Rangbhoomi follows Kamal Swaroop as he attempts to trace the contours of Dada Saheb Phalke's life in Varansasi after he withdrew, disillusioned, from the world of cinema and decided to take up theater. While in Varanasi, Phalke wrote a semi-autobiographical play titled "Rangbhoomi" which forms the core of this cinematic exploration.
That's how a documentary should be made
Kamal Swaroop almost makes it like he was never going to make it but somewhere in the journey starts connecting the dots. The documentary film makers either have a fixed narrative where they want to drive home a point or remain too abstract and hope the connections would not be so important. In the rare cases like here in Rangbhoomi, Kamal treads the middle but layered path. There is a visible arrogance and play which adds to the play between the director and the viewer and off course the protagonist Dadasaheb Phalke. If you want to understand more, you can , else you can enjoy the documentary poetry. The topic is powerful and as layered as the documentary style. I feel blessed that in our country, we have the variety in filmmakers to make both a Harishchandrachi Factory and Rangbhoomi.
- Jul 11, 2015
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