Monday, February 06, 2006

the souring of springtime

eta: I wonder why the idea of someone dying - forget about killing, since no one seems to want to mention it - to wake up the rest of the world is so inspiring. Is it because it absolves the ones who follow of the guilt? Of the onus of being the first to get up and speak?

And everyone is so inspired by a film that pays homage to Gladi-bloody-ator. (I think my pulse is growing stronger, I'm beginning to find it funny.) Fingers through the mustard fields! Elysium arriveth! We go to heaven for killing the naughty emperor!

If anybody believes for a minute that murdering an oppressor will wake the rest of the world to life and freedom, then perhaps they also consider it a social experiment worth trying out? As far as I recall, incidents like that haven't usually ended in massive social change. Just in death.

--

earlier this morning:

That swank new film I watched last evening turned out to be a disaster, so. It almost made me cry tears of rage and definitely ruined my taste for dinner afterwards. I fear it’ll be a long time before I ever look at dal makhani without being reminded of the spectacle out of which I stumbled. Spectacle is just not a good enough translation for tamasha, though, is it? ‘Farce’ is a closer approximation. Or ‘mockery’, but both those words imply making a jest in some measure of consciousness.

Spoilers follow.


I tried not to take Rang De Basanti seriously. I did. Unfortunately I seem to lack the wit to take the joke far enough. I can’t even bring myself to think about the things about the film that were good – and there were a fair number of those. Or its equally real filmic, technical failures. Even my capacity for Gladiator jokes is sapped. I’m a sucker for patriotic, nationalistic films, on the whole, because they make me laugh so. Here, on the other hand, was a film that seemed to execute the basic idea of awakening the sleeping conscience of a young nation in a way that got me interested, and then systematically, deliberately, massacred my hopes, and then spit on them.

One applauds the idea of a young Briton deciding to telling the lesser-known stories of the fight against Empire. Britain could do with it, as Emily always says. I don’t think India does, though, since the film would have us believe that awakening our passive youth to the lives and deaths of some of India’s best-known revolutionaries (who they’d have been familiar with long ago, if they’d paid less attention to their hair and more to history class) will mean utter carnage. For those reading this without having seen the film: the college students the young Englishwoman casts in their roles for her documentary suffer the death of their pilot friend who crashes a substandard plane, no thanks to the corruption rampant in the echelons of government responsible for these things. They decide to untie the Gordian knot of the due course of law and peaceful protest and so on by murdering the Defence Minister. The documentary unfolds, and though we know what fate awaits the boys running into the cruel might of the Empire, we can never guess what happens to the revolutionary hopefuls of today.

The answer? They die. Cruelly. You know, the way mighty and vengeful nations put the assassins of their leaders to death. In the full glare of the media. We are left, then, with the idea that this ignoble consequence of an ignoble cause will bestir us to get off our arses and do something about our rotten government. Never mind the brilliant idea of Gandhian non-violence that changed the way the world thinks and became the hallmark of India’s independence.

I can think of several ways to oppose the accepted principles of Gandhian thought. An ideology so powerful requires its opponents. Factions of violent revolutionaries have always existed alongside practices of non-co-operation and civil disobedience. Gandhi’s mistakes bear very close examination. As, perhaps, the frightening idea that we are taught to value these principles because it suits status quo to have us believe them. One wants to know the absolute values of peaceful protest; to quantify, to be reassured. History does not afford us easy answers. But on a pinch, we’d say that matching violence for violence and committing crimes to defy law aren’t going to earn us any points in the evolutionary cycle.

But it’s a waste of time to ponder these questions in the context of something so horrifying and hollow. To this film, the poetry and pity of war never happened. In fact, neither did the odd century of socio-political, philosophical change that lies between Bhagat Singh and today. It makes the same philosophical and moral mistake that big, sword-and-sandal Hollywood epics do; to its own ends, it misreads the motives of the warriors, the source text. Troy reduced the Iliad to a greedy squabble, Alexander elevated an ambitious king to a great visionary of world equality. And Rang De Basanti takes the deeds of a few young men with their backs to the wall, with no possibility of their voices being heard, much less of escape, and presents their story as a blueprint for freedom.

And I’m thinking, those lads long ago that gave themselves up to prison and torture? Definitely did not go to the gallows or commit suicide with smiles on their faces and a song on their lips, unless they were psychotic. Don’t kid yourself. They probably cried and pissed their pants. They were human. They did what they had to do. History will be kind to them because they were desperate men in desperate times. I can think of other men in similar positions in the world today. Young, well-off Delhiites with fathers in positions of power? Not so much. I’m afraid our aging hero’s Frodo Baggins hairdo didn’t do much to convince me of the righteousness of his cause. India’s corrupt bureaucracy isn’t the Empire. It isn’t Sauron. And neither of those were brought down with bullets, last time I looked.

How many times was I to cringe at the subtle attempts to bring religion on the sides of the righteous? It’s okay, it isn’t like the Crusades never happened, you know. But those riots in 1984 did, too. Way to champion murder and lawlessness, to have Frodo’s Sikh family make some crazy dedication of his death to God! Way to incur divine sanction for our fearless crusaders, jaunting around the Golden Temple and sundry places of worship in the best tradition of national integration. Simply fantastic to see the famous one God of many faces bring all of them together to give us a giant thumbs-up at taking the easy way out. “We’re not terrorists, we’re just students angry with a corrupt government,” they say. They have a word for people like you in Afghanistan, you knob. It’s “Taliban.”

My disgust for the film’s grand ideal, in the end, made me think about whether I believed there was anything for which it was worth dying. One’s country? World peace? The people one loves? Anything or anyone, perhaps, for which we are responsible. The onus is on us to protect what we love.

Is there anything, then, that is worth killing for? Theoretically, the answer would have to be yes, bound to those very things for which we are responsible, after all. In the real world, the answer is no. In the long run, if we want to rewrite history – if we want to ensure a future, simply, the answer is no.

If there were a hundred people reading this, I know at least sixty, somewhat alarmed, would want to respond with a request to cool it. It’s just a movie. And were it any other movie, I’d have taken that advice. I’d never have gotten to ranting like this, in the first place. But this film wants you to take it seriously. It wants you to awake and sup on its milk of freedom. Don’t be taken in. If you wake up and decide to go about being inspired by the thought of killing people who make life hard for you, the door’s hitting your arse on the way out.

36 comments:

  1. A generation awakens, the audience suffers!! Thanks for the review, super...

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  2. I was just about to post my reaction to rang de basanti, but you beat me to it, and surely did a much better job than I would have.
    SO i'll just link to this post...:)

    All I have to say (0ver and above what you've outlined) is that I could watch the movie again just for the songs and teh Men.
    Sorry, but this is the first time since The Last of The Mohicans that I've encountered a movie in which the male cast is far better looking than the female cast.
    Siddarth and Kunal Kapoor, shirtless, prancing about on a field is definitely more than I had expected.
    It's a cheap gimmick to attract a female audience, and in my case, its definitely worked.

    And as for the songs, I honestly felt like standing up and yelling out the lyrics of both the title song and the Paathshaala number- they really got me excited.

    Unfortunately, along with every close up of siddarth, there was Aamir's cringe-inducing Punjabi accent to deal with. And Kirron Kher! Whoever said she was 'endearing as a punjabi mom' has certainly not watched Shashi aunty in Monsoon Wedding.

    In a bunch of twenty two people from TIFR (almost a class picnic) who went for the movie, I was the only one who thought the movie wasn't 'inspiring' 'fantastic' 'awessssome'.
    Oh well.

    Just another example of why you shouldn't stick around in a movie theatre after the first half.

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  3. I was speechless. It was traumatic to watch that movie, if you could even call that rubbish a movie. After an inspired rant, someone says that more of these damn calamities should be made in india and the only problem with it being, it was too slow! too slow, yeah, too effing slow was the writer's brain!

    Also, I could mail you the e-book right now. Else you must wait for the first paycheck!

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  4. Sorry Roswitha, I disagree. I loved the movie.

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  5. Aditya2:15 pm

    While I admit that there were overdone bits to RDB, I have to disagree with your overall opinion of it.

    Indian independence was not won by Gandhi and his ilk alone. Not by a long shot. In fact, the primary reason that we are free today is entirely because the British didn't have the money to rule us after WWII and our country was getting too hot to handle.

    Non-violence wins? Hah! That'll be the day. When a school bully starts harassing a kid, does he get anywhere by turning the other cheek? Not likely.

    Being closely associated with families who have been part of the Azad Hind Fauj, I know very clearly that MK Gandhi (Mahatma as we know him), was not nearly as great as the great masses of India make him out to be.

    And anyway, the point of the movie, which you seem to have missed, was not of advocating violence against the system. Rather it was meant to affect us the same way that the death of Saunders' affected the people of our country at that time. As a wake up call. As an indication that the system is not invulnerable. That if we stand up and look around, we can find ways of changing it. Both violent and non-violent (from within - remember the lines about joining the IAS or the army or becoming a politician?)

    It is naive to suggest that people are not willing to die for their beliefs. People have gone to war for their beliefs and equating all people who use arms against a sea of troubles with the Taliban is to reduce all acts of violence against oppression to mere anarchic behaviour.

    Human beings have a limit. You can push them only so far or they will erupt. How that eruption takes place is dependent entirely on the person.

    One does not watch a movie for what it does, but rather how it makes you feel. RDB was meant to make you feel that things are wrong, but we can change them. It wasn't a movie asking you to go and kill the next crooked cop.

    I agree that one should not take the movie at face value, but that is exactly what you seem to have done. A movie has to go beyond the normal, otherwise it's either bland and boring, or a documentary. Its upto the viewer to separate the events in the movie from their significance. It is sad that you haven't realised the difference.

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  6. @ Aditya:
    RDB was meant to make you feel that things are wrong, but we can change them.
    And how did they portray this change in the movie?
    Also, its hard to take a movie seriously when they show that on two separate occasions ( the morcha and the finale) the RAF starts shooting people without any indication of hostility from their part.
    Oh well.
    Such things don't happen even in India. And even if they did, indians do not NOT react, as shown in the movie.

    Why is it that the junta in the movie reacted so strongly to the shootout at the station, but not to the general beating-up of the masses at the morcha?

    I agree with one of the persons who called the radio station to speak to Siddarth : This is a very poor example to portray to the rest of the Indian youth.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. with regard to kate:

    the RAF starts shooting people without any indication of hostility from their part.
    Oh well.
    Such things don't happen even in India. And even if they did, indians do not NOT react, as shown in the movie.


    Kate, have you read Lord of the Flies? A bunch of kids isolated on an island turn to savagery and end up killing one among them. But such things, according to you, probably NEVER happen. Therefore the book shouldn't have been written.

    I am happy that you seem to know our country so well and have such absolute assurances about everything that does or does NOT happen here. I do not share your certainties so the movie worked for me.

    This is a very poor example to portray to the rest of the Indian youth.

    I suppose you also think that the freedom fighters who dropped bombs and shot people were setting a poor example?

    Of course, it is easy to be armchair philosophers. I am as much a pacifist as anyone else. But someimes drastic measures are necessary.

    Yes, whether they were necessary in this context is debatable. But then again, Siddharth's character agrees that it is a poor example and goes on to exhort young people to join the police, the IAS etc. Do you have a problem with that message as well? Or did you simply not notice it?

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  9. @ anindita:
    First of all, I did not mean to be hostile in the last comment, though I suppose I did come across as that.
    Not looking for a fight here..:)

    Yes, I have read the Lord of the Flies, though I don't think the comparison is valid here.

    We no longer live in an age where the behaviour of the police or raf is unaccountable, and when there are instances of the misuse of their power, they DO get pulled up for it.
    I agree that with time, we forget everything, as Anupam Kher glibly stated in the movie.
    But people do respond to such atrocities, and in the Lord of the Flies the social setup is entirely different.

    I completely agreed with the viewpoint that instead of sitting on your ass and complaining about the state of your country you should be proactive and contribute to making the changes yourself.
    But that message has already been given on previous occasions in other movies (Swades for example) and I honestly don't see what makes this movie any different.

    And at the end of the day, I don't believe that killing somebody is the solution to any problem, especially not one that is so personal.

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  10. @ aditya: Clearly you've taken this blog at face value. you may or may not notice that I never even stated the points you've taken it upon yourself to refute. I disagree very strongly with he film's message. I think it's a crappy, crappy film, at that. The Gandhian contribution to Indian independence is only up for discussion in this context in that it succeeded to a far greater extent than any of the other factions did. This blog is not an argument about history.

    equating all people who use arms against a sea of troubles with the Taliban is to reduce all acts of violence against oppression to mere anarchic behaviour.

    You do realise that I, and our late Afghani dictators, used the word 'Taliban' because it means "students" in Arabic? "Students," as in Frodo and his gang of happy bandits?

    @ kate and anindita: End the Lord of the Flies discussion HERE, I beg you. It's an allegory, and RDB is certainly not that. It doesn't even pretend to be one. I must confess the bits about the spontaneous Lathi Charge of Doom and the Commando Heralds of Ev0l Autocracy were a bit of a laugh. Government, whatever other charges one may level at it, is certainly far more media-savvy than that.

    Respectfully,
    ros.

    @ udit: I'm not quite sure where your grammar was when you were writing this comment, but thanks anyway? (And I don't mind waiting for a first paycheck. I'll swap you a belated b'day gift in turn - maybe a kurta from FabIndia? :p)

    @ mandar: thanks a bunch, dude. :)

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  11. Aditya4:02 pm

    @Kate
    The police forces, not only in India, but in the US, UK and many other countries around the world, have been known to attack (with force) unarmed pacifist protesters. A recent example in New York - a march to Times Square by people protesting against the war in Iraq... A whole section of the crowd was cordoned off and rounded up. Not only were they not officially arrested, they were not even taken to jail or given a trial or allowed to call a lawyer. They were not even allow to use the toilet!!! Nobody knows about this... nobody made any protest. The press didn't report it, people didn't get up in arms. Nothing happened.

    It is far more common that we in our glass houses realise. In Bangalore for example, when the clampdown on nightclubs happened? Was that not police harassment? People were beaten, arrested without cause, pushed and shoved around.

    And what happened? Nothing. The press wrote a few articles about the incidents and everyone went back to their normal lives and started partying at home instead.

    And as Anindita has said, the film makes it quite clear that violence is not the only answer. With all the callers Karan makes it quite clear that what they did was not the solution to the problem. Rather it is a wake up call.

    The parallels with the independence struggle are exact.

    1. Systemic failure of some kind (Jalianwala Bagh vs. MIG crash)
    2. Non violent protest (Simon go home vs. candles at Amar Jawan)
    3. Police brutality at non-violent protest.
    4. Violent retaliation against a single person identified as cause of said Systemic failure (Saunders vs. Defence Minister).
    5. Death of the conspirators (Hanging vs. Shootout)

    In the independence struggle these events actually happened. Please do not allow the dramatisation of these events to take away from the actual fact of their happening. Why should it be so unbelievable that ordinary young men and women can take up arms? It has happened - in India and around the world.

    Public apathy is common. People fighting to make a change is rare. But we can and should recognise and reward the goal (if not the means) that these people are working towards.

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  12. @ aditya: i don't believe the parallels are exact. refer above blog.

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  13. Aditya4:22 pm

    @roswitha

    I do know that 'Taliban' is 'Student', however, I still feel that you are denigrating the fact that many/most revolutionary struggles throughout history have been violent.

    I most certainly do not agree with you that the non-violent faction achieved the greatest results in the independence struggle. That is a myth perpetuated by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty (the rulers write the history books). In fact Gandhi was single-handedly responsible for the creation of Pakistan.

    I am not trying to denigrate Gandhi, I am just saying that he was not the primary reason why we achieved independence. It was a collective effort, both non-violent and violent. Neither could have succeeded without the other.

    I think that Anindita's reference to LOTF is more to do with human beings being inherently attuned to violence than to do with the allegorical nature of the book.

    Although, I must disagree with you, Roswitha, that the events in the movie are more real that you realise. The government DOES and CAN behave like this. Do you really believe that there have been no incidents where people have been lathi charged in public and there has been no outcry? Grow up! The media, however independent, is powerless to prevent the government from doing what it wishes.

    Why even the great Google has bowed to the pressure of the Chinese government. And this is public knowledge. Ask any journalist in India who has done an expose on police brutality, corruption or public shootings. Stories abound. Even if the journalist himself cannot be bribed or bullied, the newspaper, the TV channel, the magazine can be pushed into a corner. Remember Tehelka? Or rather haven't you already forgotten!

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  14. Aditya4:27 pm

    @Roswitha

    The parallels are exact. And if you don't believe that the police goes around shooting unarmed people in public places in front of the media for no good reason, do you remember the young British muslim who was killed by the cops in the London Underground for allegedly being a terrorist when he wasn't? Media outcry? 5 days? Public memory? One week. And this happened in the UK where the media is supposedly 'free' and 'uncensored' and 'caring'. Rubbish. Everyone looks after themselves unless they are willing to give up their current cushy existence. Just like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad, DJ, Karan and their ilk.

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  15. @ aditya: goodness, you are inconsistent in using sources from actual history to back up your arguments. decide, then, whether this is a film that is "going beyond the normal" or being a documentary of what really happens!

    as far as i'm concerned, we're on different tracks here. i'm not interested in discussing the state of the nation/world as is today - it wasn't my intention while blogging this and it isn't my intention while responding to you. thanks very much for the comments, but i'm bringing the discussion to an end, now. see you around.

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  16. I would so love to disagree with some parts of ur review...but unfortunately I have to run to class. However, really enthu to come back and write a comment regarding the same.

    Basically if I am not wrong this is exactly the same situation that happened during Bhagat Singh's time. I might agree with u to the fact that ppl didnt react immediately after their execution..but it definitely did help strengthen the azaadi ki ladaai. In fact they also show it in the movie RDB that Bhagat singh et al surrender themselves so that the entire nation knows abt them and the mesg is spread. So I have absolutely NO qualms in believing that it can be a method to inspire. Not as effective as intended but effective all the same.

    And as far as laughing... I believe it has been documented somewhere that those guys DID actually die laughing (I think all the 4 versions of Bhagat singh did account for it also). Now whether one agrees with that is a different thing.


    As for being slow and all...Tidu I for one thought it was slow pre-interval...but other than that it was fine. I am MORE than sure ppl have watched slower ones.


    Khair... its a movie and obv ppl are bound to have their own opinions, but I def dont think it deserved the mutilation uve offered roswitha :(


    ps: U shud get Tidu to buy u Aakruti's kurtas/kurtis. Much more expensive :P (and some of them are quite smart i thought)

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  17. @ golu: So, in essence, you're asking me to cool it. :p Do come back from class and respond if so inclined, but I'm really not planning on prolonging this argument either on the basis of the film's historicity or its practicablity: the little I have to say about that, I've already said on the blog.

    I found it morally reprehensible - if it could even be said to exist, morally - and that is my take on the matter. I don't think the end justifies the means, you see, and I definitely don't think that the ends - mobilising people with a shock tactic like this - can do much good in the long run. You're very welcome to pick it apart for the greater good of all, etc. I'm certain there are people who'll want to read spirited defenses of this film, at any rate.

    (...now to find a way to trick Tidu into coming to a) Hyderabad and b) Hyderabad Central.)

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  18. well yeah as i said...everyone OBV has their own opinions ... but u cud have been a little less harsh :D

    Well u can just ask tidu to mail u his credit card details :DDDDD

    ps: i still like lifestyle...call me old fashioned

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  19. just for this post and its comments... i shall consider watching the movie.

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  20. Excellent, excellent post. My friends have been badgering me to go watch the movie. I will direct them here. Thanks. :)

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  21. Ok wait, yes, grammar was non-existent on the previous one. Grammar and diction don't matter in Texas.
    Anyway, what I meant was that after I shouted myself hoarse over how bad the movie was and that there was no worse way to portray whatever little message they wanted to, the other fellow said that more of these things should be made and the only problem was that it was a bit slow, else it would've been more 'entertaining.' I'm sure there have been slower ones, that wasn't quite the point. Sorry if the grammar obscured everything and no, I have no contribution to make to the discussion.

    Heh, As for the kurta, yeah, sounds excellent, one of those tie-n-dye things straight out of the sixties, then I'll live on Venice Beach and roam around with a poster - "Make Love not Rang De Basanti"

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  22. Trick me is it! scheming woman! Well, actually, all you needed to do was waft a couple o' whiffs of that biryani smell over and a dash of haleem and ... ach! but no malls, and only a day there, then back to bombay! back to bom!

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  23. sup
    i have nt been to your blog for a week or so, and wow, has this last post has piqued interest.

    havent watched RDB yet.

    i remember watching the first half of Mohabbatein (my Volvo operator's perforce entertainment) and it was hilarious. i really really had a good time.

    going by that logic, i think your review was great advertisement for RDB...

    NOW, im considering watching it.

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  24. @ golu: I've only been once to Lifestyle and didn't like it much. Central is just - closer to home!

    @ archster: excellent, I think everyone ought to watch this film and marvel at its respectful distance from earth logic.

    @ aditya: oooh, thanks. although I'd say you ought to watch the film, all the same, to witness the horror of it first-hand. it's like watching a train wreck.

    @ tidu: now I hear you, brother. and 'make love, not rang de basanti' is now my status message. :)

    and come to hyderabaaaaad. of course I won't make you buy me anything (much).

    @ viv: er, I'm not certain what logic that is, but yes, go watch the film all the same. gawp. marvel. bang your head against the seats.

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  25. Wow! The comments are every bit as interesting as the! Congratulations Roswitha, you've got a good thing going here. :-) But, respectfully, people, we're talking about an Aamir Khan film here. Honestly, does anyone think his films REALLY mean anything? I’ll take a Salman Khan any day because, at least, he doesn’t have any pretensions. Besides, it's a little difficult to take RDB seriously when you find it has borrowed shots and frames from other, superior films. The funny thing is that, suddenly, patriotism means having to go to war for your country and dying and killing for it. Why? What happened to paying your taxes first? What about not fudging your accounts so that you have to pay less? What happened to keeping the streets clean and not spitting everywhere? What happened to not sitting and watching as women get molested on roads and in trains? What happened to not paying bribes? How many people can honestly claim that they’ve never paid a bribe in their lives? How about not pitching tents on public roads because there’s a wedding/birthday/pooja/death in your house? How about not using public roads to store your construction material, while your house is being built/renovated? How about not jumping the red light when you think no one is looking? And, sometimes, when you’ve got so much money that you don’t care even if someone is looking? How about standing in line, waiting your turn...just about everywhere? How about making sure that sex-determination clinics don’t run in your neighbourhood? How about actually stopping and helping an accident victim rather than just gaping from far because you don’t want to get involved? Illegal power and water connections, illegal construction...don’t even get me started! Pop culture, pop patriotism. Let’s get real. People. Let’s wake up. There’s more to being patriotic.

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  26. Sigh! this is just going to continue but what they hey :P

    @tomjoad: First of all: RATM rox :D
    Well I don't think the movie really intended to glorified violence - did it ??? AFAIR there is this caller in the end who calls these guys idiots and blah blah. They agree that this is the wrong way and stuff...and do mention taking up posts or becoming more responsible. Even when they go out to kill the defence minister...its not like everyone is trigger happy..yeh chalo lets go kill.

    As far as some of the things u mentioned like... not spitting/saving ppl from getting molested/not jumping the red light!!!! woah... I don't think one should expect only patriots to do such things. I think more than patriotism ... that is more a case of social responsibility (don't know if that wud be the same as patriotism ... but not to me)

    Also coming to the movie making point of view ... Im puzzled as to why it is bad if one borrows scenes from superior films. If u r talking abt the gladiator scene... I thought that the movie was just ok, but then that is a diff line of thought. Lots of 'good' (again subject to individual opinions) movies have borrowed scenes from others. Well the directors may call them tributes or what not... but borrowed all the same!! If you are going to use that as a main criterion to judge a movie, I don't think one is being fair to the movie.

    As for amir khan vs salman khan, guess one can just settle for "Andaaz apna apna" rather than chosing between either actor's movies. AAA rocksssssssss

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  27. @ tom joad: thanks for drpping by. your call to grassroots action is very inspiring. :) i'm afraid the film is more about the grand gesture and the definitive wake-up call - pity it's done so awfully. And Aamir Khan definitely needs to stop picking on (already dubious) historical events and turning them into mindless pop trash.

    @ golu: AAA!!

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  28. what u didnt like the movie :DDDD

    CMONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

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  29. totally irrelevant comment :P

    Hmmm... I was searching for the album of RATM that featured the song "The ghost of tom joad" and then realised that Bruce Springsteen sang it earlier. So mebbe u dont think RATM rocks :D

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  30. @ golu: Are you talking to me? I LOVE rage! Why wouldn't I - because I took a dig at RdB ripping off other films? That was just idioitc. RatM is kwool.

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  31. @Ros: No no sorry! That was w.r.t. the opening lines of my comment to theghostoftomjoad, who I generally presumed might be talking abt the RATM song :)

    Yes :) They MOST definitely do rock.

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  32. It was just a movie-complete with accompanying flaws.Its visualised quite nicely-though the second hlaf was a wee bit on the comical side.

    I will give it about 3-4 stars.

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  33. My $0.02

    I had the misfortune of watching this movie twice in the same day yesterday. Don’t ask me why, it’s too complex to explain.

    I agree, it’s just a movie and you are not supposed to over analyze it. As an avid movie watcher, my sole interest lies in getting my money's worth and I believe I got it in the first half. My concerns (and very strong ones at that) creep in when I hear a lot of my "young" office crowd says that the film actually awakened their patriotism. If your dormant Indianness was awakened by this movie, then the phrase "Let sleeping dogs lie" rings true.

    I found it hard to believe that a group of commandos follow an order “maar do sabko, koi zinda nahi bachna chahiye” from a person who is not revealed. I found it hard to believe that they actually still kill people who are willing to give themselves up; I have too much faith in my military for that to be true.

    Again, it’s just a movie! And that’s what they keep telling me… But when I look at the mass hysteria it created in my office, I wonder it that is true! It’s almost sacrilege not to have watched it.

    Its sad that people dont realize that movies have a larger impact than what they lead us to believe. Its not just a movie, guys! For millions of young Indians, its setting a wrong example.

    I found the second half to be unrealistic, jingoistic, and completely unpalatable. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra could have done a much better job with the ending.

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  34. @ mandar: a-men, brother. maybe you need to stick more people in the face with this. :D

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  35. You know, you are right. The damn movie wants you to take it seriously. You feel like you are inspired and your chest puffs out wuth pride et al during the course of the film. And whent the house lights come on, you think, duh, I am supposed to be inspired?
    One thing I really foudn refreshing though in the movie were the song picturizations. Imagine a mother singing to her son to stop hiding and being handed over his remains.
    I knew Flt Lt Rathod. The movie just leaves you with heavy, lingering sadness.

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  36. Pardon the errors. Mavis and I broke up a long, long time ago.

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