Ketan Mehta's Rang Rasiya rotted in the cans for five years before it was finally released on November 7, and, going by the box office collections, this Randeep Hooda starrer turned in a dismal performance despite the collective thumbs up from critics.If it is any consolation, the film's been called one of Bollywood's best "artistically made and aesthetically shot" films, and even Hooda's come in for some rare praise: Many have rated his portrayal of legendary painter Raja Ravi Varma the best performance of his career.
This is not, however, about what everyone else is talking about. We list four interesting reasons why Rang Rasiya is a must watch, and how watching such movies can the help our society at large.
1. Respect women and her feelings
For a nation hooked on mind-numbing narratives of the boy chasing his "lady love" till she relents on the screen, Raja Ravi Varma's love for his muse is like a breath of fresh air. He doesn't browbeat his lady into submission and even respects her discretion: He stands by her even after she tells him she won't disclose her identity (Nandana plays a prostitute). Here's a man who never pries and respects the lady for what she is to him.
And then, when she decides to leave him, he pleads her to stay but is never the typical possessive lover most of us have come to know of on the screen. There is no reaction that would make you think he 'owns' the girl, a rare treat in Bollywood.
Rang Rasiya review: It's a piece of art that deserves a watch
2. Sense of equality -gender, caste, et all
Given the time and age he lived in, Raja Ravi Varma detested discrimination of any kind. He could make a "lower-caste, untouchable" woman pose for him as the muse. He could also take loans and risk bankruptcy to bring smiles to the faces of people from "lower caste" who were not allowed inside the temples in his society. When Varma saw a common man praying to his paintings, he decided to buy a printing press. He is informed that he does not have the money and then decides to take a loan, risking all his assets.
3. Democratisation in all spheres of life -- from religion to art
One big message that Ketan's Rang Rasiya sends out is the quest for freedom. Raja Ravi Varma fought and won the battle for freedom of expression in British court. Unlike the feudal system that existed before his times, Varma stands for freedom and equality. He wanted to paint what he wished to and wanted to enable the common man too to be able to pray to their gods just like the royalty.
4. The elegance in sensual scenes
Nudity, kissing and love making scenes in a film are but "requirement of the script", our filmmakers claim. It would be great if they could learn the aesthetic ways in which Randeep and Nandana's love making sequence has been shot.