Raag Desh

Raag Desh – Movie Review

Tigmanshu Dhulia Is No Less Than Subhash Chandra Bose Of The Film Fraternity To Bring Forth A Topic Like Raag Desh 

Lt. Col. Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon countered to his father vehemently who had come to persuade him to apologize before British so that they released him from the INA Trials held at Red Fort, “अंग्रेज़ो से माफ़ी मांग लूँ? और मेरे दिल में जो देश की आज़ादी का राग दिन रात बजता रहता है उसे बंद कर लूँ?” (Translation – “How can I apologize in front of British when a constant rhythm of freedom of my country keeps ringing in my heart?”). I think that is where the title (Raag Desh) of the film derives from. Two feature films based on patriotic theme releasing on the same day are enough to charge us, the Indians for the upcoming Independence Day. The one is about the period of The Emergency and fights against the anarchy of INC while the other relates directly to the famous Red Fort Trials held in 1945 and is about fight of INA against British Indian Army during the decline of the empire.

The leader director Tigmanshu Dhulia, like Subhash Chandra Bose, convenes the talented acting troops Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh and Mohit Marwah and revives the core patriotic film section of Bollywood industry. These actors play the roles of Shah Nawaz Khan, Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon and Prem Sehgal respectively. During the 2 hours, 17 minutes long film, you are going to feel extreme patriotism in your veins and wonder what our country has become at present that has been wounded so many times by the foreigners and was liberated by a joint effort of all Indians every time. In the trio, each brims with gallantry, grit, and heroism. Their revolting behavior with the British officers, eloquent back talks, and natural bromance win our heart. The way they casually converse in Punjabi about their love for motherland and fortitude to attain freedom for all Indians is simply lovable.

The INA trial story is told using flashbacks for each individual and has Subhash Chandra Bose’s formidable personality appearance in a considerable amount played well by Kenny Basumatary. While three leads and Kenny including those playing short but impactful parts such as Lakshmi Sehgal (Caption of women regiment Lakshmi Bai) and wily journalist, Bhula Bhai Desai’s last speech played by Kenneth Desai is an obvious winner. A distraction of even few seconds can cost you as there are complicated hooks and back stories connecting one another. It is one of the many vibrant pages of Indian history that are still to be spotted and made into brilliant films.

Here is a prelude for those who aren’t aware of the trial. British Indian Army was sent to fight for Britain in the World War II but was defeated and held prisoner by the Japanese army. In total, 40,000 British Indian Army troops were declared prisoners of war. Mohan Singh, an Indian Officer decided to turn to the Japanese for aid to form first Indian National Army instead of going back to the British to defeat Britishers in India as Japan was also contemplating the same. Initially, INA was conceived with a total of 10,000 Indian troops only but soon it didn’t work out between Mohan Singh and Japanese officers due to differences over leadership. The second phase of INA revived upon the arrival of Bose but they couldn’t succeed in their plans and hopes of liberating India died down soon and major officials were brought back to India and trials of charges of treason, torture, murder, and abetment to murder. These trials invoked a strong movement in support of the officials from Indians.




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