Just got home after watching Mangal Pandey – The Rising.
There have been innumerable reviews criticising the movie.
I agree with them.
I must confess that I have absolutely no knowledge about the life of Mangal Pandey, nor do I have any knowledge about the Sepoy Mutinee except for the fact that it occurred in 1857.
However, seeing this movie as a movie, I find it lacking in zing and well, in almost all other aspects.
Firstly, the movie seems very amateurishly made.
I thought, and still believe, that Ketan Mehta is one of the better directors of this country.
Probably this was a one-off failure.
Secondly, there are quite a few parallel characters who have no bearing on the story.
These parallel characters, in addition to stretching the movie duration, end up adding a lot of cleavage on screen.
You ought to watch Mangal Pandey for this specific reason, its got oodles of oomph for reasons better known to the director.
I didn’t complain.
Thirdly, the theatrics of all the extras seem out of place and cliched.
The firangis talking in anglicised Hindi makes one run for the nearest Rapidex Hindi speaking course book.
Toby Stephens and Amir stood out with their brilliant performances.
A. R. Rahman’s music was not quite upto the mark, except for the title track, which is awesome.
Kiron Kher and Rani Mukherjee did their jobs “amply”, if you know what I mean.
All said and done, towards the end when Mangal Pandey is hanged to death, the crowd breaks apart and attacks the English soldiers.
This was a moving moment.
It made me realise that I was able to sit in a reclining chair of a Gold Class section of a multiplex and sip on Pepsi (large) because of the fact that my country got its independence.
I owed it to Mangal Pandey for starting that spark.
I owed it to all the other freedom fighters of my country for giving me the opportunity to criticise a movie on them, all the while sipping on an American beverage.
Was I being fair? I don’t know, I was busy admiring the shapes of my popcorn kernels.
But yes, the movie left an impact on me.
It made me realise that a lot went into giving me this freedom.
I do salute Mangal Pandey, but definitely not Mangal Pandey – The Rising.
Now, if India were to play against England, would I support England?
After watching this movie, I am not sure.