Aamir Khan was initially uncertain about taking on the role of DJ, as he was in his 40s and DJ was a 25 year old Punjabi in the film. He eventually accepted, though, and hired a tutor to aid him in Punjabi speech and accents.
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.
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.
After rejecting the role of DJ, Shah Rukh Khan was also offered the role of Flight Lieutenant Ajay Rathod, but he couldn't do it owing to his busy schedule. Later Madhavan took the part, and this cameo turned out to be the best bet of Madhavan in his career in Bollywood.
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 (2005) at the time, and did not want to conflict schedules.
Rang De Basanti was chosen as India's official entry for the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category, though it did not ultimately yield a nomination for either award.
Atul Kulkarni and Kunal Kapoor were publicly attached to the film by the time it was officially announced; Kapoor had been the assistant director to Mehra during the filming of Aks and was already familiar with the material Mehra had been developing.
When Rakesh Mehra started the film in 2002, it was to be a Indo/ British production to be made in English and Hindi. Manoj Bajpayee was signed for Aamir Khan's role and Vivek Oberoi for Siddharth's role. Atul Kulkarni was signed too, but for which role was not specified.
On Rang De Basanti's release the film certification Board of India Sought the views of Indian Defence Ministry due to parts that depicted the use of MiG-21 fighter aircraft. But after viewing the movie the ministry found no problems and allow UTV to release. There were also some issues with Animal Welfare Board due to banned Indian horse race.
In particular, the demands of Soha's emotional scenes in Antarmahal often left her exhausted, thus requiring "a lot of personal overhauling" to ensure that her performance in Rang De Basanti was unaffected.[2
While speaking about Aamir experience of visiting the Gurudwara for the first time, he said: It's one of the most peaceful places I've been to. As you enter the place there's a certain serenity that surrounds you. I really enjoyed being there. The first shot we took was of our feet entering the water just as you pass the doorway of the temple. The water was cold but it was great!
Bhasin had previously worked on Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996) and Dil Chahta Hai (2001), the latter of which featured Aamir Khan, and he was referred to Mehra by Khan due to their previous association.
The soundtrack to the 2006 film Rang De Basanti was released by Sony BMG on 8 December 2005 and had its music composed by A. R. Rahman and lyrics in Hindi and English by Prasoon Joshi and rapper Blaaze.
In a press conference with pop singer Nelly Furtado, Rahman said that she was to originally have featured on the soundtrack, although this was ultimately prevented from happening due to a change in producers and other factors.
Khan's hair was styled by Avan Contractor, who came up with soft curls falling over Khan's forehead. This new look, which took Contractor one hour to come up with, surprised the audience at the film's launch.
screenwriter and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Rahman were reported to have chosen Aamir Khan to sing for one of the songs, though his recorded performance turned out to be more a poetic recitation.
While discussing typical Bollywood soundtracks, Nilanjana Bhattacharjya, a professor of music at Colorado College noted that Rahman integrated traditional Punjabi cultural elements within his music for this soundtrack.
Confessing that the film's soundtrack was his favorite out of all his previous works, Joshi felt that it "was a wonderful experience getting to know the mindset of today's youth and to pen down their feelings".
Rang De Basanti received its world premiere on 26 January 2006, with high expectations that it would be a success with western audiences, though it also faced ire from several organisations because of certain controversial scenes.
Regionally defined elements such as a woman's prayer at the Sikh Gurudwara (Golden Temple) and the bhangra harvest dance are incorporated alongside more contemporary, global styles such as hard rock and hip hop to depict the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the youngsters in the film.
Mrs. Kavita Gadgil whose son, late Flight Lieutenant Abhijeet Gadgil was killed when his MiG-21 fighter crashed, objected to the film's release because she believed that the film was loosely based on her son's life and the producers should have shown her the film. In response, Kamlesh Pandey, one of the writers of the film, said that the film was not inspired by Abhijeet Gadgil.
Although the filmmakers had obtained a No Objection Certificate from the board officials, Maneka Gandhi, a well-known animal rights activist and member of the welfare board, found flaws in this certificate.
After hiring international experts for the film's publicity, the marketing expenditure for the film grew to 40 percent of the total production budget of 250 million Rs. (USD 3.5 million). This expenditure was unprecedented in Bollywood because usually the Indian filmmakers spend only about five percent of their production budget on marketing.
One of the songs, "Masti Ki Paatshaala" (translation: "Classroom of Fun"), was voted as the "Song of the year" for 2006 by leading Indian television channels, while two compositions were considered for an Academy Award nomination
The Hindu credited Kamlesh Pandey for writing a story that would have been a difficult film to make, but it added by saying that the transformation of the youngsters into heroes seemed poetic. Although the screenplay, direction and the cast were also well-appreciated, the reviewer felt that Rahman's soundtrack lacked pace.
Since the film "reflected contemporary Indian reality and had cinematic excellence", it was chosen as India's official entry for the 79th Academy Awards despite stiff competition from films such as Krrish, Omkara, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Lage Raho Munna Bhai.
A study of bloggers behavioural patterns during the first month of the film's release revealed a significant increase in public ire towards government and politicians for constantly being mired in corruption and bureaucracy and their inefficiency in providing basic amenities.
Saisuresh Sivaswamy of Rediff.com wrote that films like Rang De Basanti can easily get into "preachiness", but believed Mehra got his message across while avoiding this, also appreciating the music, cinematography, dialogues and art direction.
Arjun Rampal was signed for one of the 3 second leads. After he had been kept in waiting for 3 months he was replaced with the actor from south Siddharth. Aamir Khan's insecurities and fears were reported to be at the root of the replacement.
The story is about a British documentary filmmaker who is determined to make a film on Indian freedom fighters based on diary entries by her grandfather, a former officer of the Indian Imperial Police.
Rang De Basanti suffered a significant setback when one of the initial producers ultimately failed to contribute any funds towards it; the shortfall left production looking uncertain just two months away from the beginning of principal photography.
after Aamir Khan agreed to act in the film, Mehra approached Ronnie Screwvala of UTV Motion Pictures with the script. Screwvala, who supported Mehra from the beginning of the production, had faith in the film,
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
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 climax was rewritten by Aamir Khan, who didn't like the idea of them running away, suggesting they should have a last stand resembling that of Bhagat Singh. Years earlier, Khan had written his own story with the climax in a radio station, which he adapted for the climax of Rang De Basanti.