Raja Ravi Verma the name has become synonymous with controversy. Painting the Hindu god and goddesses’ nude was what got him embroiled in the storm evoked by the moral police. This personality if looked closely is magnanimous for he was not only an artist but a man with vision. A passionate fella. And it is utterly delightful to say that Randeep Hooda does justice with the character in the film Rang Rasiya.
Rang Rasiya is indeed colours of passion. It is a story of the controversial Indian painter Raja Ravi Verma who has an affluent background but choose the life of solitude to be one with his passion for colours. The film is based on the work of a celebrated writer Ranjit Desai and so we do not give much credit to the writers of the film for the storyline. However, we appreciate their crafting of the script which takes you through to the end and leaves you susceptible to the events that take place on the big screen. The script is precise and adheres to the theme of the film. However, there are loose ends which if overlooked can give the film a surreal touch.
Rang Rasiya takes us on a sojourn of Verma’s passion which lands him in trouble. It destroys the lives of many but the man remains only vulnerable to his art and thinks nothing of the world. His passion soon makes him a common man’s man. However, the moral police are the troublemakers and wouldn’t let an artist’s freedom thrive in peace. The consequences of the moral policing lead to unveiling of Raja Ravi Verma’s life story.
Speaking of the performances; the performances given are very earthy. The film boasts of veterans like Vikram Gokhale, Sachin Khedekar, Darshan Jariwala and Paresh Rawal who give a stellar performance. What’s noticeable is that Nandana Sen is often in and out of the frame. But this film is a Randeep Hooda film. He has poise and elegance to recreate the life of the painter effortlessly and flawlessly.
Ketan Mehta is an auteur with films like Mirch Masala, Maya Memsaab and Mangal Pandey: The Rising, amongst the many, adorning his filmography. With this film he achieves a milestone. The film speaks of the ultra-sensual architecture from the ancient era seen in Ajanta-Ellora, Konark Temple, Khajurao and read in Kamasutra . It is therefore in your face and caresses stark realism. What’s worth appreciation is the cinematography of the film. Not only it has eye-pleasing portraits but it captures the picturesque Kerala and Rajasthan all the while portraying the British Bombay. As also the filmmakers pay heed to the minutest details to make it a period film. The film shows the evolution of Indian National Congress, the spread of plague epidemic among others. In short, it beautifully recreates history tracing every possible detail. The film has its moments where the nudity hits hard on your senses but we believe that the filmmaker wanted to put across their point and they have done exceptionally well with it.
However, the music of the film is unnoticeable as opposed to some of its dialogues. Being a period film while some of its dialogues have uber Sanskrit mingled with Hindi there are those spaces where you hear Mumbaiya lingo which gives the whole scene a jarring effect. You hear something like “pati log” or something like “ekdum Indian”! Calls for snicker face, don’t you think?
But overall the film turns out to be a good, if not the best, period film. It is mix of history, romance and drama. While the first half of the film looks tad cheesy, the second half is a show stopper. To sum up, one can call it a decent period film that subtly touches the controversial life of the fêted painter.