'Roja' is the first movie of what was to become director Mani Ratnam's "political trilogy" ('Bombay' and 'Dil Se' being the movies to follow). The film though not quite as accomplished as the later movies, develops a very simple story of a young married couple, the subsequent kidnapping of the husband and the wife's attempts to persuade the authorities to help free him, into a well-rounded movie that works on almost all levels.

The relationship between the two main characters is credible and well-handled; the struggle of the individual citizen vs. government authorities and individual desires vs. politics, is dealt with intensely and even the interplay of the kidnapped and the terrorists works out really well.

It's a good movie, that you should really see, especially if you've seen Mani Ratnam's other films. The acting is solid, especially from Pankaj Kapoor as the terrorist leader and also from Arvind Swamy as Rishi (though at times he overdoes the patriotism). The on-screen chemistry between Arvind and Madhoo is fabulous. The music is an early and charming score by A. R. Rahman.

Definitely worth a watch.
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