Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Oscar entries from India

This year's official Indian entry for the Oscar's is "Rang De Basanti", the hit Hindi movie. It was selected over many other movies including the other block buster hit, "Lage Raho Munna Bhai". But Vinod Chopra was not satisfied with the selection and he is planning to take his movie to the Oscars as an independent entry.

I happened to see both the movies and just want to see how these two movies are off track from most of the other Indian movies and how both of them are good candidates for the nominations.

Both movies talk of trying to bringing a reform in the society, but then the narration of both is so different, but with a similarity.

Rang De Basanti, shows how we have to become part of the system to change the system. The group of student's there take to the path of violence and actually assasinate one of the ministers who they feel has wronged. The story moves further, that they find that their act, instead of painting the minister as a bad guy, exonerates him and makes him a martyr. Towards the end, they try to correct this my trying to reach to the people through the mass media finally becoming martyrs themselves. A very compelling and thought provoking movie, making each of us introspect of how we can contribute back to the present system we are in now and what paths we should take.

Lage Raho Munnabhai on the other hand, attacks the reform at a different level. It uses the concept of "Gandhigiri", a colloquial version of Gandhism. It pays rich tribute to the Father of the Nation and makes us all think how we can all adopt Gandhi's principles in our daily life. It portrays how the simple and effective tenets of Gandhi's philosophy, non-violence, integrity and perseverance, can create wonders; just like he did in getting Independence for India. The narration is in a very light and comical script to deliver a powerful message. Again in this case we see the use of a mass media to effect the reforms.

One amazing thing here is both the movies show the usage of Radio as a mass media to actually reach to the larger audiences in accomplishing what the protagonists wanted.

It is nice to see that we are producing movies of such good quality which actually makes one think, of what he can do to change the society or system he or she is in. I am not sure how much of effect these will have and whether it can be measurable at all. But surely, these are steps in the right direction. We are in times, where each one of us need to contribute to help change the society towards the better and any help in this regard via movies or however is always welcome..

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