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'Mangal Pandey - The Rising'

Film Review

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'Mangal Pandey - The Rising'
'The Rising' - the costliest Bollywood movie ever made - is based on the 1857 revolt by Hindu and Muslim soldiers against the British rule over the issue of gun cartridges being greased with animal fat forbidden by their religions. Directed by Indian filmmaker Ketan Mehta, the film stars popular Bollywood actors Aamir Khan , Rani Mukherji and Ameesha Patel and British actor Toby Stephens.

Backdrop
In the 19th century the entire Indian sub continent is ruled by … a company: The British East India Company, the most successful business enterprise in history. The company has its own laws, its own administration, and its own army. It controls the destiny of one fifth of humanity.

The Rising of Indian Independence
Set amidst this backdrop, 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising' is an epic tale of friendship, betrayal, love and sacrifice set against the backdrop of what the British called the sepoy mutiny but which for the Indians was the First War of Independence. 'Company Raj' as it was known, had been plundering the country, treating the locals unjustly and causing widespread resentment. After a hundred years of subjugation, the Indian consciousness is rising through the revolutionary prospect of change and self-rule.

The Plot
During a fierce battle in one of the Afghan wars that the Company fought in the mid-century, Mangal Pandey, the heroic Hindu sepoy saves the life of his British commanding officer William Gordon. Gordon is indebted to Mangal and a strong friendship develops between them, transcending consideration of rank and race.

The friendship is soon challenged by the introduction of a new rifle called the Enfield. The new rifle has come with a new cartridge, which is coated with the grease of cow and pig fat. The new cartridge has to be bitten before it is loaded, which ignites anger and resentment among the Indian sepoys. The cow is sacred to the Hindus, the pig forbidden to the Muslims. They will not touch such a cartridge that would defile them.

A Spectacular Historical Film
The Prince of Wales had launched the filming of this Bollywood movie during his visit to India. Set in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, told across the divides of time, 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising' tells the tale of friends, lovers and enemies, exploiters and exploited, and the growth and awareness of a man and a nation. It is a story of one man and his dream of freedom. This sweeping epic is based on real historical events, seen as a trigger for India's struggle for independence, but is laced with fictional episodes that make it more of a fantasy than a true biopic.

DIRECTED BY: Ketan Mehta
PRODUCED BY: Bobby Bedi & Deepa Sahi
MUSIC: AR Rahman
LYRICS: Javed Akhtar
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Nitin Chandrakant Desai
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Himman Dhamija
SCREENPLAY WRITER: Farrukh Dhondy

For more on THE RISING - Ballad of Mangal Pandey, view its official site: http://www.risingthefilm.com

Click here to view a Walk-Through of the Film in Pictures

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