Rang Rasiya: Movie Review

Attributes: Movie Reviews

Rang Rasiya: Movie Review
Director: Ketan Mehta
Story: Ketan Mehta, Sanjiv Datta
Cast: Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Paresh Rawal, Feyrina Wazheir
I’d first congratulate the director and cinematographer for beautifully shot frontal nude scene without even a hint of vulgarity.

Putting the father of Indian Art and his artwork on Cinematograph is not an easy task considering the scope of his life and achievements. Here’s a film which is definitely not perfect but it dares to question the freedom of expression in a suppressed society and Raja Ravi Varma, the painter, who dared, challenged, dreamed, revolutionized, and a lot more! For those who are not aware, Raja Ravi Vamra was the person who gave human face and form to Indian Gods and Godesses and we still use those images in households.

Rang Rasiya makes the most of the drama (read ‘melodrama’) in the painter’s life and is based on the novel Raja Ravi Varma by Ranjit Desai which was originally written in Marathi. It tells you a story of an individual who looked only for beauty and imagined only beautiful things throughout his life despite of obstacles.

Ravi Varma, born in the princely state of Kilimanoor in Kerala in 1848, is married to a princess. But it is impossible to bind this artist with pleasures of royal family. He is a free-bird as he finds his muse in a maid from low-caste community and so is thrown out of the family. Also he is awarded the title of Raja by the  King of Travancore, but this support is short-lived as the king dies.

Being a fighter and believer, he shifts to Mumbai with his brother and continues to paint. Here he meets his another muse who actually is a prostitute, but this dreamer paints her as Hindu Godesses. Controversies follow and so the film.

The film is a must watch for multiple number of reasons which include the grand life of Raja Ravi Varma, splendid photography, soulful soundtrack, life-like performances by the lead actors and finely detailed art direction.

The film has its flip-sides too, but they don’t harm the film heavily. Putting accented Hindi in British mouth is something that Bollywood has grown out of and also we are done with Tom Alter playing the Hindi speaking Brit! I was also surprised by Kerala people speaking super-fluent Hindi. I may lack the research, but did Indian maids roamed in the house without any top or blowse during mid 18th century showing ample breasts to males in the family?

Despite these flaws, the brilliant performances by Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen, melodious tracks by Sandesh Shandilya, mature treatment of the ever-relevant topic and picturesque locations are the reasons which make this film a must-watch.

I would recommend this film to all those who try random art, serious art and also those who question the freedom in art every now and then. It is an important film and so deserves at least one watch.

3.5 Shor out of 5.

Tags: Rang Rasiya, Rang Rasiya Movie Review, Bollywood Movie Review, Hindi Movie Review

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