Rang Rasiya / Colors of Passion poster

Rang Rasiya / Colors of Passion

wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

quick review:

A misunderstood, controversial painter could've made for a more engaging film. But this ain't a bad start for bold topics at all.

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Director: Ketan Mehta
Running time: 120 minutes
Genres: History, Noir, Romance
More Movie Info

Rang Rasiya is bold. Not just because of the one scene with sex and nudity, but also because of the theme(s) it picks on and the narrative they've chosen to depict the concepts. For that itself, Rang Rasiya could be watched by an avid film buff. However, beyond that, it comes across as a mish-mash of themes, all trying to have their say and none getting enough space to do it.

Randeep Hooda as a misunderstood, controversial painter is a strong lead. I have come to love his choice of films and his growing strength as a performer. Sure, he still comes across as repetitive across films with his brooding characters. But, Rang Rasiya gives him a little more width for expression and he thrives.

Nandana Sen is gorgeous and gives her character the fullest too. For once, the lead lady character in a Hindi film is used for her body, and yet it doesn't look sleazy or doesn't seem like objectification. The credit for that of course goes to the writing and the story.

Unfortunately though, the chemistry between the two leads seems forced. The intimate scenes though much more explicit and thus seemingly more natural also come across as self-conscious. In fact, that can be said about the film as a whole.

The makers are very aware that they are trying something different, and while it is not pretentious of self-consumed, the awareness shows. This doesn't let me get involved as an audience. Also, the narrative is too episodic thus not allowing a smooth flow from one scenario into another. That fluidity is of utmost importance to a film that attempts to be so poetic.

And this film, for its subject matter deserves to be poetic too. For one, it is set in a period more than 100 years ago. That era lends itself to romanticization on its own, which wasn't capitalised on completely. To top it off, you have a painter who wishes to express things that the world around him is not ready for. What more could lend itself to lyricism in a film?

Also, this alone was good enough to make for a full length feature film. However, issues related to gender roles, freedom, value of art and the creator, philanthropy, religion and more are brought into the realm creating a potpourri that doesn't blend well together. Not to mention, each thread feels like it is left midway. I am all for open-ended stories, but this seemed a unintentional.

I would still watch Rang Rasiya, for what it's trying to do. The hope is that as there are more and more bold themes, these creases will be ironed out to give us a wholesome, less self-aware film. Till then, this is a decent enough start.

- meeta, a part of the audience

24 reviewers(?) - 10 yays 12 so-so 2 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...With a hope that the future India would learn this important lesson of giving that ‘artistic freedom’ to its creators through this brave, thoughtful and honest depiction by Ketan Mehta, do watch this at the earliest and know more about your history with a different perspective.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Life : ...And thank god and cinema for Ketan Mehta, who lives to tell the tale. If you love art and cinema, and cinema as art, then don’t miss this one.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...As a biopic, Rang Rasiya offers a treasure trove of history and detail. It’s got the right hues and shades. It’s got the impeccable references. But even so, it needed that little bit of panache, which Ketan Mehta misses out on. This could’ve been a true masterpiece.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Ketan Mehta has done a commendable job as Rang Rasiya is far ahead of its contemporaries, which are still dealing with insane item numbers and illogical heists. - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/rang-rasiya-review-the-randeep-hooda-starrer-is-much-more-than-a-period-film/article1-1283218.aspx#sthash.jJGgRk6a.dpuf... full review

Thumbs up, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...Smeared in color, vibrancy and sensuality, Rang Rasiya revels in its operatic, dramatic beauty and narrates a liberating tale of love, passion and freedom of vision. Ketan Mehta brings out the best from his actors Randeep and Nandana; especially the latter who unleashes on screen much beyond her sublime beauty, the vulnerability of her character. The inspirational story tells an uninhibited tale of a man who will always remain eternal through his art... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...Still, what one can't ignore is the fact that as a whole Rang Rasiya is a well intended story that is so topical that one is not amused by the irony of it all. As for a couple of key pointers coming out of the film, first and foremost it establishes how Raja Ravi Varma had a hand in funding Dada Saheb Phalke's dream of making a film. And secondly, Censor Board has actually allowed frontal nudity of Nandana Sen to be retained for screen. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ... Well, this movie has all the dum required for watching good historical film with great storytelling and fantastic performances. The masala lovers might shy away from this movie or may only watch for the wrong reasons. But, this movie will be cherished by people who love good cinema and want to know more about real life characters outside our history books. 'Rang Rasiya' is, like celebrating cinematic boldness where bold is not in terms of nudity, but in terms of our rich heritage and proud culture.... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...This film has been in the cans for several years, but given the timelessness of the story it tells and the crucial issues it addresses, it has lost none of its relevance. Rang Rasiya is as good a film as any you have, or will, see this year. Strongly recommended. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara , Now Running.com : ...Irrespective of any fault Rang Rasiya is a piece of cinema you could watch. This one will stand as one of the most deserving biopics in an industry which is suddenly trying to make films on just about anyone. Rang Rasiya is on a league of its own, meaningful and relevant a century after the man has gone.... full review

Thumbs up, by Jyothi Venkatesh, Star Blockbuster : ...Rangrasiya is not for the conservative viewer but for those who those who are historically oriented and is a very commendable masterpiece by Ketan Mehta, who always sets out to make something which is entirely different from the others of his ilk. ... full review

So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...RANG RASIYA is for the artistic and creative people who believe in freedom of expression but it surely won't woo the janta who are looking for entertainment and a getaway this weekend.... full review

So-So, Daily Bhaskar : ...Watch it if you have a thing for history, to know how Dada Saheb Phalke played a prodigy to Raja Ravi Varma and of course for the aesthetically rich treatment of the plot.... full review

So-So, by Smita Vyas Kumar, Desi Martini : ... An absorbing story told in a sort of stilted manner. But watchable ... full review

So-So, by Aneela Zeb Babar, Desi Martini : ...Same Old Same Bold... full review

So-So, by Simantini Dey , FirstPost : ... Rang Rasiya at best is like those printed copies of Varma's paintings that are sold on the footpath which are a far cry from the originals where vibrant colours fleshed out characters from Indian mythologies. A DVD viewing is just fine enough, this one sure doesn't call for a theatre visit.... full review

So-So, by Nupur Barua , fullhyd.com : ...Raja Ravi Varma definitely deserved a better movie than Rang Rasiya, but Ketan Mehta's film is has its heart in the right place. What is most important is the topicality of the main theme - that we are as intolerant now as we were then, and that is a scary thought. The famous artist made art available to the common man, because he was, like American Georgia O'Keeffe, "...for an art ... that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum." If you are interested in the history of our country, then you must watch this movie. Remember to leave the kids at home, though.... full review

So-So, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...For those in the creative field and who love works of art, watching RANG RASIYA should definitely be on your 'to-do list' this weekend. ... full review

So-So, by Shubha Shetty Saha, MiD DAY : ...Wish there was more subtlety of desire and less in-your-face lust and sex. However, Mehta deserves huge credit for tackling a subject of this kind — the sensitive issue of petty politics curbing freedom of art and expression has been dogging us for centuries and continues to do so.... full review

So-So, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...And while she lies there brazen and defiant, Hooda awkwardly drapes a leg around his own thigh in an utterly-misplaced bid for modesty. Perhaps, then, our censorship issues stem from the fact that our women are just fine, but our men can’t quite deal with themselves just yet. ... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...For choosing to tell the story of this extraordinary artist and for standing up for artistic freedom, Rang Rasiya is recommended. That it could have been a far better film, is another story.... full review

So-So, by ANUJ KUMAR, The Hindu : ...Engaging in parts, the lack of material on the subject and the contemporary relevance of the points it raises makes us ignore the flaws in storytelling.... full review

So-So, by Aparna Mudi , Zee News : ...Despite all its flaws, it is relevant even today. It has a message that humanity struggles to accept a lot of things, and the more open-minded we are – the more towards greatness we move as a race. But the message gets lost in the overly forced romance. Watch it to learn the story of a great artist, who is historically significant to the rise of Indian art. But there is little else to offer... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...This is a film that needed much more flamboyance and grip – that which Ketan Mehta doesn’t appear able enough to provide in the autumn of his cinematic career! ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...Rang Rasiya is a wasted opportunity for a layered portrait of a colourful and bold figure in Indian art.... full review

14 tweeters(?) - 11 yays 1 so-so 2 nays

tbkdotcom: Rang Rasiya scores 3.5 out of 5 in The Bollywood Khans Critics Score Board

TanviKG: Rang rasiya... Beautiful, artistic, elegant!!!

sidkakspeaks: Feels like Film Festival days.. 2films back to back at Yashraj Studios.first Rang Rasiya visual poem then Gone Girl a masterpiece script..

Saddy_Mitra: Rang Rasiya good Movie!!

Pinkpebbles: Rang Rasiya is worth every penny you'd spend. Aesthetic, truthful and the voice of it will resonate with your senses

jdorsang: Rang rasiya is really colorful.

HarjasMotwani: Rang rasiya wonderful art movie but wat about our society

avaneeshraju: RANG RASIYA shines in every aspect of film making. Direction,acting,music, cinematography, settings,in fact,every thing.GREAT job by Ketan !

auyona: Rang Rasiya is a gorgeous film!!! Every frame is reminiscent of a painting created out of sheer love!!! As leads,... https://www.facebook.com/auyonacharya/posts/10152754061353190

AshishB0: Take a bow @RandeepHooda rang rasiya is magic and your performance stellar

AbhinavaKMishra: Surprisingly, Rang Rasiya turned out to be an absolute pleasure! Baroda connection rejuvenated. Definitely a five... https://www.facebook.com/abhinava.mishra/posts/10205130646564233

ChaitralyD: Can watch rang rasiya movie...ntg so bad... #Pune

1266sadashiv: Watched Rang rasiya - A good film bante bante rahe gayee - Sugandha actor could have been more like true Maharashtrian - more rasiya

_FiraaQ_: Rang Rasiya ne kitna bore kar diya!

4 readers - 2 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by guddu : Rang rasiya

Yay! Thumbs Up, by prafful : a must watch movie ! hats off to the acts ! #randeep & nanadana .. wow they just took me tat era !

So-So, by Pozycjonowanie Stron Interneto Cennik : Nancy

So-So, by Suman

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: An explicit sexual scene with top-half frontal nudity.
  • Concept: Story of a real-life misunderstood artist.
  • General Look and Feel: An attempt to give a look of late 1800s - early 1900s.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Rang Rasiya / Colors of Passion - Cast, crew, links

Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
120 minutes

Comments (6)

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Hmm ... The film was banned for six years, the controversial painter and his hedonist art depicted explicitly in the film is audacious and commendable. Filmmakers ought to make more movies in this dimensio, bored of masala 100cr club, item number obssessed film. Nice review , keep it up !!. :) :)


Direction: 1
Story: 2
Lead Actors: 2
Character Artists: 1

Dialogues: 2
Screenplay: 1
Music Director: 0.1
Lyrics: 0.5

Nice review. It makes me want to watch the movie.

prafful sarda

a must watch movie ! hats off to the acts ! #randeep & nanadana .. wow they just took me tat era !

@Guddu @matheikal thank you guys!

@prafful :D

Filmy Fitoor

Colours of Freedom ... Freedom of Expression. Yet another nice Review :


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