** 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 ?