aMangal Pandey

** There are no spoilers here or in any other review of Mangal Pandey. Whats written below as story is just history. So cool off and read ahead even if you haven’t seen the movie.**

Either they exaggerated a dude called Mangal Pandey, in my high school history textbooks or they just minisculed a great warrior in Ketan’s Mehta’s flick. Mangal Pandey falls short in every other area and gets sandwiched between classifications of mainstream masala flick and a artistic period movie. Rahman and Ketan Mehta fighting to walk away as weakest link of the movie title alongwith a host of other technical crew who have supported them in pulling down a movie of high expectations.

Or the whole of previous paragraph is an outcome of the arm chair critic in me, trying too hard in stopping me from enjoying this typical masala movie. Whichever be the answer, without Aamir Khan the movie wouldn’t have even deserved a mention. And we know that a fort called Aamir Khan can carry the weight of a movie effortlessly.

I’m surprised how the movie which was called The Rising throughout the production of the movie suddenly became to called as Mangal Pandey – The Rising. That’s probably when Ketan Mehta clearly saw he wasn’t making a movie on The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. He was just trying to document the history of a warrior called Mangal Pandey whose death triggered the Sepoy Mutiny. It was a personal account of Sepoy Mutiny’s trigger from the view of the man who kick started it with a handful of gunpowder and infinite dhill.

I completely upset not even by the movie but by A R Rahman’s background score. Nearly non-existing. While some songs were great to listen, they were not-so-well-picturised. Himman Dammija’s camera angles didn’t bring in the required grandeur. You might have to search for sensational sequences and be happy if you find a couple of them along the way.

With the Brits talking hindi more fluently that they wouldn’t have problem in repeating, Ek Ghaav Mein Ek Kisan Rahta Tha, like many southies. I have to admit the movie wasn’t boring at all. The screenplay was clean, the characterization however lacked depth. It had a potpourri of sentiments that a typical Indian movie need to be successful. From the mangal sutra, friendship, betrayal, romance and even a item number. If only it wasn’t called Mangal Pandey, I would have enjoyed it more. The yearning to enjoy a patriotic hero’s history stopped all that. Who’s to be blamed for that. Me, who drove 10 miles to watch it or someone who made it over the last few years.

A huge bunch of deceived souls eagerly await the next patriotic experiment. Why shouldn’t it be him ?

28 thoughts on “aMangal Pandey

  1. And there goes the Marudhanayagam reference again.. – The anguish of a frustrated fan on a failed attempt.
    I always knew you would link to it each time u talk about the hyped-to-no-end Mangal Pandey (and disclaimer: yet to see ‘Mangal Pandey’ a.k.a. ‘The Pot-pourri’ as some people around call it).

  2. I thought the film worked not just because of Aamir Khan but because it was about a sacrifice, Mangal Pandey’s sacrifice. By giving his life, Mangal Pandey gave birth to the idea of Indian independence. In the ninety years that followed, others were inspired by Pandey’s example and took up the cause. That is what makes the movie beautiful. Perhaps you’d like to see what I thought of it at http://www.cultureasaurus.blogspot.com. Take care.

    Naim

  3. I haven’t seen this movie yet but from the promos and interviews it looks like Mangal Pandey’s character is not eulogized with yarns of moral conduct. That’s a welcome sign. MP was a simple human being who practiced untouchablity yet visits a prostitute whose caste is best known to God. Aamir and Mehta need to applauded for not showing MP like a Gandhi or Jesus! I’m not sure if you went with a notion like this movie will quench a cinebuff’s intellectual crave! I feel it deserves a better review despite its pitfalls like shades of Masala.
    Not a word about Toby?!!

  4. “A huge bunch of deceived souls eagerly await the next patriotic experiment. Why shouldn’t it be him ?”
    You said it man!

    And how about the response/verdict from the public in general?

  5. well the movie is decent. could have been great though. aamir khan and toby stephens have acted superbly. but aamir is not a kamal. atleast he is sincere in his attempts. all the best next time.

  6. hi guru,
    this movie is way better than the likes of chandramukhi, tirupachi, main hoon na, anniyan etc.
    so lets support mangal pandey. is there a english version–“the rising”

  7. May be its bcos most of us being from way down south!!
    We quite surprisingly relate better to Seevalapaeri Pand(e)y than to Mangal Pandey;same as the northies appreciating Divya Bharthi more than subramanya Bharthi!

    -Raapi

  8. //boo Rehman din score much in BGM is it?? :-(((//

    Sneha, I was disappointed because my expectations were overshooting given previous movies of rahman in hindi

  9. //And there goes the Marudhanayagam reference again.. – The anguish of a frustrated fan on a failed attempt.//

    Srihari, You are true with that statement. I still think he should go for it irrespective of whether it will go through the Box office or not. And man, you sound like anti-kamal. neraya hindi padam pakkareenga pola irukku.

  10. //4 years worth? – lost ?//

    Nilu, not exactly four years. it was kick started two years back. but more than two years of work, it should have been an epic movie. thats where the disappointment creeps from.

  11. Jacky, True. He isn’t an ideal man. He drink, thinks untouchability is right. And yeah they described him as he was.

    Toby was great but his hindi kept me at the bay from enjoying him. I was jealous. he spoke better hindi that what i can πŸ˜‰

  12. Bala, Thanks. But more than it being Kamal, I was moved by his altruistic interviews which he gave to the media. he was honest about the cause. he said it was a movie for money and also to just bring in front a hero who was hidden from the history books all these years.

  13. //May be its bcos most of us being from way down south!! We quite surprisingly relate better to Seevalapaeri Pand(e)y than to Mangal Pandey;//

    Raapi, Agree with your idea. but atleast i was thinking that he and rana pratap were two genuine heroes we produced. ofcourse rana pratap lived two-three centuries before mangal pandey. when i read his story it was so damn inspiring.

    and hey do u still remember divya. you must hav been having a crush on her πŸ˜‰

  14. LG, am back again πŸ™‚

    ASs an aside, did you read about this?
    http://www.bollyvista.com/article/a/34/5286

    Sounds too outlandish to be true. Wonder if the project will ever get completed. Also, I vaguely remmeber you or one of the other bloggers here musing about Mani making a Lord of the rings kind of epic movie with Mahabharath as the theme sometime back. Amazing to note that Mani read your minds πŸ™‚

    I am maybe being a skeptic but I always have feeling that such ambitious projects like Marudhanayagam, Mahabharath would either never get completed or end up being a case of too many cooks. They should necessarily go for an all-star cast. On eof the reasons for the success of Mahabharath on TV was the choice of actors for certain important characters.

  15. Pl appreciate Aamir khan who is real achiever and who knows what he can deliver.

    Don’t compare Aamir with Mr.Marudu whose achievement is only in stage speeaches and even after another 25 years will be saying that he is ready to continue “marudanayagm”, if financers are comming with big money in thambalam’s.

    By the by I need to see kamal in kings attire. Can’t forget soorasamharam with big moustache. Reminds me of some vadivelu comedy

  16. raghu,
    no one in india is better than kamal in the cinema field. please stop projecting yourself as a fool by being anti-kamal. amir khan is very good. but kamal is great. he never interrupts the movie with unnecessary songs. kamal is a perfectionist. amir is not. by the way i think that u love stupid “actors” like vijay etc

  17. Ayyayyo! Blasphemy! I was trying to say you share the same anguish as I do…
    /*And there goes the Marudhanayagam reference again.. – The anguish of a frustrated fan on a failed attempt.*/
    I don’t understand why this kinda comment is always interpreted as said in a condescending manner. The comment was a musing on a fellow comrade with the same frustration about the fate of the movie and at the same time still hoping to see the light of the day…

  18. “No one in india is better than kamal in the cinema field. please stop projecting yourself as a fool by being anti-kamal. amir khan is very good. but kamal is great”

    ho ho ha ha hu hu uuuuu…….

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