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Rang De Basanti

Dir: Rakesh Omprakash Mehra
India 2006
157 min. Cert: Club
Every so often Bollywood produces a rare gem that breaks the mould by offering something more sophisticated than the standard musical melodrama. Rang De Basanti tells the story of an English filmmaker who travels to the sub-continent to make a documentary about the freedom fighters mentioned in her grandfather's memoirs. An entertaining mix of romance, history and social commentary, this quality production takes Hindi cinema in a fresh direction.

Successfully weaving historical facts with contemporary themes and characters, it's thanks to Mehra's smart writing and direction that you are instantly drawn into Rang De Basanti's absorbing plot, which flits smoothly from past to present. While Khan is on usual form, it's Patten who earns top points as the amiable foreigner who amuses the locals with her excellent command of Hindi. But it's the strong performances from the ensemble cast that impress foremost, all of whom are totally convincing as disillusioned youngsters learning the importance of personal sacrifice. Accomplished and universally appealing, this is the way Bollywood films should be made. - BBC Films