The year was 1995. I was in standard 8 and not that big a movie fan. Cable tv was just finding its feet and the channels used to air a lot of promos of the forthcoming movie Rangeela by Ram Gopal Varma – starring Urmila (more famous as the lakdi ki kaathi gal) and Aamir Khan. By that time I was already a fan of Aamir, having watched most of his movies several times (even Aatank hi Aatank!) and had a high opinion about Ram Gopal Varma after Shiva, Kshana Kshanam & Raat. So off I trooped in to catch the first day first show of Rangeela (lets not mention with whom!) and I still remember those ~two hours as one of the most mesmerizing and captivating moments of my life. The rustic black-marketeer Munna, the wannabe starlet Mili, the superstar Kamal, the foot-tapping music, the seductive dances, the oomph in the songs…all of it was simply breathtakingly beautiful. And I watched it again and again in the Rukmini theatre paying 10 bucks each time. And it was my long-time favourite movie for many years to come.
The year now is 2008. On a boring Thursday evening, I saw Rangeela all over again – some scenes/songs more than once – and I was as captivated and as mesmerized as I was thirteen years ago. I laughed alongwith Munna, drooled all over Mili, sympathised with Kamal, chuckled at Steven Kapoor and his chaar-baal-aage idea and Spielberg-syndrome, swayed to the tunes of Kya Kare, Hai Rama, Tanha Tanha and Pyaar Yeh Jaane Kaisa Hae, and was ROFLMAO when Aamir shows up in his yellow costume – matching the yellow of the taxi!
I guess this is what movies should be like – so real and down-to-earth and at the same time, make you forget your own miseries and revel in the entertainment that they provide, albeit only for a short period of time. You immediately start to like munna – the loafer and feel sorry for munna – the lover. You admire mili who aspires to make it big one day, yet feels happy in what she does now. You feel sorry for Kamal who has everything, yet has nothing. Add to it all the sheer melody of Rahman’s songs – the racy hojaa rangeela re, yaaron sunlo zara and kya kare; the western-esque mangta hae kya; the melodious hai rama; the vivacious tanha tanha; the soul-stirring pyaar yeh jaane kaisa hae. Not until Dil Se did Rahman create such magical melodies. The climax is the highlight….when you hear that even mili likes munna, you almost are beside yourselves with glee and one can’t help but suppress a grin, when the lovers’ reunion turns into a war-of-words…again! A Masterpiece of a movie, I would say.
P.S: My Notebook’s Desktop Wallpaper’s been Urmila Matondkar since the day I got it…although the pic is from Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya!
P.P.S: Watch the Spirit of Rangeela video, with Urmila dancing away to some foot-tapping music: