A decade of ‘Rang De Basanti’



It feels like just yesterday that youngsters across the subcontinent were bobbing their heads to the catchy beats of Masti Ki Pathshala, but – believe it or not – that was 10 years ago! The cult superhit from 2006, Rang De Basanti, has completed an entire decade in Bollywood and its makers are celebrating with the launch of a new book.

The cast and crew of the film – including its actors Atul Kulkarni, Aamir Khan, R Madhavan and Sharman Joshi, as well as director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra – reunited on Monday to kick-start the commemoration. The book – which contains the entire screenplay of the movie – was also revealed, on the eve of the Indian Republic Day. “We are 10 years older and Rang De Basanti remains relevant still,” said Mehra, in a statement released earlier. “It was destiny to be part of a movie that became a movement.”

Rang De Basanti splashed colours of patriotism while narrating the story of a group of youngsters who are unexpectedly drawn into a movement for freedom. It also presented a political angle, with a sub-plot revolving around MiG-21 crashes that added to the storyline. The twist in the tale was the smooth transition from past to present and back. It provided a flashback to the freedom struggle and Indian fighters like Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh who lead the fight. The film garnered both critical and commercial acclaim, bagging the National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. It was also nominated for the Best Film (non-English language) at the 2007 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. As it turned out, Rang De Basanti became the most poignant and impactful venture undertaken by UTV Motion Pictures.

Other cast members included Kunal Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni, Soha Ali Khan, Waheeda Rehman and Siddharth Narayan. The movie also starred British actor, Alice Patten. According to a source, Khan was busy shooting for his upcoming film Dangal but flew in specially to attend the reunion. Another source said that Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman was expected to be a part of the conference and a grand party at Mehra’s home was also on the anvil.

Amrita Pandey, vice president and head of marketing and distribution at Disney Studios India, also expressed her admiration for the classic. “Rang De Basanti is a movie that we are very proud of,” she said. “Now that it has completed a decade, it seems as though it was only yesterday when we worked on this fabulous film. It holds a special place in our hearts as it sparked our journey as a true blue studio. We hope the legacy of Rang De Basanti continues to reign supreme, even in the years to come.”