Rang Rasiya
Do Watch It

Sanjeev Datta

Ketan Mehta

Film Review
Rang Rasiya:State of the Art Film


State of the Art Film.. yes

Spoiler Warning - Since this review is a discussion of screenplay, it does get into the detials of characters & plots, though this does not become a spoiler as such. But consider this before you go ahead & read.  

It’s unfortunate that even films like Rang Rasia struggle to get a release. After 6 years of hide-and-seek with commerce clouds, this rainbow shines on our skies to amuse us and eventually make us ponder on State of Art in today’s time by telling us over a century old story which faced similar hurdles back then..

Based on the novel “Raja Ravi Varma” by Ranjit Desai on the life of 19th Century painter this film is a Biopic through Adaptation.

The narrative is cutting between present - When Ravi Varma (Hooda) undergoes court trial and past as flashbacks trace the journey of his life from early childhood.

If we see linearly the life of Ravi Varma has been like a true artist who was just interested in translating his vision on the canvas. His character stays true to that of an artist, which is a great thing about real life-like characterization. This comes with character flaws of an artist that he tends to be selfish at times, and willing to go any length to spread his art, ruining even himself if required. This perfectly characterized Protagonist, holds the film like an anchor. We do empathize with him inspite of his shortcomings and that’s what the Writer’s job is which is done perfectly here. yes

Sugandha (Nandana Sen) is his inspiration who models for his paintings and ‘unfortunately’ falls for him. He is not so much involved emotionally with her – she doesn’t exist beyond his imagination but she is completely in love with him, even when he is not dedicated. He is just dedicated to his art and nothing else can replace his priority. Sugandha’s characterization is also worth studying. We identify with her the most and travel with her emotions. Due to this though there is not a lot of romance, there is warmth of love and we want the two of them to meet just for Sugandha’s sake..

The plot progresses with his life, which has been presented in an engaging manner that you never feel dull, because every point the story has high emotional quotient.

It is highly recommended for Writers for its characterizations and for any audience who is interested in period drama or a good love story.

There are small issues with the script though. Whenever the plot comes to Sugandha, her story hasn’t moved any further. Raja comes to her and she is there where she was, the way she was. This bothers more because we see her aunt planning her marriage right in the intro scene. Nothing goes forward from there..till the 3rd Act when of course things are irreversible.

Raja seems to be aging with a stick in hand and grey hair but at the same time other characters appear more or less same, especially the ladies in his life are as young and fresh as they were.. We could have taken this as an artist PoV had it just been with his muse Sugandha..but with others – difficult.

There are also a few issues with detailing. I wonder if things were that expensive in those days as shown in the film. And even the society would have been more conservative about opposite sexes meeting in temples.. there were different routes our great grandpas told us..but these are very minor issues given the other great things about the film..

Now coming to the hullabaloo over the nude scene. Frankly this has been the most aesthetically done nude scene I remember seeing in recent times. The story’s climax is based on this, the total third act develops out of this. I tried to imagine the film without this and seriously it looks incomplete. You miss the PP2 if you delete this scene especially when a similar story from mythology leads the story progression from here onwards.

There is one question but. Sugandha blaming him for ruining her life by selling her nude paintings to masses contradicts with the screenplay. How it happens let’s see..
Raja tells Sugandha, story of Urvashi and regrets such stories can’t reach masses because they require a model who is willing to bare..he says nothing and she walks topless in front of him voluntarily. Now wasn’t it clear to her that he was doing this to take those stories to masses? Then why blame him?
The screenplay passes this blame on the sahukari antagonist Govardhandas (Paresh Rawal) to keep the Protagonist clean..but in retrospect if we see this is what he had been all the time..an artist who wanted to take his art to every corner of the world..(This happens consistently in the film). Maybe it was done this way to avoid legal issues probably!

And how about Sugandha going all out accepting the responsibility for everything that happened to her? We have had enough of ‘men exploiting women for their motives’ stories and as discussed above he did mention to her all that. What if she says she was aware of the consequences and just did all that for sake of art and is ready to pay the price, makes her character bold and like a true model. She anyway does that and the film would lead to where it does now but this way her character rises above where it reaches now.
A wilful and not an accidental sacrifice for the noble cause of Art.

Just a brief mention of Nandana Sen without which it is difficult to end any discussion on Rang Rasiya. Nandana is brilliant with both performance and looks. Her eyes speak a lot. She just needs to rid that slight & occasional foreign accent.
I still don’t find Rang Rasiya as Randeep Hooda’s best..

Do watch Rang Rasiya at any cost..



   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1754709196

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