“Munna: 10 ka 30…10 ka 30…
Passerby: 2 ticket dena…
Munna: Chal nikaal teen 30 k 2 note…arre 60 Rupye dena be…:
Passerby: Corner ka hai na…
Munna: Ekdam corner ka hai; ek yeh corner ka hai ek woh corner ka.”
Monday Morning: Around 9 AM as the advance booking window opened , was glad to be amongst few people who had lined up in front; before I had a rude awakening by the ticket giver saying ”Subah subah kaam dhanda nahi hai tum log ko, kya dekhna hai yeh movie mein, Urmila ko”. Taken aback i asked out of keen anticipation, ‘’Paper mein likha tha ki DOLBY sound rahega yeh theatre mein, woh sach hai na.” He shrugged me off saying “Usse se kya hota hai”, and after collecting couple of tickets; was smiling all way back home as I had booked a date with Rangeela on 16 Sept at Mehul, Mulund(W).
My excitement of watching this movie goes back to the first poster which was published in SCREEN magazine, where there was an advertisement every Friday which unveiled details about a movie which I still believe changed the way movies are made in Hindi.
JHAMU SUGAND presents….
A Ram Gopal Varma Film….
Of A R Rahman’s first Musical for a Hindi feature film…..
These were displayed in a span of 3 weeks with last one being of Aamir Khan in a long shot when he walks away in dark at the end of Kya kare ya na kare.
“Passerby: Ey picture ka ticket hai kya..
Munna: Nahi bus ka hai mangta hai…
Passerby: Kitne mein diya…
Munna: Arre sunta nahi 10 ka 30 bol raha hai…
Passerby: 15 mein dega kya…
Munna: Interval tak dekhne milega… chalega kya…”
The music date by TIME audio was decided and I was having butterflies & nervous excitement to catch hold of its audio cassette. Then before its audio launch something happened.
The first promo of Urmila running on a beach with Asha Bhonsle’s blissful voice and a catchy beat, had some real tough time in store for JAI GANESH music centre(Thane). Being a Rahmaniac was constantly enquiring about arrival of its music at their shop and once I got a hold of it; there was no stopping back of its music on my system. Morning, afternoon, evening & nights there was only thing which played at my home & in my mind Rangeela re, Hai rama, Yaaron sun lo zara, Mangta hai kya, Tanha Tanha, Pyaar yeh jaane kaisa hai, Kya kare ya na kare, theme.
Rangeela was one of the keenly anticipated films of those few months after its music release as a lot of careers were at stake especially Urmila Matondkar who was re-inventing & rejuvenating herself, RGV who never had a solid box office hit and was making his first mainstream entry into Hindi films & Aamir Khan who had given duds like Aatank Hi Aatank & Baazi prior to this. It helped as nobody had an iota of knowledge what this movie was all about apart from Aamir playing a tapori.
“Munna: Ey Khajoor chal torch dikah…Kya chalu ho gaya kya picture…”
Friday Afternoon: Walking up steps and being comfortable at my seat along with a friend in balcony, there was a brief introduction of a newly placed sound system which at those years was subjected to Sterling, Regal, Eros & Metro primarily for Hollywood movies. Rangeela was a first to introduce it in Mumbai suburbs and this music which gave an idea of how well songs can be enjoyed on screen was a life changing experience with smoke effects & a laser display to match it up. It was one of the most brilliant introductions to DOLBY SR(Spectral Recording) and an entire cinema hall was unanimous in appreciation with thundering applause. Eros at Churchgate did the same and have come across many people who went to both cinema halls just for this priceless spectacle.
“Movie watcher: Aye pair neeche lena…
Munna: Abe tu pair dekh raha hai ki picture…chal aage dekh…
Movie watcher: Arre apun bhi ticket khareedela hai…
Munna: Ticket khareeda toh theatre kya tere baap ka hua…”
The movie in brief was about a struggling dance artiste Mili(Urmila matondkar) who wants to make it big in movies as her vagabond black marketer friend with a heart of gold Munna(Aamir Khan) helps to achieve her dreams. And when movie star Rajkamal(Jackie Shroff) actually takes her under his wings and she lands up as a lead actress in his particular film, Munna is unable to express his feelings of love for her. Doubts and some situations make Munna feel that Mili is not made for her and maybe even she loves Rajkamal; who too has a secret crush on her.
Though not an earth shattering story to boast about, but here RGV shows his stamp of how he was on the finest talents in India at that time which he established with SATYA. The dialogues by Neeraj Vohra & Sanjay Chhel were outstandingly natural at those times and so straight to life unlike all melodrama that was dished out.
“Munna: Interval tak gaaneich gaane hai..Ek do miss hua toh kya sirf Jee(ZEE) tv par dekh leneka..”
Cinematography which was a very important companion of RGV’s film in those days; was by WB Rao throwing brilliant colours on screen with imaginative choreography by Ahmed Khan in his debut after Saroj Khan(Tanha Tanha) was unable to devote time & got replaced.
The standout scenes comprises of Munna taking Mili out for a treat in a 5 star hotel with some real laugh out loud dialogues & Mili confessing her love for Munna to Rajkamal running away from the movie premiere; which was a complete seetimaar experience.
Rangeela has many more remarkable moments especially Munna & Mili’s friendly fights, , Munna’s inability to propose to Mili and his interaction with best friend Pakya(played brilliantly by late Rajesh Joshi). Achyut Poddar & Reema Lagoo as Mili’s parents also conveyed much warmth along with Avtaar Gill(Producer PC Chopra) & Gulshan Grover(Director Steven Kapoor) in one of their best roles ever with some inside digs on Hindi film industry. Jackie Shroff was very competent and underplayed his role to let both Aamir Khan & Urmila walk away with most appreciation.
“Munna: Apun public hai public…kisiko bhi kuch bhi bol sakta hai…Jispe apna paisa vasool nahi, uska dabba gul…Chahe woh tera pyaara Rajkamal hi kyun na ho.”
The actual stars of Rangeela were undoubtedly A R Rahman who had a ball with a terrific soundtrack and background score which enhanced some scenes to great levels, Urmila Matondkar; who turned an overnight sensation the way she was presented and Aamir Khan in which I can proudly & boastfully say is his career best performance.
With a scar on his cheekbone, old rugged clothes, body language, stubble and such sincerity in his eyes the way he emotes; unfortunately of which is lacking in so many of his current blockbusters. Note him in a scene specifically where Urmila after coming from a preview screening finds him at stairs and as she expresses that her being a movie actress was solely because of Jackie; its Aamir with brilliance personified.
And last but not least how can we forget Ram Gopal Varma; the man behind this colourful cinema. There is a lot of misconception in general that Dil Chahta Hai was a changing face for Hindi cinema which I strongly disagree. Dolby recording, subtle one liners, relatable characters, first grade sound design(late H.Sridhar) and brilliant choreography; you had all in this and more including many careers launched. Its movies like these because of which we still have a lot of faith in RGV, searching his return to form.
As Shefali Shetty(Actress Gulbadan) says: Sitaphal Milkshake…Baraf Daalke
PC Chopra: 2 Sitaphal Milkshake….Baraf daalke…2
Production Guy: Season nahi hai November mein milega.
PC Chopra: Toh November jaakar lao….Jao….
We are still expecting RGV to come back and make movies which won’t have sepia tones, 360 degree camera movements and ear shattering background scores but wonderful colours of sound, visuals and can be seen in all seasons and mood; guiding us along this song Chal mere sang sang….Le le duniya k rang….Ho ja RANGEELA re….