Rang... still going strong


Two weeks after its release, it’s crystal clear Rang De Basanti is a huge success. And director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is personally visiting every major city in India to see how the film has connected with people.

“The credit must go to the audience for its success. It is crazy... I was at Abhishek’s (Bachchan) birthday bash on Sunday night. The entire industry was there. Everyone, from actors, directors to producers, came up to me to speak about Rang... Now I am dying to show the film to Amit-ji.”

In a day or two, Amitabh Bachchan is expected to visit a theatre close to his home to watch his Aks director’s achievement. “From day one of the release he has been in touch. Amit-ji was the first one I called the day the film was ready. The second weekend... and it is still going houseful. It hasn’t gone to the ‘C’ centres yet. The prints are consumed by ‘A’ and ‘B’ centres. My Mumbai distributor Anil Thadani educated me on the collections. Earlier there were 28 shows per week. Now it is like 14 shows per day. So technically the film has already completed 100 days.”

The film has also triggered a debate on communal strife. “It was so important for Om Puri-ji to play the brief part of a Muslim father. I needed a powerful voice. It had to be the voice of the minority. It had to be convincing. I was in Ahmedabad. I was invited by Ashok Bohra to see the film in old Ahmedabad, which is a riot-sensitive area. I had a really rewarding time. Suddenly, I realised I was watching the film with a very sensitive audience. The Hindu-Muslim issue in Rang... concerned them. I spoke to the audience after the film. In fact, the next show was delayed by half an hour while I spoke to the audience, which was 70 per cent Muslim and 30 per cent Hindu. We had an informal debate. They were very happy with my film because it propagates the idea of living in communal harmony.”

(If you want to catch this movie, then dial 4442220)