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A Synopsis of the Movie, Rang De Basanti

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Indian politics and governance, and how it’s helped spark a rebellious movement in a generation of children that were once fearful for the future state of their country. Indian society has been historically plagued by authoritative political figures that have misused their positions of power and mercilessly corrupted India, as five regular students choose to take a stand and fight the system, being forced to resort to violence just to have their voices heard. The social influence and effect that this film has had on Indian society is an admirable feat; one that’ll be remembered and acknowledged for many years to come.

The plot unravels with a British woman (Sue) who travels to India in the hopes of shooting a movie on Indian revolutionary figure Begat Sings, a man who heroically rebelled against British imperialism in Indian’s fight for freedom. She ultimately settles on casting a group of college students for the main roles (DC, Koran, etc. ); ones who couldn’t take her project any less seriously. They initially treat it as a joke, but when a mutual friend of theirs is murdered as a result of political corruption; the repulsive state of their country’s governmental system begins to sink in, as sense of awakening washes over all of them.

They begin to understand the reasoning behind the past freedom fighters that risked their lives for the sake of their nation’s future, and the struggle that was involved. This motivates them to risk their previously meaningless lives for an opportunity to change the future of their country, by resorting to violence in response to the Indian government’s immoral ways, and making a public statement to every individual who was unable to voice out their own opinion.

The story concludes with all of the cast members dying, but not in vain, as they knew they had achieved their purpose f spreading a powerful message that would bring change to the future of their country; and bring change it did. A significant message that I decoded from this film in accordance to Stuart Hall’s theory, was the symbolic representation of a society wherein citizens are living in an illusion of freedom of choice, when they’re actually enclosed within the government’s boundaries and societal standards.

The film didn’t exaggerate a single sequence, as it clearly depicted India as the country where the law can be easily bent with a bribe, as shown in the initial stages of the movie when DC pays an officer to leave a scuffle, and here the word of a wealthy politician holds more weight than that of the everyday, common man. India has always been submerged in a struggle for true internal independence, ever since the British Empire tried to conquer them in the past.

An example is their ongoing fight for freedom of religious expression, as the fact prevails that the tension between different religious followings in India are one of the primary roots of violence. This is due to the prevalence of the cultural caste system that’s been established in their culture for decades, which has needlessly created unnecessary divisions between people that share he same struggle, same standard of living and same goals. They’re unaware that this mindless behavior actually prevents their own country from progressing as a collective.

This is depicted from the beginning, wherein a Hindu activist group and their leader infiltrate a casual student gathering and violently enforce their rules upon all the people; stating that these students have thrown away the ways of the Hindu religion and culture. As a Muslim student stands up to him, he rebuttals in a racist undertone; demeaning his religion by displaying a lack of respect for his background. This is commonly found in Indian society, s certain religious groups go to extremes to establish their beliefs and try to enforce it upon others through violent means; rather than through peace and understanding.

This sense of interpolation (Louis Altitudes) occurring between one party to another creates unreasonable religious indifference, which transitions into general indifference, and thus splits the nation apart even further. Sue expresses it best by calling it a place where people just need an excuse to kill each other; out of frustration and helplessness. This ignorant ideology has lead individuals to blindly wage war against one another, while their moon-ground nation collapses as a whole.

The other central message that I decoded from this film was in regards to the ongoing struggle against internal independence in India that exists to this very day. It surrounds the historical take on Begat Sing’s legacy, and the resonance of his legendary actions being relevant to today’s current social circumstances, which are no different from that of the past. He was forced into taking a violent route against the British in response to them pitilessly murdering a fellow freedom fighter, as he retaliated by killing a British officer.

His arrestees resulted in a public outcry from an entire nation, but upon the assumption that they could silence them; sentenced him to death. This only grew into a bigger movement, as the youth of India began speaking out and standing up for their freedom rights, unwilling to be silenced by the outsiders. Today, Indian society suffers the same fate as they did back then, except the youth of India perceive the corrupted and dysfunctional ways of their own government as an excuse to blame the system and neglect the fact that their future lies in their own hands; not the governments’.

A failing sense of hope in the country’s decision makers is made apparent by Koran when he expresses his genuine lack of commitment to a losing cause by questioning what was truly there to fight for; the overstated but growing population? Or the current state of corruption? He continued by ridiculing all of their strong political stances by stating that the likes of Begat Sings, Chandeliers Sad, and other revolutionaries all died in vain, since the state of the country didn’t even inch one bit towards improvement.

This thought provoking but honest expression surely struck a chord with many of the youth in India, since they’ve all felt a sense of helplessness in the midst of Indian’s current state of affairs, but without he power to do anything, are forced to step back and continue onwards with their daily lives. The historical movements of the past are strongly emphasized in this film, in an act to raise the awareness of the current underlying issues that are troubling India, and the distance one has to go to really make an impact.

Political corruption is situated at the root of this film, as it perfectly reflects the state of policing that falls under the Repressive State Apparatus (Louis Altitudes) model. It’s an underlying source of corruption in India, as the group of friends are all awoken to their country’s negligence for their people’s well-being when close friend (Assays plane backfires and burns down, due to the Indian Air Force using cheap materials for their army’s fighter jets. He sacrifices his own life due to the government’s disregard for his, to save several innocent victims who would’ve suffered his fate instead.

The defense minister blatantly lies to the public, displaying another aspect of operating in an RASA, demeaning him as an inexperienced pilot, and that it had nothing to do with the quality of the plane parts. All of these force fed lies and turn of events makes them contemplate over Indian’s absence of concern for their future, as a death of a friend had also sparked Begat Sings to take action against the British Empire’s unlawful ways. It reestablishes the notion that the law system of India works under, and only, in alignment with the government and political parties.

The people are regarded as nothing more than a demographic, or statistic, by sect, religion, age, or similar; which depicts the model of an Ideological State Apparatus (Louis Altitudes) being utilized within Indian’s governing ways. This is depicted when Legman defies a religious-political group that he was previously committed to, based on their feeling of contempt for the equality of all people and only wowing loyalty towards their own kind. They end up beating him viciously.

This inhuman treatment of a nation that prides upon a notable history of fighting for independence is a sad, but true realization. “Sometimes a person can be pushed so far, that they find a place beyond fear; they find, a strange peace”. The notable impact that this movie had on a nationwide basis is one to be applauded, as the underlying messages in the film not only conveyed the core problems and issues that were holding India back from potential progression and freedom, but helped spark socio-political discussion and social awareness throughout the country.

From the suspenseful narration of the plot, to the accompanying music; it was a movie directly created and showcased for the youth. The production team was genuinely confident in the underlying message that they chose to encode within this movie, and selected the ideal target market to market it towards. It’s arguable that the movie took certain aspects to extreme lengths, but the message wasn’t to follow the actions of those on screen, but to approach the predicaments they shared in a similar manner.

For example, the film takes a violent twist when the students murder the defense minister in retaliation to him serenading the lives of innocent Indian civilians for cheap labor parts. Once decoded in a figurative sense, it actually displays the internal change taking place in a youthful generation that couldn’t care less about their country’s rundown situation, to finally taking initiative by standing up for their rights and rebelling against the system.

Yet, just as the government and political figures had force-fed lies to the innocent civilians in order to keep them brainwashed and compliant with the fact that they have everything under control; the five kids were forced o respond by hijacking a radio station and express their voice of concern to the public, representing the voice of a nation trying to speak out against the system. This is an extremity that could be avoided if the people of India had an equal opportunity to be heard, as they’re permitted to in democratic societies such as Canada and the U.

S. , but in this scenario, action had to be taken, and that’s exactly what they did. One ideology that was reinforced throughout the film revolved around change, and the fact that external factors cannot be altered without changing oneself first. Koran Shanghais is the ideal representation of hat 3RD expects out of the mindset of Indian’s youth once they experience this film, as his father was a powerful political figure in the film; one of the people responsible for the fighter jets poor parts, and more so, his best friend’s death.

As he’s trapped within a conflict between family and justice, he’s on the edge throughout the film, until he decides to side with the country, and kills his father. As previously stated, this is an extreme depiction of standing up for one’s rights, but in the sense of utilitarianism; there’s always a decision to be made for the greater good of the people, and that’s precisely what he did. He justifies this action near the conclusion of the film, when he states that the government is a direct reflection of the people that it governs, and until the people choose to change their own ways, they can’t expect the government to follow suit.

In conclusion, Rang De Absentia was an incredibly well-crafted film with a youthful style of narration and cinematography, with a deep underlying message that inevitably had a stronger impact on Indian socio-politics that any other movie of its time. The issues and problems of Indian governance and society that were addressed in the movie were accurate and far from fictional, and not only were he negatives depicted in a realistic form, but the idealistic solution was encoded as well.

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