great. now child number 2 is born. and mamma is happy.
    Child 2 spake:

    It is only when people like you and Akash Sen and some cowards who are too afraid to even write a nickname

    The pot calling the kettle black. Anyway, it was indeed amazing fun so far this weekend. Indeed in splits. bye bye from me for the time being.

    Akash-fan of YOURFANs’

  151. I agree with GB that the emotion of being a catalyst in social change evoked by RDB was ephemeral. I also agree that there were huge plot holes – unreal lathi charge, unreal shooting inside the radio station, unbelievable comments on TV by the minister after Madhavan’s character died, extreme reaction of the gang by killing the minister. I would pan Aamir and Rakeysh for claiming this movie as the anthem for the youth.

    In spite of this, I liked this movie. Fun. Timepass. One-liners that had me laughing all the way. “Talli ho kar girne se samjhi humne gravity, ishq ka practical kiya tab aayi clarity”, “Kam se kam aazaadi vaali to sukhi ke liye chhod do”.

    What I really liked about it was its portrayal of the generation without a purpose, without a belief system. Quoting from Bluffmater (another timepass movie I liked recently), “Har insaan ki zindagi mein ek cheez honi chahiye jiske liye woh kuchh bhi kar sakta ho”, this generation is lacking that one purpose. They are easily impressionable. MTV impressed them and they took on doing wheelies with sexy bikes. When they found something they felt strongly about, they were helpless and directionless. The freedom fighters impressed them, they thought they had found role models and decided on a stupid revolt.

    The gang in this movie are not heroes. Sukhi is pulled in their stupid schemes because of peer pressure. He is no hero. DJ is a self-admitted loser. Karan is the cynic, the introvert armchair critic with an opinion about everything but no actions, self-immersed in the meaningless current moment, enjoying his booze and friends (the character I see in most people, including myself, in most comments here). Alex in The Clockwork Orange was not the hero. He was a satire on the western youth immersed in sex, violence and drugs. This gang is a satire on the impressionable DCH generation that in spite of dying for their purpose did not achieve anything. (Btw, not comparing the quality of movie RDB to Clockwork Orange.For people who like V for Vendetta and not RDB, because V for Vendetta exaggerations were justified by their portayal in the backdrop of autocratic regime and RDB showed present, *imagine* RDB happened in a India 50 years from now, where the regime was more autocratic than you can digest now, the youth was even more directionless and the above plot holes were a possibility. (Aweful movie V for Vendetta, btw – spoilt a perfect story by hammering the same point again and again. Read the Vendetta book. Much better it is.) RDB at least left room for discussion.

    Also, GB I am a big fan of your wit, but your response to Shan’s legitimate points was juvenile, IMO. Please, dont disappoint your fans.

  152. Firstly apologize for the late reply. My wife had to be hospitalized for a medical condition for a day (she is fine now) and I could not reply to all the comments. Not that I am going to even now simply because as Varsha said I should not be replying to filth.

    There are again of course many comments where the content isnt filth but the commenter, no doubt blinded by his love for the movie, has made personal attacks i.e. ascribed motivations for me having the viewpoint that “RDB is a piece of tripe” other than the fact that I sincerely believe it to be so.

    Even after that:

    @Chetan: You spoke too soon my friend. :-). BTW, your giving me a thank-you card made it to the Anandabazar article on blogging where I was mentioned (unfortunately the article itself is in Bengali). I had mentioned it in the email interview where I was asked to write down “gestures that had moved me”.

    @Pratyush: (From your desicritics post)

    Firstly, RDB DOES NOT tell or send the message to the youth to kill politicians and kill when wronged. When Karan Singhania (played by Siddharth) is asked during the last scene of the movie, “Who else is on your hit list?”, he retorts that no one is. Is that not clear enough for people to understand that revenge is not the motive behind the killing?

    The way I look at it, the fact that he says there is no-one else is on his hit-list just goes to show that YES it was indeed revenge. If you identify a person as having wronged you and then you go and bump off the person and say that’s it…that’s all I wanted to do…isnt that nothing but revenge? Pardon me for not retorting to everything you have said—and the reason I dont do so is simply because 1) dont want to repeat my points of contention again and again 2) this topic has dragged along for long.

    @Nikhil: Very right. Staying in US I have no idea of what the cops do in India and how students are being shot to death every day. I know that students get lathicharged, beaten but I simply didnt feel that mothers of dead armymen would be beaten into coma (if not for anything else but for the bad press). But I may be wrong since I am an “NRI” (which I am not by any definition, but I shall let that pass). I am sorry Mr. Complete Man (since that is your blogspot address).

    @Thalassa: Yes I do remember. And though I still stand by the basic point I made long time ago, I do wish to apologize for the tone of my reply to your comment….which was something I, in retrospect, should not have done. As to your mention of the Iranian revolution, that is indeed a very relevant point in this context.

    @yourfan2: I knew it would come to this—based on the reaction to Suyog’s post on the topic a few months ago.

    @MArora: Shan’s what valid point? That I “want” Hindi movies to be bad and cannot accept one being good? That I have ulterior motives while reviewing movies? And in response to that, I am supposed to do what—clap and shake my head? I have every right to retort and point out the fact that he didnt even go through my entire blog before making that accusation. And why do you think dear sir/madam that people can go on making “personal” attacks (defined as attacking the reviewer and not the review) and I am supposed to say “Thank you come again” ? Unlike some people who come here solely to spew abuse, Shan has made some valid points (mostly critical may I say) in the past and hence I chose to reply to him and not to the others.

  153. One movie in recent times which evoked such feelings in me was BLACK.. how could they call it a masterpiece..
    I am ok with RDB as a general TP movie…
    But anything which invites such discussions and Analysis cannot be tripe..

    Also,, ur comment

    “Because change, dear friends, does not come from watching a movie. It comes from forming an opinion—which again is a painful process borne out of reading serious literature, listening to speeches of learned men, thinking, filtering and internalizing. And then acting on that opinion.

    I have opinions on everything(afterall its just an opinion), but i have never read ‘serious literature or listened to speeches of learned men’,thinking, filtering and internalizing are ok . :-)… guess observation should also be included in the list…

    Enough, now I shall go back to my Chicken Tikka Masala recipe…;-)

  154. Arnab,
    I wish your wife a speedy recovery and good health. Hang in there!
    Congratulations on the mention in ABP. The third name in “jonopriyo bharotiyo blogs”… not to miss!!! 🙂 A very well earned, very well deserved distinction! We are extremely proud of you, buddy!!! (BTW, is Indiawriting a group blog? I have heard of it but have never visited.)
    One point though, the article on ABP says “blog maane bondhutto”. Accurate to a great degree. However, may be that article should have pointed out bloggers’ banes as well. I mean, imagine the plight of a starry-eyed, enthusiastic, new and innocent blogger writing this post and getting the same responses? Taar to piley chomke jaabe!
    I feel the guy should have put a surgeon general’s warning with it. Like “among common side effects certain types of leprosy is a high possibility”.
    Aamar to mone hoi sheta uchit chhilo.

    Thanks much for the link. Habitually, did a Google search first, got thoroughly irritated for a few minutes, then remembered you had posted the link. Thanks!

  155. Hello,

    isnt it strange that kavita gadgil cleared her son’s name thru reasoned, rational argument backed by irrefutable evidence while the protagonists in RDB chose a flawed and impulsive approach ? Thats why ,despite the hype, RDB will always just be a movie but will never be the change a Garam Hawa was.

    Why didnt any journalist ask Mrs Gadgil what she thought of the movie and juxtaposed it with the soundbites from M/s Mehra,Khan and company ?

    Laziness on the part of the media to expose the dangers of RDBs message lest some revenue streams die out ?

  156. Arnab ,

    While I have to admit I was mildly entertained – BUT I am a BJP supporter like many people in India and I hated the way the movie made all the villains wear saffron scarves. It was an affront to me and the many hundred million BJP voters in our country. If they wanted to show intolerant hateful student unions or political parties , why not show people wearing ‘RED’ , crying out ‘NAXALBARI’ , NAXALBARI’ , ‘China’s Leader is Our Leader’ , and giving speeches on how their ‘peoples movement will take over the country’ ? Hurling abuse at Indian soldiers , shedding tears for ‘freedom movements’ in Kashmir , North-East ?

    I will tell you why – because this movie was made by a freaking naxalite.

  157. Further , I think the movie secretly tries to drive home a point that commie = cool , bjp = uncool. That is why all the cool kids are writing grafittis with ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Red Revolution’ , while the uncouth hindi speaking bhaiyyas , who also are made to compulsively wear saffron scarves, shout ‘ bharat mata ki jai’.

  158. Arnab – I have been reading your blog for a long time , but only commented on one or two occasions. (I leave the commenting to your hardcore fans and your enemies. I am a big fan of Mr.Akash Sen by the way :-)) ). I think your views , when you write on serious issues, are exactly the same as mine , its just that I cannot articulate them as well as you do or guys like Nitin Pai of Acorn , chaps at Secular-Right and my favorite Rajeev Srinivasan can.

    May I suggest you concentrate more on serious issues that concern us , like how the commies and the treacherous p-sec media and are hurting our country ? With your biting sarcasm and wit , I am sure you can make a big impact.

    I would love it if your your next blog post is based on that fraud Medha Patkar and her commie gang NBA…..

  159. Joyforever: you obviously can’t read because I never claimed to be mature. I simply remarked that Yourfan’s vitriol against Shan and Shishir (if I recall correctly) was somewhat disturbing. And why the 5 hour lecture about GB?! I wasn’t even referring to him in my second post.

    Akash Sen: you can’t be much of a fan of Yourfan’s if you don’t even know that he’s a SHE. And as for “hurt”, what about the ppl who get “hurt regularly by Yourfan’s attacks?! You are a sad case.

    Anyway, I’ll leave you all in peace and to pat each other on the back for slapping ppl’s faces, etc…

  160. @Akash Sen: Apologies, I take back whatever I said to you since your comments (towards YF) appear to be sarcastic and rather amusing! And YF, pls do continue posting, so the rest of us can continue to be amused…

  161. @GB: I sincerely wish that your wife get well soon. There is no doubt that she will fully very fast. I want you to fire on all cylinders of your wisdom (??) and idiosyncrasies alike without being disturbed by other factors.
    @Raj Mehta: Wowww… I have won a fan too. Come my dear … let us pull each other for a hug. Ohh.. I’m sorry. If you are outraged by the idea of hugging as an western etiquette of expressing wishes and greetings, then just a dry Namaste from a distance is OK with me. I appreciate the absolute unambiguous way in which you have articulated your views (e.g., supporter of BJP etc.). I wish the author of this post learned this from you. That would perhaps clearly explain, in case there is still any doubt in anybody’s mind, why you and GB agree on almost all issues, word for word.
    @basanti: Come and join me in YOURFAN’s fan club. Rest assured fun is unlimited.

  162. @Akash: My day has considerably brightened since the initiation 😉

  163. just a request. can anyone put a line or so in my weblog if any version of YOURFANs reappears on the scene? I’m so goddamn fan of his/hers, but he/she does not have a weblog so that I can register there as a life-member and get his/her blessings. It’s irritating to keep coming back over and over and see that guruji has escaped through the stable door, did not yet return.

  164. Akash Senji , for you I only have respectful hindu namaste from a distance ji.

    —edited out by GB—-[Dear Raj, bringing in relatives as part of abuse will not be tolerated against anyone, even Akash sen—as a result I have edited this part out. Akash of course is free to call me a junkie, whore, gay and anything else his rational mind comes up with but let’s not stoop to his level….]

    I remain ,

    your biggest fan.

  165. Arnab, I should have done this a long time ago, but I had actually revisited my comment , and I thought my tone was unacceptably strident. I do stand firm on my basic idea, but I apologize sincerely for the obnoxious tenor of my comment.

    You have a wonderful blog here, and congratulations for making it to Anandabazar Patrika. I don’t know, but I grew up in absolute awe of ABP, so to my probashi Bangali mind, a laudatory mention in ABP seems to count for more than a mention in a lot of other Indian newspapers.

    And best wishes for your wife!

  166. @GB: Hope your wife is better now. My best wishes for her speedy recovery.

    @Basanti: You said: “…you obviously can’t read because I never claimed to be mature…”
    I’m genuinely sorry for making that assumption. That explains a lot of things…

  167. Arnab da, I do see it as a way to arouse the masses. They do bear hug saying the work is done when they announce on the radio. If revenge was the sole criteria, they would have to kill several more people as more people would have been involved in the deal and not just the Defence minister. Here, I do feel they director erred in killin Anupam Kher. It wasn’t necessary.

    We disagree on the motto of the killing then.

    I don’t mind you not retorting to the other points. I can imagine how weary it becomes when you reply almost each comment on your blog (some thing which is usually common courtesy but some thing many bloggers don’t do).

    It is an act of yours which I always hold in very high esteem.

  168. Arnab da,
    May your wife get well very soon. All our good wishes are with her. Don’t worry!

    And I am amazed! The debate going on here is … err..interesting!

    Personal attacks, readers asking for ‘proof’ of the social change that RDB supporters have brought along since, ‘Garam Hawa’ — though a terrific movie — being touted as a vehicle of change(??), intellectual movie lovers commenting on the brilliance of your blog without having watched the movie — Dada…perfect recipe for another hindi flick! I think I also saw some comment from a ‘filmmaker’ talking about no focus-pulling in the movie 😀

    Wooof! Having seen the futility of trying to make others understand my PoV, I’d rather stay away from commenting anymore. Die-hard fans of RDB (like myself!) will be in love with it forever and those who hated it will continue to try make us see the ‘truth’.

    Btw dada…RDB is old news now. How about doing a review of this terrible shit and utter piece of high-level garbage called Mission Impossible 3? Looking forward to it, if you’d be writing any.

    PS- Dropped by to read the blog in the middle of watching RDB yet again. The DVD is bare-bones. No special features but yet…worth it.

  169. Oops..sorry sorry…the earlier comment under ‘Anonymous’ (May 7th, 2006 at 5:21 pm) was by me.
    Forgot to put in the name there.

  170. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: I pray for your wife’s speedy recovery. Please say hi to her for me.
    Congrats on being mentioned in Anandabazar. Yes, I agree with Debasish who said not only “blog maane bondhutto” but also you start getting personal attack which is a different game all together from having plain difference of opinions relating the post. But then, brickbats come with the territory. Congrats again.

    @Yourfan2: On quite a few occasions in previous posts I have differed with GB just as you, joyforever and others have. But generally his logical explanation matches mine. Anyway, whatever I wrote this time is because I sincerely hate personal attacks and insinuations. I also protest if one commenter personally attacks another commenter (see my comments in previous posts of GB). Thanks for your well meant request – I have already stayed away from the “smell” – I mean the foul smell of jealousy, decay and despair!!

  171. @GB- best wishes on a speedy recovery for your wife.

    @Raj Mehta- “While I have to admit I was mildly entertained – BUT I am a BJP supporter like many people in India and I hated the way the movie made all the villains wear saffron scarves. It was an affront to me and the many hundred million BJP voters in our country. ” Yes….to many many voters like you and me. What to say to you for your comment except “WOW”….and hey….please dont waste your time replying to vermin like Akash Sen.

  172. Firstly, thanks to the one, whoever he/she is, for dropping me a line on my weblog that guruji is back.


    Dear Raj, bringing in relatives as part of abuse will not be tolerated against anyone, even Akash sen—as a result I have edited this part out. Akash of course is free to call me a junkie, whore, gay and anything else his rational mind comes up with but let’s not stoop to his level….

    So, now you have mastered the art of sophistry. Yeah, the most prized quality for a wannabe politician. Hate to say more on that. Discerning readers will be able to decipher. However, I’m very interested to know what my biggest fan wanted to say about me . Editing out a comment just to show off one’s artificial magnanimity is shameful at any rate.


    …intellectual movie lovers commenting on the brilliance of your blog without having watched the movie

    After all, it is one of the reasons we go to a circus or zoo for.

    @yourfan, yourfan2: It is terribly entertaining to watch the trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit (read: YOURFAN, yourfan2 and GB) — talk to each other. Very philosophical and illuminating. It reminds me of a past incident, when Amartya Sen, serving as the Master of Trinity College at that time, was questioned by an immigrant officer at Heathrow airport, whether he was a friend of the Master’s, as the officer was not convinced of Sen’s immigration status and couldn’t believe that his passport showed his address to be Master’s Lodge, Trinity. Sen characteristically did not lose his temper and went into a deep philosophical musing. He privately asked himself, “Can I claim myself to be a friend of mine?”

    OK, this is my last comment for this post. All temptations to comment more will be resisted with utmost brutality. Thank you all. I enjoyed interacting with you, to my heart’s, my liver’s, my spline’s content. Thanks again.

  173. sorry not “spline”, it should be “spleen”. thanks.

  174. “I’m genuinely sorry for making that assumption. That explains a lot of things…”

    @Joyless: Apology accepted 😉 Yeah, what to do? I’m sooo immature, for NOT attacking ppl for making perfectly reasonable comments, or being gleeful when my idol feebly attempts to put them down for the same and generally not having a life beyond this blog, unlike you mature as cheddar cheese bhodroloks, namely YourFan, of whom we are all dying of “jealousy, decay and despair!”

    Delusion is a funny thing… 😛

    PS. May I suggest a naam change from Joy(less) to YourFan3? It would make Akash very happy to know that his fanclub membership is growing day by day.

  175. Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra May 7, 2006 — 8:46 pm

    Fools! All this anxiety just for my stupid film! Amazing. Even *I* thought it was shit! Anywayz, you all carry on bickering while I laugh all the way to the bank.

  176. haha you guys are too much!

    i have never laughed so much in long times. thnx for the entertainment akashsen rajmehta, yourfan 1/2, basanti and co. totol paisa vasool yaars!

  177. forgot! most funnest of all……..rakesh omprakash mehra! too funny yaar! hahahahaha!

  178. Long Time reader, First time posting. I find this tad over-reacting. You can call this movie as tripe if that is the way you feel about it but how can some of you deginerate an entire generation who liked this movie ans say that you dont want associate with them. Heck my 15 year old nephew liked it very much and he did seem to find a new respect for his country after watching this and I would prefer him to watch a RDB any day over a ‘B’ grade MithunDa Jackie Shroff movie which are absolute piece of trash and nothing else.

    As for talks of ‘Inspiration coming from within’ and all that, well let me tell you movies can be inspiring. I know many people who were inspired by the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’ whether they did something after that or not is a different matter. If Inspiration comes only from within then we dont need anything from outside, no not even the story of Bhagat Singh, Azad or Bhaga Jatin will be enough to inspire you.

    And what the movie showed happens it real life. Most Politicians are scums of the earth and some time they are killed by their own people (Recently One Mr. Mahajan comes to mind, and before that Mrs. Indira Gandhi) and they are treated like martyrs.

    Lastly, this blog used to be good but now a days it has very little tolerance to criticism. Anyone who dares to disagree with Arnab’s posts is viciously attacked by the usual suspects of this forum.

  179. @Basanti, LOL, Raykesh Mehra (all 3 of you have the same IP address–“friends of myself” indeed): Yes you are right. We here have no lives. Glad to see however you do have one considering how often you come back to this useless blog.

    Not to speak of Akash Sen who comes here (according to my webstats) on an average (conservative) of about 6-7 times a day for about the last few days. Yes indeed we dont have lives–unlike some others.

    @Akash: Had I not edited out those parts (which is now false magnamanity on my behalf) you would be crying—Oooh hooo look how your BJP friend is talking about my wife/girl friend and GB is implictly supporting it and yourfan Basanti would be shouting to high heavens for “intolerance” on my part Of course I expect her/him/THEM to stay silent when I am called a whore, gay and junkie by we-all-know-who.

    @Sanjay: Calling me a whore, gay and junkie among other things is “criticism”? Really? And people supporting me is “vicious”? Waah waah sahab.

    And oh yes if your 15 year old nephew loved it, very good—he should. Problem is with 25 and 35 year olds loving it. But then again thats my POV—-this is my space and I put my ideas here. I dont force you and the other RDB fanatics to read it nor do I go onto your blog and try to point out how manipulative the movie is (again my POV and learn to respect it—just as I do yours). Lastly, the fact that your comments as well as Akash Sen and Basanti’s are still up should have told you something regarding my attitude towards criticism even when it comes down to the level of a personal attack.

  180. Peace Guys!
    Stop the juvenile personal attacks!

    Wish your wife a speedy recovery!!

    And, a speedy recovery to you too from this overflow of comments 🙂


  181. Why is it that every discussion on RDB turns out into a virtual UP Assembly type slugfest with inane insults thrown instead of your microphones and chairs. Everyone is entitled to his/her/it’s views. I may think that RDB is a piece of overblown, overhyped tripe with pop patriotism at its worst. But that does not entitle me to call RDB lovers idiots or worse. Same goes for RDB lovers.

  182. >> It reminds me of a past incident, when Amartya Sen, serving as the Master of Trinity College at that time

    Just that you talk about Amartya Sen tells me of your mental abilities, Akash Sen. Most of his economic theories are crap anyway, like RDB is. Amartya forgot the basic premise of the Kerala model that he keeps harping on , that Kerala has almost no industries, and it survives on money orders from Gulf, where Indian labourers are treated worse than animals. (Read more on the Arab police crackdown on Burj al arab labourers. Search google. Also read more on how pay is low and prices on the rise in UAE, and therefore, labourers who land up there in hope of good money, cannot return, they are virtually slaves. )

  183. “…all 3 of you have the same IP address–”friends of myself” indeed”.

    @GB: so now you’re resorting to accusing all those who disagree with you to being the same person! Desperate times, desperate measures, etc. Anyway, dunno who the others you mention are, but I do know that “friends of myself” can certainly be applied to YourFans 1,2,3 — all leading neatly back to that great big IP: GreatBong.

    PS. You wrote to Sanjay:

    “the fact that your comments as well as Akash Sen and Basanti’s are still up should have told you something regarding my attitude towards criticism even when it comes down to the level of a personal attack.

    In what way did Sanjay “personally attack” you? He was simply putting across his view, which happens to differ from yours, unless of course you took exception to the fact that he referred to Mithun movies as B-grade trash?!

    And no need for the magnamanious martyr act: simply delete our comments, switch to comment moderation and stick to only publishing comments which seek to flatter you and agree with you. Because taking exception to so-called personal attacks is one thing, but to blow a fuse over ppl even deigning to disagree with you is completely another, and shows that the true intent of your requesting comments is not so much a call for balanced discussion but more a plea for ego massaging. (Hence the faux trepidation at the beginning of your post about ” placing head on chopping block” and “impassioned RDB fan pumping bullets” etc, — an ill-disguised way of saying that anyone who likes RDB must be a (gun-toting) maniac, and, “look long I waited before posting this and how warily I am doing so, so be grateful and dont none of you go disagreeing with me!” — and when they DO disagree, you can triumphantly say “See? I KNEW it would come down to this!” Thereby effectively thwarting any comments except those that match yours and flatter you).

    Oh and before you aim another sarcastic missile at me, can I just refer here to Joyless Forever’s attack on that anon person who wrote a reasonable enough post about why s/he disagreed with your review, and lo, what happens? S/he gets ripped apart for using the word “incorrect” (may not be the best choice of words but hardly a crime), and for choosing to remain anonymous — like countless others — but hey, lets single out the one who dared to take exception to GB’s POV!

    One last thing, your blog is not “useless” (your words) at all. On the contrary, it’s been a very useful in teaching one about many interesting little things about human nature.

  184. @Raj Mehta:
    Wow, I just realized the BJP angle to this story, and now I know why some of the posters hate the movie so much! The reason, ladies and gentlemen is political, not cinematic. But after all, there’s only a difference of three letters between ‘communal’ and ‘communist’…

    I normally only post where I have a view different to yours, or if there is something of note, or something funny, to add. And thanks for acknowledging that I make rational comments, which is why you respond. And on my part, I do agree your blog is as democratic as it it is probably possible.

    On another note, however, I also tend to agree with the people who say that your three “fans” are frequently the most irritating people on the blog. They jump in at every given opportunity like a pack of wolves (similie, not metaphor – so that they don’t accuse me of calling them wolves) defending you, often disregarding propriety – like your online bodyguards, as if you need the protection. You, of course, defend them to the death, great friend that you are. That’s fine, and probably shows good character.

    But I hope they (repeat they, not you) realize that they create a very bad impression of themselves and inadvertently, of you, 1) by attacking opposing viewpoints indiscriminately, and more importantly 2) by writing embarassingly long comments after each of your posts, basically agreeing with every word of what you wrote, and heaping greater ecomiums on what is usually otherwise a self-evidently good post. The added, overt, cloying, gratuitous, embarassingly sickly-sweet praise is stomach-churning. I am sure you can do without this kind of support. 🙂

  185. @Basanti: Hah. In your case it is an accusation and in my case it is borne out of the IP tracking capability of WordPress which indeed shows that all 3 of you share the same IP.

    Now stop telling me how to run my blog dear madam/sir/all of the above (re: comment modeation) and do the difficult thing: make your own blog, say Ram krishna hare to RDB and have fun. And dont see what has happened that I should be desperate—when critics need to use 3 names to buttress their point then I suppose its not me who is desperate.

    And oh wise Basanti, can you please tell me where I said Sanjay personally attacked me?

    @Shan: If I can tolerate chronic critics like you and Akash Sen I dont see the problem with the yourfans. I can turn around and say that you also oppose my point indiscriminately (again I am saying this as an example)—simply because you have a rather marked political persuasion.That people vitiate discussion by personally attacking me.

    For instance I feel that you Shan had no business saying that I criticize Hindi movies because I want them to be bad. Simply because as I pointed out there are many movies I have had the highest regard for—even when it is not supposedly “fashionable” to like them (Shabd for example). What you believes attributes motives (besides the fact that it is a false accusation) to the writer and is in effect an attack on the person and not on the opinion.

    However I dont crib about it. Instead I reply to you, with my POV.

    As to writing long comments, would you have any problems if I added up the several comments made by Basanti and Akash Sen and made 2 very long comments? No I dont think you would.

    Since you are convinced (or claim to) that the yourfans are not me let me make a point. There are different kinds of readers here—with different degrees of attachment to this blog and also to me. Some of them make a greater connection than the others: maybe because they agree with my POV most of the time or maybe they find something else in my posts. As a result, they can (rightfully) feel angered when someone says “How much do you earn–you beggar” (Proud Indian Producer) [this was in essence what he said] or when Akash sen showers choicest abuses. These people are my friends—-understand that this is a personal blog (and not a newspaper) and hence I am “allowed” to have friends.

    As a matter of fact, making new friends was the reason why I started blogging in the first place.

    If I was a reader of a blog i liked and the person who wrote it was being personally attacked I also would rise to his defense. If I agreed with his post I would say I agree.

    Now I know you won’t. And you havent. You and many others have stood silent when I am being personally abused and that’s fine. You are not a friend, merely a reader. Maybe one day when a blogger comes along who thinks Sonia Gandhi rocks, you too will react likewise. But why blame me for having friends who defend me and why blame my friends for doing so?

    If you find my friends stomach-churning, then please there are other options for you (you as in people who feel likewise). Again remember this is a blog. Not the TOI.

    In conclusion, I shall continue to reply to you, Shan (since unlike Basanti you come on one IP and unlike her/him you dont LIE about it) and welcome you to my blog : however try to understand—the degree of disappointment is not just one-sided, frankly even I am extremely disappointed and disgusted by the tone of comments made by a few and how people like you have given tacit support for that (your comment for instance is all about the yourfans and nothing about anything else) simply because we have divergent views.

  186. Arnab,

    As I said, this blog has very little tolerance to criticism (No just because you leave them posts doesn’t mean anything). Just a little criticism and you come up with “this is my POV — This is my space and blah “, Well my friend, Mr. Rakyesh Mehra didn’t force you to watch RDB, Did he ? He can sell whatever he wants, you dont have to buy it, esp if you know his reputation after watching ‘AKS’. You accuse me of being an RDB fanatic. Well you dont know me enough to make that assumption, I did watch RDB and I liked it as a movie, but a fanatic ? never. Also, I fit in the 25-35 age category and I dont see anything wrong with the movie. Is there a written rule somewhere that people between 25-35 can not like ‘RDB’ and can only enjoy Mithun Da movies ? In a way I dont think you are any different from people who remarked “How dare you not want the change”.

    Anyways, As you said, it is your space, your POV. Have fun with it. 🙂

  187. @Sanjay: No I am free to criticize RDB. And so are you free to criticize me (as long as it is civil). And in case you have problems understanding sarcasm, I dont really “like” Mithun-da movies. Go through my comment again Sanjay and read what I said—instead of frothing at your mouth just because I had the temerity to criticize a great work of art (sarcasm here again). I said you have your POV (i.e. you love your movie and that’s great), I have my POV (and that I understand is horrible)–and RTDM provides a platform for both to express it.

    And that exactly was my point.

    However where does the “sensitive to criticism” accusation you made come about which you keep repeating in Goebbelsian fashion till of course it becomes the truth? Again all I said: “You like the movie. I don’t. And let’s keep it at that.”

    Now go and have fun with RDB. I totally understand why you love it. Honest.

  188. Also, I dont know what IP tracking you have got there about me, but I definately have nothing to do with Akash Sen, Basanti etc.

  189. @Basanti, LOL, Raykesh Mehra (all 3 of you have the same IP address–”friends of myself” indeed): Yes you are right. We here have no lives. Glad to see however you do have one considering how often you come back to this useless blog.

    Not to speak of Akash Sen who comes here (according to my webstats) on an average (conservative) of about 6-7 times a day for about the last few days. Yes indeed we dont have lives–unlike some others.


  190. @Sanjay: I NEVER said you have the same IP as anyone else. So dont know where this comment came from? The reason why their names came up was in the context of “open to criticism” —not as your aliases.

  191. @Right: I dont think political persuasion should have anything to do with liking/disliking RDB. Yes the BJP was targeted but my main beef is, as pointed out, the sheer immaturity of the theme, the marketing of the movie and the gaping plot holes. I dont think Rakesh Mehra was doing this because he is a Leftie (he very well may be) but because he wanted to get his product “passed”. Again I dont mean “him” specifically but Ronnie Screwallah and the other proud Indian producers.

  192. Arnab,

    First of all I liked RDB but didn’t really love it, at least not enough to defend it. I am sure you can spot the difference. For all the hype surrounding the movie, I couldn’t watch it more than once. And I didn’t like it for the mesg , but because of the first half which I found quite funny and entertaining.I have already said it and will say it again, I dont have a problem with your POV but with some of the stuff being said here(some not necessarily by you).

    You said “change, dear friends, does not come from watching a movie. It comes from forming an opinion—which again is a painful process borne out of reading serious literature, listening to speeches of learned men, thinking, filtering and internalizing. And then acting on that opinion”. Well that may be true for you, doesn’t mean it is true for everyone else.

    You also took a cheapshot on people who somehow related with ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ with your sarcasm “But the fault there may be mine. Blame my upbringing for that”. So basically you were suggesting that those who liked the movie or related to had their upbringing to blame. You know, I have watched DCH at least 5-6 times, I didn’t even notice once that those guys were roaming in Merc.

    Someone said “If unadulterated dung like RDB inspires “this” generation, I dereference myself from it.”. I think this is the biggest over-reaction on RDB. Some people call this generation as DCH generation. What tripe ? Really I hate it when older generation starts to look down upon the younger generation like that. Hey I was part of the generation that made worst movies, gave worst music,elected worst politicians (remember the clowns like VP Singh and Chandrasekhar), The generation of B Subhash and Bappi Lahiri and we have the guile to look down upon this generation ?

  193. Also my apolgies about IP Check thing. I made a mistake of not reading the posts in full.

  194. @Sanjay,

    Again I think you are misinterpreting what I said. I no way made a “cheap” shot at people who like DCH or grew up that way. I did not grow up that way—never saw the inside of a disco, did not have a vehicle of my own, did not drive to a sea-side resort is a Merc, did not fly first class to Australia and hence I do not consider DCH as “my story”. Of course there are many people who have had some of these privileges (I am sure a lot of people frequent discos) and for them DCH may be their life. It is not mine and you can blame the way I was brought up for that. I fail to see what the “cheap shot” here is.

  195. “@Basanti: Hah. In your case it is an accusation and in my case it is borne out of the IP tracking capability of WordPress which indeed shows that all 3 of you share the same IP.”

    –You use this “same IP” accusation quite often. If I had to comment as someone else then I would obviously do so by supporting my own view. So how on earth do the comments of LOL, Rakesh, etc, do that exactly??? As far as I can see they have absolutely fuck-all to do with anything! Anyway, going back to your “same IP” thing, I forget the exact posts (the Festive Memories post was one of them, I think), but it’s come up before whenever more than one person happens to disagree with you. Well dear, if it makes you happy to proclaim that we are all one and the same then so be it. As I said before, delusion is a funny thing…

    “Now stop telling me how to run my blog dear madam/sir/all of the above (re: comment modeation) and do the difficult thing: make your own blog, say Ram krishna hare to RDB and have fun. And dont see what has happened that I should be desperate—when critics need to use 3 names to buttress their point then I suppose its not me who is desperate.”

    –No-one is telling you to do anything, but since you take such exception to opposing POVs, then take it as a simple suggestion, might help soothe that frazzled ego. Oh and 3 names to buttress what point exactly? Since you are the great IP tracker master, then perhaps yould apply some logic to this argument, because as far as I can see, the so-called comments made by me, Rakesh, LOL (if you can call those “comments”), Sanjay and whoever else bear absolutely NO relation to each other whatsoever, so please explain what point we are all trying to reinforce here, otherwise I’m afraid you yourself are rendering your argument/theory/accusation as truly demented.

    “And oh wise Basanti, can you please tell me where I said Sanjay personally attacked me?”

    –See below:

    “the fact that your comments {Sanjay} as well as Akash Sen and Basanti’s are still up should have told you something regarding my attitude towards criticism even when it comes down to the level of a personal attack.”

  196. I forget to mention one thing and that is you keep bringing up this issue about being personally abused or and referring to some comment about gays, whores and junkies and then go on to accuse ppl of not defending you…well since there doesn’t patently appear to be any such comments (unless you have edited them out?) then how can anyone defend you if they are not even aware of such comments in the first place. The only really out-of-line (yeah, even by my standards!) comment that I can make out is by Proud Indian Producer, but even he doesn’t seem to be using profanities, though I agree his smarminess sucks.

    Anyway, peace be with you and your chums/bodyguards/alter-egos. No point in dragging this on and on. I’m sure you want me and the others to stop commenting (negatively) on this topic now. But I hope you’ve learnt a few little things about yourself from all this. Adios!

  197. @Basanti: Yes I have. I am glad you came to show me the light. And read Akash Sen’s comment again—of course there are MANY of them I accept. And you shall be able to see—-since you are so smart. At least according to yourself. And peace be to all of you–LOL, Basanti and Rakesh Mehra and be nice to each other now. And as to the Sanjay thing, I accept my framing of the sentence was wrong—I meant to say that Your (basanti et al)’s and Akash’s personal attack comments are still up: showing my attitude to criticism.

  198. Proud Indian Producer May 8, 2006 — 7:05 pm

    May I have the privilege of making the 200th comment ?

    See boss, in this day and age, you are offended when I mention your decrepit finances. I don’t get that. If you are really that well off, go make your own version of RDB and lets see how well it sells. btw, let me warn you beforehand about your so-called producer friends – you cannot even do sound rerecording for 20,000 USD. So please, forget about making regional movie for that little money. 20 grand USD is peanuts beta. Times have changed. You think you are living in Satyajit Ray era or what ? Recently I have heard about one regional bloke Cheran who has had one hit movie and four flops behind him. Do you know how much is his director’s fee ? 50 lakh rupees. That is 100,000 USD. just to have this bloke on your set to direct your regional movie, you need 100 Grand USD. To make the actual movie you need much more money. With 20 Grand you cannot even buy handkerchief to wipe Cheran’s ass.

    Now secondly your friends are touting this Computer Science PhD as some great achievement. Boss you know I know how many thousands of such PhDs the USA hands out every year. Most of these people are simply pimping for some tech firms sitting in their cubicles. How many of them are genuinely doing research or publishing peer-reviewed papers every year of any value ? No by value I don’t mean monetary but atleast are they making genuine advancement in your field or are they simply tweaking some algorithm here and there to boost their credential ? Yes boss don’t be surprised by the word algorithm. You think everybody in Bollywood is a useless bum with BCom degree or what ? FYI most of them have an American education and they also know what it is worth. For the vast majority, it is worth only one thing. That is becoming a white-collar employee at some firm and slaving away from 9-5 for rest of your life. I have heard of one company which has some 5000 computer science PhDs on its rolls. But everyday you only hear about its CEO, who is a Harvard dropout. Now why is that ? Perhaps it is because execution and risktaking is much more important than mere bookish knowledge ? Tell you what, let us say you had 7.5 million USD in your Swiss bank account. One Mr. Mehra comes to you and says he has a simple idea about present day youth getting inspired by Bhagat Singh. What will you do ? Will you hand him 7.5 million USD and say, Take it Mehra, go make your concept into feature film ? No Sir you will laugh loudly and say it is the most ridiculous idea you ever heard. You will then parody that idea in your pathetic blog and then ask Mr. Mehra to go packing. 7.5 million will simply gather dust in the bank vault. Now you see why us producers are awestruck by Ronnie at UTV. Or Aditya Chopra. Or Ramu. Or Ritesh Sidhwani. These and many more youngsters are willing to bet. They are betting big and making the dreams of young film directors come true. That is why you are able to even watch Indian films. Otherwise all these people can also stay put in America and get one PhD and go work for some firang. Instead of coming back to our own country and making bold investments.

    Finally only reason I am engaging in this debate is because you are saying RDB is bad. You could have said you don’t like RDB. Then nobody will object. But you are transferring your dislike to the product. It is as if you like something, it must be good, you hate something, it must be bad. Actually Sir, during the 90s there were several Spielberg films like Amistad, Schindlers List etc. Every single film bombed at Indian BO. In fact if you take your regional markets like TamilNadu Karnataka Kerala etc. they were dominated by village movies with rural themes. So are you saying all of TamilNadu is devoid of your intellectual pretension, it cannot appreciate Schindlers List, it is full of villagers ? Different movies work with different audience, and that is why we don’t term anything good or bad. Whatever works, works. The product itself is not good or bad. Audience decides to endorse something enmasse. Nobody knows why and nobody even in your Hollywood has figured out why to this date. If someone figured it out he can write his own ticket. To this day every single producer director actor has had both hits and flops. That is why everybody atleast in the industry tempers his criticism. Because they know that today you can be top of rainbow but tommorow you will be down in ditch.

    Finally if this comment doesn’t become 200th comment it is because some other fool has had the urgent desire to hit Submit button before I patiently finish my argument.

  199. @PIP: Yes you became the 200th commenter. I am so glad for you. Yes this is a pathetic blog and I would advice you sir to not waste your time with your huge comments when that time can be spent gainfully wiping Cheran’s ass. As for me kindly I have a lot of time left over after writing down my pathetic peer-reviewed papers—-which I do manage to write, strangely. More than one a year. However do they “change” the youth of the nation? Nope. Do they make money? Nope. Can they be used to wipe asses? Yes. The paper that is used for printing proceedings and journals (with acceptance rates of 10% or so) make for excellent toilet paper. If you pay me $200 (plus shipping/handling) I can send you all the proceedings and journals I have (I get one copy for each publication) for ass-wiping Cheran—and for $40 more even the draft manuscripts of in-submission papers I have in case he has a bit more sambar than he can gainfully manage and needs extra help.
    Incidentally when I write something is “bad” I mean according to my opinion. Just a thought.

  200. I’m so elated to know that the great owner of this weblogspace spends so much time to collect and store various internet related statistics about his readers. It is a rare honor per se that nobody accorded to me before. Please accept my sincere gratitude for that. I have a further suggestion. You please now go one step further, that is, move to the next level as this is the way civilization progresses, right; try to do a lot of innovative statistical analyses with the collected information, such as how often so and so readers come, what possibly they do before they return again, at what time the traffic is heavy, try to find some connection between the IP address of the user and their assumed names (for example, it is possible that the user with IP address starting with 1 may have a tendency to take an ID beginning with A; possible, very possible) and suchlike important research; then stick all the results up on your chest, hang a drum from the neck and then go out on the streets thumping your chests and chant in perfect Hare Krishna style raising your arms to the sky, “I’ve two great fans. They are not me because they have different IP addresses. All my detractors have the same IP address. Please believe me. Please believe me.” Please do it lyrically and rhythmically for the others to make the most of it. If anybody comes up and offers, “Take this cent dear. You poor beggar.” Then say to them without disturbing the rhythm and tune, “I’m no beggar. I’m a blogger . Believe me. Believe me.”

  201. Aap bhi ajeeb ho Bongda. When somebody gets personal, he wants you to get angry, go red all over, react and waste time typing out replies. And you oblige by doing the same.
    Idiots like Ak-ass Sen want attetion- deny them that, pretend they don’t exist, they’ll die.
    When somebody gives criticism of some relevance, I understand it’s good bolg ethics to reply. PIP is plain stupid. If I were the blogger, I would plain delete that last comment.
    My goodness, what bullshit logic ! That’s the kind of logic that gives a “core dumped” error.

  202. “OK, this is my last comment for this post. All temptations to comment more will be resisted with utmost brutality. Thank you all. I enjoyed interacting with you, to my heart’s, my liver’s, my spline’s content. Thanks again.”

    That comment looks familiar ? What did I just say ?
    Dipshit cannot stay away from this blog. He owes his pathetic existence to RTDM.

  203. I generally dont get to see hindi movie very often these days (reason: the desi store charges 2.50$ per rental), but after so much “war of words” I feel may be it is worth to spent 2.50$ on RDB. Although I am quite a huge fan of AK….but I do believe that some movies do have some unrealistic plot/setup… and solutions are too simplistic. It would be better if our directors try to refrain from giving 3 hr solution to every national problem.

    A small comment to PIP stop equating everything to salary/income/swiss bank account… how do u know that our greatbong is not making big bucks… do you know every time you visit his blog 10$ is deposited in his Bank of America account…. and with his growing influence in the Holly/Bolly/Tollywood he can even make our Prabhuji to act in his film for free and make the next Titanic… which will sink all other movies in the boxoffice.

    The day we start doing statistical analysis for hindi movies… I will quit my job.


  204. Arnab,

    If that was not a cheap shot, then why pick on DCH ? It was just a movie. After all how many Indians can sing as well the heroes our Movies, How many of us have love stories like that, how many of us run around trees singing songs ? How many have ‘Mera Baap Chor Hai’ written on their hands, how many of us grew up doing boot polish and became as rich as Vijay ? How many of us had a girl friend as hot as ‘Zeenat Aman’ despite being pretty good at what we did ? Remember Vijay used to have one despite being the complete loser in most of his movies.

    Unless you like only those movies which either tell your story or you can relate to,it is really naive to walk into a theater and expect the movie to be your story and then criticize it on that basis. I have no problem if you didn’t like DCH, but to do so because you couldn’t relate to it is unfair and IMO reeks of some sort of bias. Also IMO the ‘our story’ part is taken too seriously by you. Our story doesn’t mean that it has to be exactly same as your story in college or that you have to have driven a merc or fallend in love with an older woman etc etc, but just that we all have ‘our stories’ in college just like the 3 guys in DCH had (true a bit exaggerated in the movie). Also I am not aware if the producers of DCH tried to promote the movie as ‘Our Movie’ or ‘Your Movie’ etc but even if he did, what is so wrong with that, everyone does it. Chopras has been selling love for 50 years now, Johars and Sharukh did the same for few years and then stole the finest Indian movie ever made(Anand), Mr Bhansali is fast becoming a rip-off artist with movies like Devdas and Black.

    Just what did Mr. Bharat-cant-act Kumar did for 50 years ? I would take an RDB over Upkar, Purab or Paschim, Kranti, Karma, Pukar, Gadar etc any day.

  205. @Sanjay: Again you misunderstand. I never say I go to movies ONLY to see people whom I associate with. I said this before: I love Star Wars and I can never be a Jedi knight. The reason why I single out DCH is that people say they like it because it tells their story. This is what is DCH’s unique selling point. Now all I want to say is that it does not tell my story. I did not see what there was to like about the movie. And my objection with the marketing was madhavan saying “Be the change” —I think I have made the point sufficiently clear which has got nothing to do with “my story”. The reason the point came up was that some people say they like the first part of RDB (which was apolitical) because it shows their college life. Well my life wasnt like that.

  206. Arnab, The point I was trying to make is that the producers of DCH didn’t try to sell the movie as ‘Your story’. Those who said that to did so because that’s how they probably felt about the movie.

    Also, you said that as a movie RDB “should not be a life-altering one”. Why ? If one feel that this movie inspires him someway and makes him a better person by the tiniest possible margin, then I would say that this movie worked and I dont see any reason to why it shouldn’t be considered ‘life-altering’ movie for the guy. True Madhvan said ‘Be the change..’ and all that, so what ?? May be he really felt that about the movie or was just trying to sell the movie, who knows ? And TBF who cares ?

  207. Why can’t we watch a movie for what it is? A movie. It’s one of the movies I loved, but then I also am the type that liked Hathyar that many people haven’t heard of 🙂 I loved the film, loved the performances and the climax (yes that too) because I went in for the film itself. I overlooked the flaws, therefore when I “reviewed” it, it was almost not a review. I ended by saying that anyone who pans the movie should be shot!! 🙂 No risk to you greatbong, am no fatwa-happy mullah 😉 and the RDB guys died in the climax.

    To say I didn’t identify with it would be wrong because there are a million times I have felt like shooting these corrupt politicians, until I realised that it’s nothing more than a wild fantasy that we all live with and talk about. And that realization came only when life took a turn for the better.

    Anyway, the logic of looking for a message in the movie beats me. Movies with a “message” were required 40 years ago because that was the only visual medium of communication available. That’s when we saw the dhool ka phools and at some level, we were naive and believing. Since then, we have become too cynical to believe anything.
    No one takes up smoking now (or quits), or marries a widow after being influenced by a movie. If movies influence anything, it’s the clothes people wear (Friends topi after Maine Pyar Kiya, or the sleeveless fashion that kicked in after Karishma Kapoor was seen in it in some film).

  208. @PIP: Ah much better this time. But I really dont get your point beta. I am happy that you did well in life, made money. But why are you throwing in numbers here? Everybody on this blog knows that India is shining and the stock market booming. I was talking to a white guy the other day from Smith Barney who said that he planned to go to India and buy scrips like anything. Please dont throw in numbers. You think millions are going to make us pee in our pants? Well a few years ago, during the dot com boom there were 21-23 year old youngsters who had how much?.. not millions but billions in their account, albeit virtual.

    The basic problem is that you guys are thinking after a successful trebling of an investment….well we are so very clever…look at all those asses who get their phDs and do a 9-5 job for a big corp. Well, with all due respects to you, we used to talk this kind of talk in our schools. That one day we would get rich and then blow cigarette smoke on the face of the pathetic chemistry teacher from our BMW’s who took home that pathetic salary of 10000 INR/ month. You got rich …very good..and somewhere along your comment you inadvertently acknowledged that you designed your product with a view for popularity and nothing else (as it should be in any business)….but people like GB are your customers too….they have a RIGHT to give an opinion on the movie. Plus he never said that you guys did a bad job in promoting the movie. But does a commerically successful movie imply that it is sans fault, or that its theme cannot be questioned? Plus he didnt go about putting posters in town at night reading” see this movie is bad”. He merely published his views on this weblog.

    You say: “Finally only reason I am engaging in this debate is because you are saying RDB is bad. You could have said you don’t like RDB. Then nobody will object. But you are transferring your dislike to the product. It is as if you like something, it must be good, you hate something, it must be bad.” Doesnt make any sense you know…really doesnt make any sense. The customer has to tow your line and acquiesce to the way you want to promote the product? What if he said it was good? Would your logic stand then?

    You also say: “Different movies work with different audience, and that is why we don’t term anything good or bad. Whatever works, works. The product itself is not good or bad. Audience decides to endorse something enmasse. Nobody knows why and nobody even in your Hollywood has figured out why to this date.” Whose view is that? Your view. Feel free to share it with us….but DO NOT IMPOSE. We may not accept.

    Finally there is a modicum of truth in your words. Anyone who is a PHd is no way superior to one with a B Com degree ..And likewise someone with a few million dollars aint bigger then one with 500k.Its just that the latter has more buying power than the former. Some people do jobs because they like them. Someday your producer friend may get so rich that he may employ 1 person paying 200k usd to wipe his ass every morning. You may jump at that job, I may not. So if you say ” e tu to chootiya hain”, well thats that your viewpoint. You may be a chootiya in my viewpoint too. And I wonder…why such a person like you who has a such a supercilious attitude just cuz he thinks hes the only one who has the guts to risk his money while all else are darn cowards that they make certificate of deposits of 7.5 m USD; takes umbrage at a blogger’s negative reaction to your product? Is it cuz your forecasted earning may suffer (less chance considering how brilliant financial managers that you are and well what harm can a blog do? ) , or is it because harsh unpalatable truths are difficult to digest even by a stomach worth a few million dollars?

  209. Arnab’s words were another slap on the face of the “foolish” Shan.

    “Maybe one day when a blogger comes along who thinks Sonia Gandhi rocks, you too will react likewise. But why blame me for having friends who defend me and why blame my friends for doing so?”

    Ha Ha Ha.

  210. Are we discussing a two pence movie here? Or are we discussing India’s future or what? Nuclear deal? Terrorism in Kashmir? Will such anger burst forth for that-from past record at least Akaash sen’s wont!

    I mean come on, if this blogger does not like the movie, finds it utter tripe, what the fuck is someone else’s problem? If you guys like it, go ahead and watch it 100 times. Whos stopping you?

    Criticizing someone’s view is one thing, personal attacks another.

    And yes, for those of who think other wise-commenting on a blog is a privlege and not a right. If a blogger edits/deletes your comments, he is not violating your freedom of expression. A blogger cannot infringe on someone’s freedom of speech, but he is under no obligation to promote your freedom of speech. A fine distinction, but an important one!


    I am glad you know a degree called PhD exists, it represents a monumental jump in your mental capabilities. Stop, and give a rest to your mind. Trust me, its needs it, if you have one, that is!


    Sorry, if you find my language offensive, I am usually happy lurking around your blog, but this time I had to comment.

  211. Proud Indian Seducer May 9, 2006 — 4:02 am

    Producer-bhai, jaa na yaar, kaiku dimaag ka dahi kar raha hai! You go make your chutiya movies for your chutiya audience and make money and also sell your mother in the process to make some more money. Bizness hain na, sab kuch chalta hai. We don’t like it so we’ll say we don’t like it.

    Tujh ko kya lagta hai tere bina company chal nahi sakti ? You think by making a few bucks by producing copied movies and wiping the asses of some phukatc***s you’re taking India forward or something? Tu ne India ka theka le rakha hai kya ? You go make your money by prostitution, and we’ll call it that yaar. PhD or no Phd.

    Chal bhag. somoy noshtor akta limit achhe.

  212. PIP is obviously talking out of his ar$e and I seriously doubt whether he has any links to the film industry. But I request the folks here to stop disparaging the movie business as a job option. For make no mistake , entertainment (as well as news media , electronic and print) is a HUGE business , potentially as lucrative for India as IT and telecom. More important than the money , they have the power to influence an entire society. One reason Socialism in India has had such a halo about it for such a long time because in India because in hindi movies , capitalists or banias were always shown as blood sucking rascals while the hero was always a trade union activist or something like that. We had movies on how ‘man power’ is superior to ‘machine power’. No wonder in the 80s , trade unions were successfully able to prevent introduction of computers in India….

    Hollywood is one of the big reasons US is such a superpower , able to impose its culture on the rest of the world. Softpower that US has is unbeatable – something a country like China regardless of its economic progress can never match. Indians will do well to take up media/entertainment as a career option. So far only the worst of the lot join these highly lucrative fields. That is why our media is full of third rate commies from JNU or Jamia Milia imposing their views on the rest of us , and p-sec idiots and Pak-sympathisers like Mahesh Bhat pose as intellectuals and get away with it.

    I have noticed that majority of Indians working in IT , whether in India or abroad, support BJP and hate pseudo secularists , while I am sure it is obvious to all that much of the media in India is anti-BJP in various degrees. So I would want more smart people to join the media and entertainment business . Atleast I might get to see a movie made on the situation in Kashmir where the prime villain is not a hindu terrorist (that Shah Rukh Khan movie directed by some female muslim director whose name I do not recollect at the moment)….

  213. 214 comments!! Thats huge! Congratulations :)!

    BTW, Some trivia: the producers of RDB gave permission to Ekta Kapoor recently to use one of RDB’s songs, Khoon Chala, in this soap called ‘Kasauti Zindagi Ki’ where a young man is assaulted by hundreds of women for abusing a woman and in the middle of this mayhem, Prerna (the protagonist) holds an injured pregnant woman in her arms on the road. Touching scene indeed. *sobs* . :p

    RDB promotes revolutionaries and TV soaps at the same time!! How about that?

  214. hey PIP, its not your money that you make films with, it comes from the underworld, isnt it. 😀 So dont attack the IT community.

    I would rather make some honest money with my engg degree rather than use underworld money to make films, which Indians all over the world watch. The profits go back to the underworld, which is then routed to jehadis who use it to shoot and bomb us.

    Pretty neat business, producer saab. Play casting couch with the hot girls, tweak storylines to send out hidden messages and make the don happy, and laugh your way to the bank (over your audiences’ dead bodies).

    Hey guys(and gals), there was an article on rediff on this – How Bollywood indirectly finances jehadis. Try to watch movies from reputed producers, and who are (or seem to be) clean (unlike PIP). Personally, I rarely watch movies, and if I do, they are free on SETmax or Zee, or I buy VCDs (helps a poor man earn some money, and 🙂 he wont be killing us). The last Hindi movies I watched in theatres was DCH, Dhoom and now RDB(worst of the three).

    PIP made a direct attack and generalized the IT community. I think I might also generalize the film industry, and tell the truth bluntly.

  215. @Raj Mehta:
    Nice one.
    You are bang on target about leftist trade unions (strangely they had nothing to do with trade. a typical leftist lie) and hindi movies showing hero as a labourer (of course, he romances the factory owners daughter).

    Also, you are right about our media. Indian TV news channels are crap. LOL on mahesh bhatt. I saw a spoof on him on Star One today morning, before leaving for office. It made my day :)) I was LMAO.

  216. Raj Mehta’s comments are so much like Bill O’Reilly that it’s uncanny. The fault lies in the “liberal media” that is always unjustly against the “compassionate conservatives” in India i.e. the “fair and balanced” right-wingers…

    Perfect example of “truthiness”. Ha ha!

  217. >> I have noticed that majority of Indians working in IT , whether in India or abroad, support BJP and hate pseudo secularists

    @ raj mehta.

    I must add something here. It works the other way round too. The leftists and secular brigade hates the IT community. (Thankfully, congress and bjp both arent anti IT so its ok). You can see lot of jibes on IT people in the media. Many a times, it is covert and a few times, its a direct attack.

    There was an huge article on rediff by a lefist secular called prafool bidwai. he want on to rail against IT industry, it does not help the real India, no social development, etc. Then he terms the IT community as cybercoolies who work for pittances from whites. Well, what about dignity of labour that the leftists constantly trumpet around. I suppose leftists are happy to see Indian labourers working like slaves in the degenerate Gulf countries, rather than in air conditioned offices using their brains.

  218. Arnab,

    I am frankly appalled at your accusations. Let me respond. I promise this is my last response to this post, BTW.

    1. You called me a chronic critic. That is unfair. I have commented on a few posts, where I felt I should give you another POV. I enjoy most of your posts and agree with most as well, which is why I visit your blog regularly. I am sorry to know that just because I don’t write drippingly approving posts like your fans (what a great post etc.), I fall into the opposing you category. That is very Bushian of you. With you or against you, eh?

    2. I also resent you assuming that I tacitly approve of what people criticizing you write. I think PIP is an idiot and that his posts are so far off that mark that they don’t even deserve a mention. As far as Basanti goes, I haven’t seen a single post that I would object to for content, so I didn’t mention anything. But one guy used profanity liberally and I did mention that. If anyone else does that, be it Akash Sen or your fan, regardless of which side of the argument the person’s on, I’ll do that same. In retrospect I should have mentioned others’ names also perhaps.

    3. Your third assumption is about my political persuation. I don’t have any. But I distrust ALL extremists generically. That much is true. As for Sonia Gandhi, my comments were in response to a post on dynastic rule and the reply was contextual, not political. But you are free to assume I have an agenda. But didn’t you rail against my perception of your agenda as well? Shouldn’t this work both ways? This meme of attacking the idea not the proponent, you talk about so frequently?

    4. You are disgusted by the tone of the people commenting on your blog? You seem to have no idea how worse it gets on other blogs (visit The War for News, an indian blog dealing with the competition between NDTV and CNN-IBN for an example). I think overall the quality of people visiting your blog is much higher than many, given that the topics covered are general and not esoteric.

    In conclusion, while I find it distressing that I cannot aspire to being a “friend”, I am certainly not a foe. My comments are intended to generate discussion. You are free not to respond. But responding violently, or recommending the TOI to me is an overreaction, IMO. If you really think that people with differring opijnions should read TOI instead, then I will just stop commenting. (I refuse, BTW, to be granted the honour of being responded to just because I comment from the same IP. I don’t think there’s anything special in that.)

    PS – Why are you so bothered that someone called you gay? We all know you are not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 🙂

  219. 220 comments!

    I think, GreatBong, you should look at this in a positive light. If everyone agreed with everything you said, then you would seldom get more than 50 comments.

    Now you get 200 comments, and so many others come to know of your blog, and it gets passed around… that’s the way to popularity. Other bloggers feel happy when they get a solitary comment and that more often than not turns out to be spam 🙂

  220. @all: I had no intention whatsoever to defend my stand about this weblog, which, to me, has become an all entertaining cartoon show or at most a caricature of an intellectual discussion, with those annoying YOURFANS, moronic PIP, PIS et al. and perhaps many more disrupters in disguise. However, as Shan put the whole matter so brilliantly and in a supreme dignified way, let me just say a word or two in defense. Will the readers please take the pain, for once, to go back to my first comment on the post and the corresponding response to that by the weblogger? Mine just compiles with the Newtonian Third law; an opposite and equal reaction. I pity if the reaction outweighed the action. If now the readers reaction went out of control, this situation is the weblogger’s own creation. See, the fact is plain and simple, I don’t come here any more for any cerebral enlightenment, rather for pure comic relief from every day’s many mundane stuffs. If the decorum of a civilized and honest discussion is restored, count me as the first one to support this.
    And btw, number of comments and page-hits only show popularity. This is, of course, a credit without an iota of doubt. Also don’t forget, the comments of this weblog contribute a good deal to attract readers. But it would be a travesty of truth, if popularity is attempted to be passed off as a measure of cerebral exposition of a topic, what certainly this weblog is not. Anyway, that is my personal opinion. Thanks.

  221. this load of comments was GREAT

    a few more comments and we can make it to the guinness book of cyberworld records.

    we got a PIP who introduced me to the financial aspect of rolling a camera, a PIS –who has invested in a couch, fans, hisfans, herfans, fans of fans, lots of people who use the same computer, around 180 people who use different terminals, we have had nasty language — in english, hindi and hinglish and we are still going strong!

    now, we are asked to divide ourselves into ‘with GB’, ‘anti GB’, ‘anti-anti GB’…

    i dont think my venn diagram drawing skills are up to this

    is one allowed to be ‘just an occasinal commenter’ without any kind of GB bias.
    i enjoy your humour and language, don’t always agree with your POV.

  222. @Shan:

    Count me into the “appalled” crowd.

    you said this before:

    1) Shan said: ” I am not stupid enough to assume that Congress is a party made up by honest, hardworking individuals only. But between the two evils, give me Congress, and yes, Sonia Gandhi, any day.”

    You have in the past , unfairly let me add, accused me of attacking Sonia Gandhi and the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty in response to a post that was essentially humorous and rather open-ended. In other words, you have shown, multiple times let me add, that you are a frothing-at-the-mouth Gandhi-Nehru family lover eager to jump into battle even when there is no perceived insult to them.

    Nothing wrong in that. That’s your opinion and persuasion. But please dont call yourself “neutral” when all your negativity is for the BJP, George Fernandes and Arun Jaitley and all the positivity for the Congress.

    Another Shan-ism:

    Kaunteya, awright it’s clear you are a Pramod Mahajan fan. And agreed that since he is fighting for his life, we should be respectful. But please do not elevate him to the status of a great man just because he is in hospital. He might have created the image of a dynamic and tech-savvy person, but the fact remains that he is essentially a foul mouthed, crass, vulgar politician, as bad as any of the other rural lumpens that abound in Maharashtra politics.

    One doesn’t gain class because one learns to use a laptop, remember that.

    The class of politicians I am referring to includes his brother-in-law Gopinath Munde who, as everyone in Maharashtra knows, also has a concubine (a lavani dancer) in Pune for whom he has bought a flat. This is an accepted fact by none other than Pramod Mahajan himself, and is evidently considered normal behaviour. Certainly there is no outrage shown by the “modern” Mahajan.

     Concubines? See how you make “personal attacks”—whether Munde has a personal concubine or sleeps with a harem is none of your concern. This is personal attack of the worst sort, and that too without any supporting evidence (libelous) [except that Pramod Mahajan has accepted it—source??]just like whether Rahul sleeps with a Columbian is his personal business and noone else’s concern. And all the rural lumpens around him—none in the congress perhaps?

    Neutral are you Mr Shan?

    As for myself, I do not approve of congress’s dynastic politics. And no that does not make me a BJP as you once accused me. Because I do not approve of the bJP’s mandir mania, their rath yatras and the fact that Modi is still a member of that party.

    To quote from Star Wars: Only a Sith lord talks in absolutes.

    So Shan who here makes Bush-ian generalizations? If I find Sonia Gandhi’s sacrifice a bit “fake” (in my post I left open the possibility that she might not be but yes I did suggest strongy that this was all stage-managed), your reactiom was most un-neutral-like: you blew a gasket.

    Let me point out dear Shan that I have been called Congressi by the BJPs, BJP by Congressis and leftist by everyone else.

    2. It just happens to be that most of your comments are critical. Trust me that’s not the problem. The problem is that you make accusations : 1) I am a BJP man 2) I had pre-decided to hate RDB and almost all Hindi movies. Despite my showing counter-arguements as to why that is not the case by referring to you positive pieces I had written about not-that-well-known Hindi movies, you chose not to revisit your comment or clarify it in any way.

    This is why I call you a chronic critic.

    3. I reply to your comments because you do not come with different identities. I am sure most bloggers will tell you that there is something disingenous in that. While you may always wish to comment under an assumed name, commenting on different assumed names is definitely not on.

    4. Your definition of profanity is interesting when you find “whore”, “gay” (yes in the sense it was used) quite all right. And the fact that you find Basanti’s comments targetted at me all right speaks volumes for your so-called neutral disposition.

    5. I did not recommend TOI to you. Gawd ! All I said was that this is not TOI. This is someone’s personal blog site. And that person has “friends”—friends who will defend him. If this was TOI there is not a question of “friendship” as institutions dont make friends. But people do. “People with different opinions should read TOI”—when did I say that? How can I even denigrate mysef so low as to even consider RTDM as an alternative to TOI?

    6.Just because there is a blog that has worser comment threads doesnt make things any better here.

    In conclusion, by all means point out the gaps in my reasoning or tell me your counter-point. Just dont try to ascribe motives on me, which is something you almost always do.

    @DeepThirdMan: 🙂

  223. Proud Indian Producer May 9, 2006 — 3:32 pm

    Arnab, you are saying that RDB is escapist fantasy and it should be sold as such, not as Be The Change. Well, duh. The industry has always sold escapist movies with a promise that it is hatke, it will change your life, it is sabse alag, and everybody plays along. If it is deception, it is a well known deception that all customers are also well aware of, not deception like your WMD. If you walk into a fast food joint like Mac Donald and demand fine cuisine, the joke is on you. Bollywood has always sold fantasy and that is what keeps its customers coming back. Somebody has asked isn’t Arnab also a customer, why am I not meeting his needs ? Ha ha ha. Do I really want such disloyal picky customer who is insisting that I meet his exact demand without bothering about the other customers, otherwise he will put coal on my face ? If you walk into Punjabi dhaba and ask for idli sambar, that is really your fault.
    Now somebody has written that Swades is a sincere movie but RDB is not. Ha ha ha ha! When I watched Swades in Aurangabad more than half the people walked out before interval it was that boring. One person in audience loudly told us why don’t they simply buy one gen for the village ? In all villages we have tractors that run on diesel. So you buy one gen and pour some diesel into it, you will instantly have electricity for one hour. These days every building in many cities has a gen because we have constant power cuts and our children have to study for exams. If RDB is fantasy, Swades is 100 times more fantasy. Are you telling me that a country like my India which has put man on the moon, does not know how to make electricity ? We are just villagers sitting in the dark singing Ram Lila ? That you NRI will come and do physics experiment on our land with alternator voltmeter etc. to assuage your guilt and finally old woman with wrinkles will stand in front of bulb and say bijli ? Ha ha ha. You were talking about plagiarization I will show it to you here. So much of Swades is also directly lifted from one regional hit movie where villagers will themselves dig a 20 mile canal to solve the drought problem in their village. Then the government inspector will show up and ask who gave you permission to dig canal, do you own this land ? Villagers will say something stupid like land belong to nobody it is God’s gift. The inspector will say it is government land you have to first get government permission, apply for tender, hire contractor, and that is how you build canal. The villagers will resist so inspector fires gun and many villagers will die, so their blood will flow in that canal. That is the reality of India beta. Seen in that light, RDB is actually much more closer to reality than Swades. There are thousands of villages located directly under transmission lines but they have no electricity because the electricity is directly transmitted to cities. Problems in India are because of wrong allocation of resources, un equal incomes, bad government policy etc, for which one possible solution is to make an example of these government fockers so that they employ qualified people with PhD like Arnab to write correct policy, not their niece and nephews. But those PhDs are disagusted with government and running off to USA so we are left with bad people at the helm. That is why RDB resonates with our youth but not Swades. If RDB is escapist wet dream of Indians then Swades is escapist wet dream of NRI. But as long as both are recovering investment we are happy beta, we don’t have time to see which is more escapist less escapist etc.

  224. “And the fact that you find Basanti’s comments targetted at me all right speaks volumes for your so-called neutral disposition.”

    –The above was GB’s comment to Shan. Sorry to butt in, but the reason why Shan did not object to my comments (not that it’s his/her duty to “object” everytime someone says something disagreebale to/abt you) is because there was nothing acutely objectionable about my comments! Just because you didn’t like what I said to you, doesn’t mean everyone else has to agree.

    I did not use any profanities in any of my comments or call you a “gay junkie whore”, etc, in fact nothing very horrifying, except the fact I did not like the needlessly aggressive way you and the Fan Clan responded to some rather reasonable (IMO) points put across by Shan and others, opposing your view about ‘Rang De Basanti’, and spoke my mind – that’s all. That it turned into a war of words, or whatever, is because of your sarcastic and provocative attitude, which, as some others have said doesn’t really help matters and only adds fuel to the fire.

    The fact that you expect Shan to express loyalty to you by attacking your detractors speaks volumes about you and your machinations. Not only must we all agree with you, but we must also prove our devotion by fighting your battles for you, even if no crime has been committed. Just the fact that you did not like the tone of someone’s comment should suffice. Either with you or against you, huh? Truly Bushian! At the end of the day, if the blog-host himself is initiating these flame games, then can’t really blame me, Akash, Shan and the others for our so-called “misconduct”, because we’re only giving you what you asked for. As Akash so aptly put it, this has become truly become a Show & Tell cartoon show, where ppl compare statistics about everything from how much money they earn, to how many times someone visits their blog and using which IP!!!

  225. Proud Indian Seducer May 9, 2006 — 4:24 pm

    Sabaash Producer tharki! Tu zinda hai abhi…chal give us some more lectures. Sab kuch derivative aur relative hain na, isiliye to tera Sanjay Gupta is as original as Ingmar Bergman, Aamir Khan aur De Niro are all equal, tera Taran “Phukac***” Adarsh is a critic of the same stature as Andre Bazin, TOI ka phoren correspondent Chidanand Rajgaddha is same journalist as Peter Jennings…aur tera Rang de Basanti is the most creative pathbreaking film to come out of Indian cinema.

    Kauvva chalaa hans ki chaal.

    Bhai, you are in the dhanda to make some money by selling anything you can down to your underwear. Why the sham pretensions and criterion interview BS? Yaar why attack yeh ITwalo who are honest people who watch a movie, don’t like it, and just say that.

    Aur bhaiya, I don’t see your Ronnie wasting his time in some obscure desi blog. Tu ja na yaar kaam kar. B-grader bana aur bol to humvi kuch donation karu!

  226. And Basanti hasnt this become a love fest for you, Shan and Akash where each of you pat each others back and then ask me to get a “life”? It’s fine of course: after all, all of you can share an opinion: nothing wrong in that. It’s only when the yourfans and Joy Forever do than it becomes 1) its me under different guises. (because obviously people cant really like me and my opinions that much could they?).

    The reason stats came up was to show how frequently you people come back to my blog—again and again and then ask us to get a life. Now that I have replied to you, let me wait for Akash and/or Shan. I know Shan has said he wont reply to this post any longer but Akash said that some while ago. After which he followed up with a few more comments. Wait now that I remember you said Adios too….and here you are. Back.

    I hope you have learnt a bit about yourselves (intentionally in the plural) after this.

  227. “The reason stats came up was to show how frequently you people come back to my blog—again and again…”

    We return simply because we love you. This is what is called True Devotion, Arnab. We are the asli fans, not those third-rate clones! Btw, I never asked you to “get a life”, (other way round as I recall), but considering how long you spend recording and analysing web-stats…. 😉

  228. Dear Asli Fan Basanti,

    WordPress maintains your IP addresses “automatically” and puts them right beside your comment. So trust me, I dont spend any time maintaining your IP addresses blame the awesome people at WordPress.org for that. Much as I value your footprints and your comments, I indeed do have a life if not to just think of my next controversy-inducing post.

  229. Rang de Basanti sure seems to excite much comment, even 4 months (or so, I’m not completely sure) after the release. There is a certain irony, i think, in the comment section to a post which emphasizes the relative unimportance of the movie in the scheme of things being way, way, waaaay longer than the actual post itself (which wasn’t that short either).
    I haven’t seen the movie, so I’m not qualified to comment, other than to offer my humble opinion that shooting people is generally not to be considered a solution to anything.

    Meta-narrative is a narrative that refers beck to itself, that draws attention to itself as narrative, engaging, as it were, in the act of narration.I’m pretty sure about this, though not a 100% certain.

  230. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: Don’t even bother replying to people who believe that they have the right to express their opinion either with profanity or with personal attack or both. I know it is very hard to keep silent especially since it is your space/blog. I have never used any filthy language. Just because I (and others) agree with your POV and criticized those who have made insinuation, personal attacks like how less money you make compared to some Mr Indian Bill Gates of Bollywood with my logic (not with profanity or personal attack), I (along with others) have been branded chamchas. The main point is that the person who called us chamchas did not bother to criticize the persons who made personal attack and insinuations!! By the way they also included some body’s name about whom I made no reference at all. It is there for all to see. Let it be – I don’t care – I completely ignore these people.

  231. Hi,
    Haven’t seen the movie, but with all the hype, it is impossible to miss the story.
    In a nutshell, I agree with you. Let me say a few words though.

    It is easier to be a naxalite than an upright politician (sounds like an oxymoron, does n’t it?). My challenge to all those pseudo-patriots out there is “if you really care, join politics and be a role model; and stop making grand statements on what should be done”.

    Movies are a medium for living a fantasy, we all know that. The more seriously you take it, the more you are getting out of your ticket. That is for the audience. That is for the fans. Now critics generally are more emotionally disconnected to the movie. But your post radiates a lot of vehemence, and no wonder it is generating a lot of strong replies.

  232. @GB- This is your weblog and you decide whom to respond and whom not to. But may I suggest you not to respond to Basanti any further. Much rigor is being lost in order to belabour your point of view. It is serving no purpose whatsoever.

    @Raj Mehta- That was a singularly interesting comment. Please do come back to this blog and comment more. This blog needs rational people like you.

  233. Man You Really Said Wat I wanted To Say.
    One Girl said U dont have brain coz U dont want to change. She was under the influence of RDB. Had some strong arguments over this issue.
    I will b passing over the URL of this Post to her and very body else.

  234. Totally agree with you on RDB. Couldn’t have said it better.

  235. A huge number of comments, didn’t go thru all, so mebbe some one has echoed my sentiments already. According to me , anybody who liked RDB doesnot understand Indian Politics at all. Everything the defence minister does in the movie is akin to political suicide.

    This is a comment i had posted on a public forum, in which RDB detrators were taken to task: Do you understand how big a compliment it is to our democracy and our nation when people say that the youth is not interested in politics?

    Let me explain: That the youth is not interested in politics implies that there is nothing so wrong with the state of affairs of our nation that it affect the daily routines of public life. Politics of the country is in no way directly affecting the daily lives of Indian people. Yes, things are in a poor state, but not at a verge of collapse, not in such a state that nothing can be done. Despite of corruption and poor infrastructure, there is overall growth in the country and the youth is not just optimistic, but somewhat excited about his future.

    If things go seriously wrong with the country then the youth of the nation will automatically react.remember Emergency, Mandal and most recently Mandal II? Did u see how it gave rise to an entirely new generation of youth leaders and youth icons? But do we want such situations again (Arjun Singh might)? Isn’t the youth taking to the streets a sign of political instability?

    So I find the basic premise of awakening a generation in RDB faulty. let not kids do stupid things. And yes,RDB also shows our democracy in poor light. We are no China, that unarmed, non violent protests will be lathi charged. The media loves such stories, and any minister who allows such a thing will become a political liabilty for his party. A free press is the biggewst achievement of our democracy. Time and again, the top leaders have had to pay for corruption charges. Look at Natwar Singh, who lost his minstry based on corruption charges. Hence no doubt, the director either does not understand Indian politics , or is out to fool the people of India.

  236. GB – Bloody hell you have..fans

  237. @Proud Indian Producer

    Well dont lecture us on being escapist. After all, we are not hand in gloves with the underworld like you are. Nor do we finance jehadis who kill our own countrymen.

    @GreatBong – I am sure this post beats all records. And surely one of the most hilarious comment threads. 🙂

  238. eheheh…I always feel like the hero after coming out of a film where the hero bashes up the baddies…:-D

    RDB was a good movie with good songs, great acting, good colour, cinematography and an average script. Many things in the script failed to convince – the backpacking through Punjab got all of them into the skins of the revolutionaries? Also the 2nd half…was emmmm….imaginative.

    I came out of the movie listening to comments like – what a life-changing movie, ya..! I Dont think Bhagat Singh saw any such movies that made him into the person he was. Hence all my ridicule reserved for such people that got swayed by this movie….or for that matter, any other.

  239. “The main point is that the person who called us chamchas did not bother to criticize the persons who made personal attack and insinuations!! By the way they also included some body’s name about whom I made no reference at all. It is there for all to see. Let it be – I don’t care – I completely ignore these people.”

    @YOURFAN: Funny how minutely you recall every detail of posts that you claim to ignore…

  240. The comment above is made by Basanti/LOL/Raykesh Mehra who has now decided to become Anonymous. Just for the sake of full disclosure. And before more anons accuse me of not having a life (which is true) and tracking their IPs while they desperately try to post under different names (or no name at all)—its WP that informs me by email when a comment has been posted and no matter how much I tell it not to, also gives me their IP. Those damned people at WP have no lives too.

  241. Nothing “desperate” at all here (you really are clutching at straws now!). The “anon” comment was indeed made by yours truly, coz I hit send too quickly, without filling in the name field. Thanks for pointing this out GB 😉 And once again I clarify that I post only under ONE name and that is “Basanti”, no matter how desperately you try to prove otherwise, GB, as you have tried to do before with others. You really should try out AS’s suggestion of hanging a drum around your neck… Anyway, I’ll leave you to continue your very busy occupation of tracking IP’s 😡

  242. Whoops! That that last smiley should’ve been 🙂

  243. Yes of course I believe a paragon of honesty like yourself. Too much haste is not good dear. I am sure everyone here (except of course Akash Sen) believes you.

  244. I really couldn’t give a monkey’s balls what you belive/disbelieve. As long you’re happy being delusional then who am I to complain? Love you all the same x

  245. well, foreigners love OR hate india. indians love AND hate it. I have many indian friends n they love their country (motherland, tradition etc) but hate the corruption, lack of meritocracy, etc. Like most of u, i guess…

    I saw the movie. Way too commercial! and scary! Didnt know that even peaceful demonstrations could turn to bloody fights! No one seems to know how to improve india except by using violence. I wont allow myself to judge your country 1) i dont know it enough to make reasonable recommendations 2) i promised my jaan i wudnt anymore;)

    i guess i havent seen the worst part of the country… but will soon… on my way to bihar…

    keep it up!



  246. Hi,

    I’m very new to this world of blogging and I came here on express recommendations from multiple people. I am surprised at the number of comments you have on this blog. It just shows how popular you are or rather – how much you made the people reading it think.

    Maybe thats just the case with RDB. Maybe they made it in such a way that it was catchy enough for people to talk about it. Maybe it wasnt a great documentary on how to build a new India but maybe it attempted to be a good film. The mere fact that it doesnt come out well as a documentary makes you exclaim that it isnt a good film at all. A good film is not just about getting facts right. Hell, I think Muithun-da movies are a lot more entertaining and make a lot more sense than any of those Yash Chopra-Yash Johar-Sooraj Barjatya etc. mushy pieces of crap. When someone comes up with a story that is thought-provoking (be it positive or negative), people complain that its controversial. I just wish everyone stopped looking at movies like they would look at news channels. MOVIES are made for entertainment. Period. Anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot of the highest order. Of course, there is an amount of accountability that every film has to have but it doesnt mean that every film should look like a documentary. Then no one would watch them.

    Oh, in that case, I thought BLACK was a crappy movie altogether with hamming from almost everyone except Amitabh. Rani was probably at her worst. I dont think that movie, in any way showed how a blind person should be living his/her life. Saif Ali Khan won a NATIONAL AWARD for Hum-Tum !! Huh ??? For what? For playing a copycat of so many typical smart-a$$ American film characters? That was really uncalled for.

    I thought RDB was a really good movie and I have no qualms about admitting it. In fact, you are the first person whos been so pissed off with the movie. Everyone I know has seen the movie, liked it and has seen it a second or even a third time. It was the first movie that I ever saw twice in a theatre and though I wont say I was smitten by the movie, I thought it was a very well made piece of cinematic experience, well supported by the awesome music.

    When do we stop being such eternal cynics and criticize every thought or attempt or even a fantasy that comes along claiming to show a way out of the dark. I read an article by APJ Abdul Kalam (though I am not sure if it was really by him) that said that even the Indian media seems to be very happy to sensationalize and project all the bad things that keep happening in the country. All the front pages are filled with news of killings, murders, rapes and all the crimes that happen. Crime is a major source of news and even to a few, a source of selling their newspaper/channel.

    Why cant we be more positive and take just the positive things that come out of incidents. Why cant we watch RDB and appreciate the excellent cinematography, the excellent music and the good performances from the actors? Why cant we appreciate the effort to make a film that is not a triangle love story or a revenge drama? Why cant we merely appreciate the fact that the film provoked people to atleast have an opinion about it, not to mention a lot of traffic (and publicity) to your blog.

    Inadvertently, as my Math teacher once put it, “We all Indians are prone to slavery mentality”. The Pune Municipal Corporation proposed a plan to have a skybus in Pune and there were a lot of arguments about its feasibility. Those were justified but the worst argument I heard was “It hasnt been tried anywhere before”. That…is the slavery mentality speaking. Why cant we be the first to do something? Why do we just wait for other to take the lead and then follow far behind. Maybe thats why we are a third world country. Because of all the rhetoric that people stir up at the slightest opportunity, as slight as a bollywood commericial film.

    I have written on Swades. I did feel inspired by that film. Read my post on it and do comment. I wouldn’t care if you criticize but I would definitely like to read what you think of it.


  247. Kindly ignore the typos. I didnt care to edit the comment and correct them.

  248. @Elise: Worst part of the country is right !

    @GuNs: Agree with your assessment of “Black”. However I, personally, do not think there was anything cinematically special with RDB—most Hindi big budget movies have excellent production values nowadays.

  249. “a rather hard-to-digest police charge on peaceful protesters where the mother of a dead AirForce man is sent into coma”

    dont know if your NRI life allows you the perks of indian television – but something akin to this happened on students in india last week…specially in mumbai – how do i know it? i saw it

    sometimes hindi movies are not that far fetched. and you would know this if you knew your north east india before you left for greener pastures.

  250. Hey, you are a really good writer, bro. No question about it. I’ll be visiting your blog regularly, no doubt about it. So, I’m sure you wont mind criticism where criticism is due, especially since you seem to be doing that very well yourself.

    Anyhow, agreed all Hindi films have good production values. So……..appreciate that !! Dont say Indian movies are bull crap compared to Hollywood. The area where they are bull-crap is the story. Thats because audiences immediately reject uncommon stories with useless criticism. Bet my bottom dollar, a hindi “Phone Booth” would never succeed.

    All said and done, you still didnt provide any reason (against my comments) for your dislike of the movie other than plain old personal preference. It would hence have sufficed you to just say “I didn’t like the movie”. ZIMBEL, ain’t it?


    P.S. : Didn’t see you on my blog !

  251. @abc: Again you are too late. The “you-are-NRI-and-so-dont-know/care-about-your-vcountry” routine has already been done in the comment thread. And I have answered to exactly the same accusation you have made.

    @GuNs: 1) There was nothing new in your comment that had not been discussed before.
    2) Please do not think that I am “obligated” to reply to all comments. If this is all I did, my life would come to a standstill.
    3) You didnt see on your blog, because I didnt visit it. Was I supposed to?

  252. I do not agree with your reason and level of critisim on RDB. You are angry with the marketing methods, how people are considering it as a ‘change’ in bollywood, or how the theme can’t be followed by people in India. Agreed. But how can you express your views on a movie based on these factors? You need to consider the movie, and movie alone for discussing about the movie. You can be pissed at director, or marketing guys or guys who consider that a revolutionary movie in bollywood, but you also be pissed at whole world for that. But how can you convert all that towards the movie? Your article precidely does that and een if oyur view on movie itself is not so good, that is lost in your venting against so many other stuff which is nothing to do with movie’s merit.

    Is a good script? Does actors did their job fine? Tchnitians? How is music? Is screenplay and direction is interesting? Have they used any techniques that will be followed by other film makers? Is it entertaining or boring? Are there many loopholes in the narration or story? Have they used absurd camera angles? How good is cinephotography? How could they have improved in any of those departments? Can a commonman enjoys the movie?

    I think you should consider above only for dissecting a movie.

  253. @Sreekanth: RDB is marketed as a “revolution” rather than a movie—in an age where a movie is a product, extra-cinematic factors also need to be discussed: particularly when they play such a big role in the success of the movie.

    There are multiple ways of reviewing a movie simply because there are many aspects to it. I have concentrated on a few and have mentioned plot holes, poor motivation, simplistic assassination attempts as “flaws” of the movie (as opposed to the product). Now whether a movie is entertaining/boring is a very subjective assessment: I am sure from the tone of the review you could make out I didnt find it entertaining.(In case you didnt read the review carefully, I mentioned that the “masti” first half left me cold and why).

    So I find your criticism of my criticism ill-founded because you seem not to have read the second part of my post. I understand it is long and had I gone into a more full-fledged analysis of the plot holes, then it would have dragged on more. And I still wouldnt have been able to save myself from these kind of comments.

  254. Thats a curt reply !! Typical from a person who cannot defend his statements. C’mmon man. Its just a film. No use getting into an argument on this. You saw a film, you didnt like it, you wrote about it…over !!

    The fact that you tried to preach to other people because its not a good film and all the people liking it are morons is a mistake that you did. Also, your personal taste is not necessarily everyone else’s personal taste and an article like this is bound to attract criticism. All in all, I ain’t gonna kill you for that…bet no one is. But when you are criticizing something popular, be ready for the criticism yourself. And be ready to face the criticism rather than just ignore it and face the other way like a loser.

    And yes “Please do not think that I am “obligated” to reply to all comments” is a typically ‘sore loser’ statement, so stay away from it. If you dont agree with me, you can always say so. The fact that you reply to comments which ‘praise’ you IMPLIES that you are obligated to respond to comments that criticize you.

    The mere fact that your blog has comments enabled means that you are interested in receiving feedback from your readers. People who comment do so because they expect to start a conversation or a discussion, however short it may be. You dont just go out on the street and just talk random stuff to random people whom you dont know. If you talk to someone, it means you want to have a conversation with him. If that person ignores you, its a clearly outrageous thing to do, not to mention, insulting !!

    You were not “supposed to” read my blog. I just thought you might want to listen to other people’s opinions and thoughts once in a while. Read it if you want to.


  255. greatbong: While I agree that assassinating a minister will not solve the problem, to be fair to RDB, the Madhavan character did give an alternative solution somewhere in the first half of the movie – bring the change from within.

    Get into the civil services, administration, politics… I know it is easier said than done but hey, isn’t that the only “rational” solution – especially one meant for all the armchair “intelligentsia” to get off their butts and do something?

    Shouldn’t that aspect have been covered in your critique?

  256. Good one. I actually didnt get any adrenaline rush after watching the movie. And I completely agree that the movie is a bit stretched out in terms of baseline perception of reality. However, I am glad that such movies are replacing the subject matter of our typical enertainment flick with dances, songs, sexual chaos and marriage ceremonies, crying mthers and foolish vilians. I looked at it as yet another movie from Bolly wood that seemed to take the country by the wave. But te subject matter was distinctly different.

    There is an unintentional underlying mechanism (pertaining to todays youth) that is missed in your criticism(By the way you are an excellent writer and a very insightful critic). The movie is certainly based on the modern priciples of making best-sellers commercial products. The fact that the movie DID so well, tells you that there is a majority of indian population that will swoon to adrenaline rushes and short-cut fantasy solutions to long standing problems. This trick SIMPLY works when the masses are concerned. But that is why it is important to understand the underlying mechanism. If THAT movie could somehow steer the youth of the country to fantasies, then certainly a good idea in a good movie can swwon them in the RIGHT direction. Change is a very slow process, and you are right about it being difficult to depict. But change is nevertheless the ultimate ANSWER. And what the movie (RDB) demonstrates is that one can come up with an idea that can potentially lead to a revolutions. This is the beginning. What is going to happen in response to RDB’s success, is that there is going to be a competition to come up with something even more influential. Eventually you will have movies where the fantasy is not stretched too much, th eintentions come about sincerely, and the message actually HITS the right chords ofinitiating change in the mass brain. And then it is just a matter of some maverick movie maker doing exactly that. Once the rigt idea is presented in the right way, we will certainly see positive change. The cynics have to be patient (not a very good trait for cynics), and not get too carried away with overanalytical criticism and dogmatic conclusions (I am with Guns on this one). Once the momentum of change has been generated, it is matter of time (indefinte though inevitable) for the RIGHT change to occur.

    Bottom line. It is good that movies are “attempting” to shift the focus from dancing semi-nde beach fantasies, to fantasies of change. Using a fantasy to sell is not unacceptable, though using the RIGHT fantasy to cause the desired or required change is ESSENTIAL. So yeah. I think it is good (however bad RDB is, and I completely agree it is overrated hype) that the indian public is moving on to more relevant issues like CHANGE, rather than helplessly dotting on fantasies of salmans and maliaka and mercedes. Doesnt matter that this first attempt didnt work, atleast the wheels are set in motion. Be positivee my cynical friend!

  257. @Crazydiamond- It was a pleasure reading your civil opinion. However, I do not share your view on this film being a catalyst to the birth of more off-the-beat (which RDB definitely was) and rational movies. The reason is simply because this is not an AC adjusting knob which you can adjust to an optimum temperature (read the optimum change that you desire). The fantasy element was exactly why many of the people who liked the the movie liked it in the first place. In fact, so disgruntled are people with corrupt politicians that they subconsciosly condoned the act of killing of one of them (a naive and stupid act from a change catalyst point of view. The system will ensure that a like would replace like).

    Perhaps it was the flaw in the movie that appealed to people- to them it made the movie more humane. Also if more and more movies like these are made, the scarcity factor of movies of this kind will diminish considerably to affect popularity. In the opinion the director tied together two very different coloured and incompatible fluids to concoct a appealing cocktail- the history parallel and the plot. It would be a tough job to quantify how much the former helped add lusture to the latter- but the fact remains that it was not a very good mix or rather, it defied commonsense. Now if everybody started to realize the flaws in the society through personal sufferings, then history will always have ample precedants for the affected person to choose from to justify (in his own mind at least) whatever means he chooses for retribution. It is this manner of forced justification and then proclaiming to be a landmark movie which has irked GB. It is not the flaw which irks him as much as the flaw being projected and interpreted by some as something right and of the badly stitched plot being proclaimed as something path-breaking.

    Now why do people think that GB is transferring his dislike to the product? Why do you think that he is cynical? Why do many people think that he has an axe to grind? The very reason for the above questions are worthy of close examination in the light of the fact that none of the allegations are true. My explanation is that in order to impartially review a movie, the reviewer has to create a distance between himself and the movie. This disassociation of one from the object which one is scrutinizing is only possible if one leaves behind the overwhelming emotions which may come through one’s personal liking / disliking for a movie, and judges it coldly through a disinterested eye. That is exactly what this great blogger (India’s best- first GB , then daylight , then other bloggers) who is also one of India’s best film reviewers has done in this post. It is no wonder then that people laden with emotion induced by the film are seeing objective viewpoints as hyper criticism bordering on cynicism.

  258. Very well written. I watched the movie yesterday and to my suprise what I felt then I read the same words from you now. But Arnab, it has nothing to do with provincialism though, still I should say the way our generation was raised in Kolkata are quite different that those who were raised in Delhi and Mumbai.

  259. Proud Indian Producer May 24, 2006 — 9:08 pm

    Today after a long time, I finally watched the film again, this time on DVD instead of in the movie theatre. I watched the film with the Director’s Commentary turned on.

    Now let me say this Arnab – you know less than shit about this movie. If you listen to Rakyesh Mehra on all the key decisions made in the screenplay, the incredibly difficult execution – during the India Gate scene there were 50,000 people watching and Binod had to underexpose for the onlookers & still get the actors right. The first shot was at the Golden Temple & the atheist Director is in tears explaining how it made him feel. FIVE YEARS to get this film made. It is simply amazing dude. Most of the night shots were shot in the day & used DFW in post. Very conscious decisions to use 18mm in present & long lenses in past. Three 435s during the RDB title song. Man, Indian filmmaking has arrived. If people can pull of something of this magnitude at a fraction of the 120 million Hollywood studio budget, we really have to get down on our knees & thank them.

    I would request you to watch the DVD again with the Director’s commentary turned on and suspend your judgements for 3 hours. You will learn something useful. All this rationality & angst about the logic of the plot – that is trivial. Anybody can dissect the “story” and question its morals given their limited perspectives on life. But if you get beyond that and try to figure out why & especially HOW this film was made, from the Director’s pov. it will enlighten you and perhaps you will do a rethink. I just wanted to share that with you. Bye now.





  261. Proud Indian Producer, why do you have this special hard-on for this movie man? Why are you trying to lick their ass? Everybody has moved on with their life and onto another post- why are you still crying?

    Ok Ok we get it- this is technically the greatest movie ever made in Bollywood. Now please spare us man! This is too much.

  262. @Proud Indian Producer: Please sir. We get it. RDB is a great movie because Raykesh Mehra did all those wonderful things—after all he had to “underexpose” which I think is brilliant. Now please stop trying to make me like this piece of cinematic tripe—havent you guys made a lot of money already? Then why the DVD peddling ? And I would also love to know if you paid $59.99 for your DVD player? Or is it one of the Thanksgiving Day $29.99 ones with the $10 mail-in rebate?

    I had thought of not commenting again on this post but our PIP keeps raising the bar everytime.

  263. @GB- Pip is an asshole who think that his shit is a piece of marvel. Enter you and shatter that myth. Well, thats why he keeps coming back as he is in a dilemma now. His labored efforts at convincing you of the merits of the film are as much of an effort of reassuring himself of the merit of the film.

    But apart from that, is this film the system of a bigger malaise?

    This is from Today’s Hindu:
    ” And what about India’s much talked-about “soft power” in this “new era”? Its capacity to influence the world culturally? There is a worry that far from being able to influence others, the country itself is in danger of descending into a cultural black hole. “India goes Bollywood” was the topic of a debate, held as part of the Bonn Biennale, to explore the impact of India’s economic boom and increasing “commercialisation of society” on its media.

    Is there a danger that artistes and journalists in India are becoming too dependent on market forces?How big is the space for non-commercial art? And to what extent is entertainment replacing serious information and debate?

    These were the questions posed to a mixed Indo-German panel, which included Dorothee Wenner, head of programme at Internationale Filmfestspiele. Opinion, as happens on such occasions, was divided with at least one participant — an art consultant from India — strongly opposing the view that space for serious debate back home was shrinking and being taken over by commercial forces. But because there was no consensus does not mean that the issues surrounding the relationship of culture, media, and the market disappear. These are real concerns and, in fact, the debate that took place in Bonn should be happening in India.

    Ask any dispassionate observer of the post-liberalisation “modern” India and the answer you are likely to get to the above questions is: yes, artistes and journalists are becoming too dependent on market forces; there is little space for non-commercial art; and serious debate is almost non-existent. In fact, “India goes Bollywood” is a very apt description for what is going on in India on the cultural front — and in much of the media, especially in electronic media, which was supposed to herald a brave new world of information.

    Full article here:

  264. I totally disagree with your rubbish.

  265. Hmmm.. maybe all this hue and cry comes from the fact that the director and cast went around broadcasting everywhere that this movie is supposed to change people’s life, so on and so forth. They could have said “We have made a movie, it has catchy music, firang babe, and is quite entertaining..” but no, they chose to play the social message card.

    My take, its a movie. Period. Movies fall under the category of entertainment and as far as that is concerned, the movie is actually not a flop. Movies aren’t meant to be taken so seriously. Documentaries : maybe, but not a movie. Unfortunately for a nation where people burn buses and public property at the death of an actor, this level of maturity cannot be expected. Not from the masses atleast.

    Giving the plot due credit, I would say that had my family member, or my closest friend with whom I’ve spent most of my life with, dies, I too would have been blinded by hate and vengeance. It’s normal human tendency. Had these people gone and killed the MP and other big shots responsible for the Jessica Lal case when they haven’t even met her, then the story would have crashed.

    What Im trying to say here is, there is an element of personal vendetta in their motive of killing the minister which, i believe, gives credibility to the plot. What say?

  266. Neha Mujumdar June 1, 2006 — 9:42 am


    Salutations. This is a perfect piece of work, accurate, clear, and real. I agree with you on every count. Keep up the good work.

  267. After all that has already been said, i wont say anything mroe. I loved this movie for what it was. It reminded me of “Thelma & Louise” ..anyway great post

  268. dude.. u wanna know what the problem is..
    the problem is DEMOCRACY…

    in the 1900’s and 1800’s when democracy was being first advocated as means of government people had discussions on which countries are ELIGIBLE for democracy… you may dismiss it as western attempt at global domination but it has got lot of truth in it.. A country like India and many other countries in Africa are simply not elibgible for democracy……It will only leads us further down the path of ruin..

    Understand that whatever development we are making is not because of the system, its despite the system. The bureaucracy is a rotten web in which each Indian is born into. The only way anyone can develop in India is to either become part of the very rotten system or get out!!..

    I really dunno what system can replace democracy.Maybe India was never meant to be a single country. We are just too diverse for that. i know it sounds hard, but then truth always is hard and bitter

  269. Great going Bong. I think you’ve put down a very objective and a realistic blog on RDB. No doubt its an over-hyped movie.

    Drawing a few terms from my B-school education, all I can say is that the director has depicted “aspirational values” for the youth very well – dancing drunk, tottering around, driving around in an open SUV. All this sells. But what sells need not be good at all.

    On a more serious note, its really sad that we are entering or rather we’ve already entered an era of decadent culture as far as movies and music videos are concerned.

    Keep writing bong. BTW, I also liked your blog on Mithun :-)Looking forward to more…

  270. Great post Bong. Its been a while since I read this post, it provoked some thoughts which I have finally been able to pen down. Do take a look.

  271. arre yaar whats the cry??? its just another movie which pumps ur adreneline for sometime… period…


  272. @Virdi – the cry is because the movie pretends to be something more than what it is. Unlike say Dharmendra’s (& Mithun Da’s) Watan Ke Rakhwale, it claims to be more than what it is. Sadly manipulative pop patriotism like RDB is being touted as (1) great cinema &/or (2) a call to civic action. I finally saw the movie last weekend, & the more I think about it, the more upset I get. How dare they draw those odious parallels (& very uncinematic) between Bhagat Singh & modern day ‘desi dudes’? But I will say that unlike Dil Chahta Hai the kids are from middle class backgrounds (except Anupam Kher’s son) & don’t drive Mercedes convertibles to Goa when they get bored (as GB pointed out). And yes, I do agree with you that we should give RDB a proper burial & move on. KANK maybe, GB?

  273. Greatbong, I DONT agree with most of your views. Of course you are justified in being frustrated with the over-hype. But there’s more to RDB than just violence. In fact RDB says that violence will not get you anywhere (remember what happened with the “protagonists”?)

    I have penned my views at
    ..and since what I want to say here on your blog is almost the same as what I have penned down already, I wouldnt want to duplicate the stuff. Please go through this whenever you have time.

    Finally, they had aired the movie on Star Gold yesterday and during the breaks, they were showing instances of the change brought about by RDB. An example in case is the Susheel Gulati case in Delhi.

  274. I agree it was BS, albeit a better BS then the rest of the output of commercial Bollywood.

  275. Great review! I also felt that this movie was over-hyped and highly over-rated.

  276. I watched the movie much later than even you did. But your review (along with me not being able to relate to Dil Chahta Hai either) matches mine so well that I might as well not repeat it here.

    However I disagree when you say that movies cannot bring about a change…..call me an idealist, but a movie (not this piece of shit of course) can be serious literature. A movie CAN be a speech by a learned man. The thinking, internalizing and forming an opinion of course depends on who views it.

  277. I watched the movie much later than even you did. But your review (along with me not being able to relate to Dil Chahta Hai either) matches mine so well that I might as well not repeat it here.

    However I disagree when you say that movies cannot bring about a change…..call me an idealist, but a movie (not this piece of shit of course) can be serious literature. A movie CAN be a speech by a learned man. The thinking, internalizing and forming an opinion of course depends on who views it.

  278. The major flaw in RDB is to connect a personal revenge with the sacrifices of freedom fighters. I completely agree. But then it’s JUST A STORY. Rakesh Mehra is simply telling us a story. I felt it was not a badly made movie much better than many I had watched around that time. Somehow you really seem to have a personal vendetta against it. Also comments from people like Proud Indian Producer makes the situation even sillier.
    If it inspired some teenagers, it’s absolutely fine. After all young people do get swayed easily. I somehow see no reason to attack a work of fiction, a figment of imagination as you said. Again, I really don’t know how much of impact this movie had I somehow can’t comprehend why this movie matters at all.

  279. I’d like to see ya’ll smart ass critics out there to write a review on Om Shaanti Om! If you write even a line showing appreciation of that movie, i’d know right away that ya’ll are nothing but dumb fans of SRK and evidently quite jealous of Aamir khan! Grow up! and learn to appreciate RDB! it’s truly a good movie!
    Or maybe wanabe commedies catch your interest more! Well then i dont think u have a right to review excellent movies like RDB!

  280. I like movies and I try to listen to the story the director is trying to convey. I try to be unbiased. However I expect some sort of coherence in the story.
    I have seen people claiming RDB (and Lagaan) to be the best films they have ever had in there whole lives and similar kind of adulations. I will respectfully point them out that any , and I mean any, Ray film is far far superior than both in its making, story telling and elegance, I feel pity for those who haven’t seen anything better than RDB and Lagaan. I will say “Dude your life is big waste!!!!!”………
    A couple of young college kids who hang out in a place, drink beer as and when they like, fall in love with an English girl instantly , which looks like flirting most of the time, and finally die miserably for avenging the death of one of their friends is far from what Bhagat Singh would have done , and will hardly do anything but make a frontline story in a paper for a few days and then vanish into oblivion 🙂

  281. I think this review is not only badly written, but also completely misses why so many people identified with the film.

    But of course, it is entirely my personal view. Nobody has to agree with it.

  282. Hey, You know what you are a loser, a bong sissy guy, (oh u felt bad), well cant help. I am sure you must have ushered kudos on Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen. Well!! Let me tell you Satyajit Ray earned all his accolades by showing the poverty of India, which westerners like to see. He is an over rated writer, made some stupid films like Apu-Sansar, which was again over rated on the pretext of Kurosawa (another over rated director from Japan) said a few words of apreciation for Ray. Stop blabbering shit here and do soem productive work. tere b*** ne bhee kabhi film dekhee hai. I have saved some good epithets for you, next time

  283. I disagree with GB on this, was RDB overhyped ? yes may be, but tripe now that’s a whole different territory to which RDB doesn’t belong…it was competently made, had certain valid issues which were well handled (subtly), and had decent perfomances… now just on those accounts it is well above level-tripe. But the area where it gains the most points is the reason why most people ‘hate’ it. The supposed “solution” to the problem shown in the movie is the point that is most digressed about, but I feel on a different level the radical nature of the “solution” is what sells the movie to an audience whose ability to digest subtle stuff is limited. So, the director is not saying that killing a politician is the solution but by climaxing the movie with such a shocking act he is able to reach out to the audience in a much more powerful manner, as has been shown by history ” the deaf need bombs to make them listen…”. That aside, whether a movie is life changing or whether a movie like RDB can bring about any change is debatable. The allusion to freedom fighters though far-fetched is acceptable because the essence of both – ‘desperation’ is progressively portrayed and the character arcs shown allow atleast that much suspension of disbelief, the characters are desperate, (stuck in college, unable to face adult life which beckons) though their reasons are different and this opportunity for revenge allows their collective desire to escape be channeled into an act of desperation. And thats probably why it struck a chord with the audience because we are all trying escape something, but we can’t and ‘they’ could, fuelled not only by their own but may be our desperation as well.

    @ NITS

    Expressing reasonable argument seems to be beyond your mouth(which needs a toilet-cleaner) and your brains (which still needs to be ordered), I suggest you start slow, try spelling smaller words first like – a, an, to, it and then move on to more mature stuff like ‘soem’ and ‘sissy bong’. I am sure one day you too can be the apple of your mother’s eyes blabbering your shit to glory.

  284. Am commenting after ages…but i read it just today….
    I totally agree with each and every word you have written..
    I was on the verge of a physical assault, when I stated these things in my circle of college friends!

  285. I guess one can either agree or disagree.
    But you know something? Ah, what’s the point?

  286. Hello there, i cannot believe how late i discovered your blog!my bad luck!calling you humourous is the worst understatement i can come with!about this post, all i gotta say is FINALLY!i spent an entire two(or has it been three years?) years calling this movie over hyped and poorly executed and got angry, how-dare-she-not-like-this-movie looks!i was even called un-patriotic and too westernized to appreciate a good, ‘changing the perception’ type of an Indian movie.So thank you for this review!superb writing about democracy by the way!:)

  287. you’re very helpful thank you!

  288. Great review. I kinda liked the movie until the main characters complete the documentary and sit in silence. It was all downhill from there.

    On one hand the director wanted to make a preachy mainstream movie that “resonates” with India’s youth. He incites violence (the kind that remind you of Maoists, not Bhagat Singh) and then wraps up saying “they had lofty ideals like the freedom fighters, because I said so. If you have any doubts look at the detailed analogy I make between past and present in every frame”. The worst thing is that their apology in the end came off as a weak copout.

    Seriously. When Soha Ali khan’s character says “Useh(minister ko) maar doh!” I remember some viewers and myself going “Whaaaaaat?” lol.

    There is a very good reason why we approve the hero’s militant ways in “Arjun” or murderous ways in “Parinda”. We are never asked to snap out of the escapist mode and sit through a sermon, where things are explained and legitamized.

  289. Sadly most of the RDB bashers missed the whole point and are criticizing the PR version rather the movie.I loved the movie not because of the publicity shouting be the change feel good chant but because i saw it as a movie on friendship.The transformation from damn care college goers ,including a perennial repeater, to desperate murderers after all calls for justice fell on deaf ears.I ask everyone if such situation happens now(the crash) and the defence minister makes those remarks,what do you think honestly can be accomplished to serve justice?

    Method 1-
    you can sit on candle light march,make calls for justice(which our jhund junta will forget in a week for sure),file cases,appeal for investigation and all that democratic charade.But everyone knows that atmost the concerned minister would be suspended after being made a scapegoat(following hell bust yo ass for sure).On the other hand the case filers would be made to bear the brunt of political muscle flexing.Finally either you’ll die of old age before the verdict is announced(which would be inconsequential anyways) or everyone would go scot free in absence of evidence(corruption is mighty savvy these days).This is what actually happens in almost every such case if at all they are filed.

    Method 2-
    You know all about method 1.And you know who is at the top of this crap.And you are young.Then why is this act in fit of rage taken as an unnatural emotion?Of course it is bad precedent.Of course its barbaric and deserves the proper course of law.But what they did was in memory of their friend and was justified rather the waiting impotently for the outcome of method 1.The patriotism angle added later.

    Lastly had they deposed and surrendered they would be never seen again.If they did it through a popular media then too they would be bumped off sooner or later or made to rot till death(a fair trial impossible considering they would be facing the best of lawyers of the nation and the tag of publicity monger pasted ASAP).So what they did and what followed is quite logically consistent with method 2.

    The Bhagat Singh analogy was correct to an extent IMO.The group like the great revolutionary was disillusioned from faith in justice.Even it can be argued that Bhagat Singh too had the Gandhian option open and other moderate measure to resort to.But the thing was he just could not bear inaction.He could file case against Gen Dyer for Jallianwala Bagh and could have succeded in expelling him after years of court battle.But I dont think it would satiate the fire in him.Because he saw no hope.

    Sadly the standard interpretation by the masses has been saddled unnecessarily and judgement passed.For me it was a great movie and real balls shown by the ass licker Bollywood.I applaud the effort put on making this movie and it will remain special for me.

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