Bold and brave, this is a story about the youth of India today. A young, London based film-maker chances upon the diaries of her grandfather, who served in the British police force in India during the freedom struggle. Excited about these memoirs, she makes plans to shoot a film on the Indian revolutionaries mentioned in the diaries.
She comes down to Delhi, and casts a group of five friends to play the pivotal roles of these revolutionaries. However, products of modern India, the five youngsters initially refuse to be part of the project, as they don't identify with these characters from the past. Not surprising, considering that they're part of a generation of Indians that believes in consumerism. To them issues like patriotism and giving one's life for one's beliefs is the stuff stuffy text- books are made of. They would rather party than be patriots.
In the film both the 1930's British India and the India Today run parallel and intersect with each other at crucial points. As the film reaches its resolution the line between past and present blur's, as they become one in spirit.
Miscellaneous During one of the flashback sequences - set prior to 1947, the historical characters are on a roof of a building. In the distance is another large building, and, on its roof, is a large satellite dish.
Miscellaneous The British commit the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre after the Kakori train robbery case. However, the robbery happened in 1925 and the massacre took place in 1918.
Lyricist Prasoon Joshi rewrote the ‘Sarfaroshi ki Tammna' song, by using one line to rewrite the entire song
‘Lukka Chuppi', was Prasoon's second song with Lata Mangeshkar
'Khoon Chala', was a song which used to be played at the candle march and after the Jessica Lal case, every news channel used to play it
Nobody understood the ‘Paathshaala' song from the film
In the ‘Khalbali', song from Rang De Basanti, Ziddi Rahman turned into Ziddi Armaan
Atal Bihari Vajpayee loved the lyrics of Rang De Basanti
The film went under severe controversy - first there was some uncertainty over shooting appropriate scenes inside the Amritsar Golden Temple; then the Indian Air Force requested an advance screening and caused an uproar on scenes showing corruption in the Indian Government and Air Force and the cover-up of an accidental plane crash; and finally, the 20-second horse race was cut on claims of cruelty to animals from the Animal Welfare Board.
The film was to be made both in Hindi and English versions. The English version was to be titled "Paint It Yellow". The plans for the English version were dropped subsequently.
In India, the color of saffron represents sacrifice. When someone says, "Main rang de basanti", ("paint me saffron") it means that person is ready to be sacrificed for a great cause. saffron is also a predominant color in the movie.
Aamir Khan was initially uncertain about taking on the role of DJ, as he was in his 40s and DJ was 25 years old Punjabi in the film. He eventually accepted, though, and hired a tutor to aid him in Punjabi speech and accents.
Hrithik Roshan turned down the role of Karan.
Shah Rukh Khan was the original choice for Flight Lieutenant Ajay Rathod's character, but he couldn't do it owing to his busy schedule. This cameo turned out to be the best bet of Madhavan in his career in Bollywood.
The title "Rang De Basanti" is based on a patriotic poem written by Dushyant Kumar.
A.R Rehman worked on the music of this film for three years.
This movie was chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2007.
Shah Rukh Khan was the original pick to play DJ, but the shooting for the film was in Delhi, and Khan was forced to decline because he was shooting "Paheli" at the time, and did not want to conflict schedules.
Arjun Rampal was signed to do the film, but was irritated with director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's indecisiveness about what he wanted to do with the characters and the script. He called him "very confused" and "unprofessional" and dropped out. Arjun Rampal also stated his regret in even agreeing to do the film in that he lost a lot of good work in the three months he spent committed to it.
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