When I was first told about selecting a scene to exemplify Hindi movies, I was absolutely lost. Honestly, in the past 16 years, I’ve seen a ridiculous number of movies. To choose one scene from all these seems like such an absurdly large task, and I didn’t know where to begin. Even though some bad films do have good scenes, I decided to narrow to field by picking my favorite movie. From there, I examined the scenes which impacted me the most, and ended up with the following Rang De Basanti scene.
To the sound of motivating background music, four friends take synchronized steps towards the radio station as the voice-over questions, “What is about these boys that makes them have no fear?” Their clothes change and they look like the historical parallels of themselves as the voice-over continues, “I think sometimes a person can be pushed so far that they reach a place beyond fear.” As the characters approach the camera, their clothes meld back into the modern form. The voice carries on, “A place where you find a strange peace.” Now, the characters are almost up to the camera, so the angle changes as we follow them from the back and watch them approach a building, still side-by-side. With the following words, the voice-over ends, “Where you free yourself to do the right thing. Because sometimes… that’s the hardest thing to do.”
What’s So Special:
Rang De Basanti is a story that builds progressively, each previous event only adding to the significance of the next. Thus, this one scene is loaded with feelings carried over from all the previous scenes in the movie.
To begin with, the changing costumes illustrate juxtaposition of the past and present. At this point, history caught up to the youngsters at last as not only have the friends finally embraced their characters, but they’ve experienced the resolve exemplified by their historical counterparts. The act itself did not take as much courage as confronting the consequences. Walking towards a victorious surrender, they display selflessness – the same selflessness that India’s freedom fighters embodied. Thus, not only is the juxtaposition relevant and symbolic, it is also sending a message.
The music which accompanies this scene is perfectly suited to inspire, to get your blood rushing through your veins in the unique exhilaration that you feel in the freedom of the right thing, no matter how difficult. And lastly, the dialogue. While the words do not overpower the scene, they communicate to the audience their fortitude of spirit.
The clip may be only half a minute long, but it is strong, inspiring, and most of all, empowering.
‘Kuch kar dikhane ko… khoon challa, khoon challa.’