Tuesday, December 12, 2006

RANG DI BASANTI

One of the pleasure of being in a film guild is the ability to see free movie screenings; not only Hollywood blockbusters, but also foreign films, independents, and documentaries. Tonight I saw the Indian film RANG DI BASANTI. Unfortunately, it was not very good.

The film is about a British woman who goes to India to shoot the story of Indian revolutionaries as told through her grandfather's eyes. The actress, unfortunately, is not very good, and looks way too much like Calista Flockhart, who I can't stand. The story also imposes a bizarre narrative structure that intercuts the movie-within-the-movie (which is interesting) with the story of the slacker college students who will act the parts (which is not interesting).

Not only is the structure weak, but the pacing is terrible. There are seemingly endless music montages which are completely out of tone with the rest of the film (although they would fit in a Bollywood musical), and at three hours, by the time you get to the third act, the film has become predictable, yet it also changes tone so drastically it's very hard to believe.

It's a shame; with the right first and second act, the ending might have been meaningful and moving, but as it stands, it's unsatisfying melodrama.
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