Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Aamir Khan, Toby Stephens, Rani Mukherjee, Amisha Patel
Director: Ketan Mehta
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
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Aamir Khan and Toby Stephens are amazing!
wylib | Casper, WY | 08/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this fascinating Bollywood epic about the "Sepoy Rebellion" or the "First War of Indian Independence" of 1857, in which the Indians who work as mercenaries for the British East India Company rise up against colonial authorities, Aamir Kahn (as the title character) and Toby Stephens (as his white best friend) play buddies-torn-apart roles and overcome the inevitable cliches of the script with the sheer force of their acting. Kahn is touchingly vulnerable and luminously handsome and magnetic as the pristine hero. (The Internet Movie Database entry on MP has an extensive debate on how closely this character corresponds to his historical counterpart and his role in the war/rebellion; it's a complex and controversial issue.) The gorgeous Stephens brings a fierce energy and compassion to his sidekick role as the One Good White Guy who foresees the rebellion and its consequences but is unable to convince anyone else of his dark vision. (Stephens' brief speeches about the ruthlessness of a private corporation pillaging a country seem all too relevant to our own time in this age of Blackwater and Halliburton in Iraq.) The film is wildly entertaining, filled with the color and beauty of Bollywood -- superb cinematography, epic sets and crowd scenes, music-and-dance numbers that pop out of nowhere, and a love story with a few (relatively chaste but sexy) kisses between Stephens and actress/model Amisha Patel. Highly recommended for Toby Stephens fans and for anyone interested in Indian films."
Mangal pandey dvd seems to be incomplete
J. Snyder | Davis, CA | 01/18/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Aamir Khan's Mangal Pandey is an interesting film version of the 1857 rising in India. However, this DVD is advertised as having two discs, the movie and a disc of extras on the movie and The Rising. I ordered the movie twice from Amazon and twice received copies with only one disc in DVD cases that held only one disc, event though the price ($29.99) was for two. The problem may be with the supplier, but the problem was never resolved. So check your order carefully."
Jennifer Hopfinger | Chicago, IL, USA | 04/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The saga of the 1857 Indian uprising against the British East India Company--called the Sepoy Mutiny by the British and the First War of Independence by Indians--is extremely complex. The tangled history leading up to it, the numerous groups and prominent figures involved, and the myriad reasons behind the revolt aren't conducive to the telling of a condensed narrative. But this film succeeds at doing exactly that by tightly focusing on the issue that finally lit the tinderbox--the deployment of new rifle cartridges greased with cow and pig fat that outraged Hindu and Muslim soldiers in the British army--and the man at the center of it all--a sepoy named Mangal Pandey, who fired the first shot of the rebellion.
Acting great Aamir Khan gives one of his best performances as Pandey, a high-caste Hindu who goes through a painful process of realizing how the British have manipulated him and Indians like him, culminating in his redemptive solidarity with Indians of all castes and religions. His self-discovery comes about through his friendship with a British soldier, William Gordon (played by British actor Toby Stephens), and their conflicted relationship is the crux of the story. Stephens is reason alone to give the film a ringing endorsement. Western actors in Bollywood films are usually dreadful, and it's a pleasure to watch one who does an excellent job for once. Stephens is an accomplished film, television, and stage actor, best known for playing the villain in the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002), and his ability to deliver in Hindi is impressive. The other British actors aren't bad either, although their characters are rather two-dimensional and stereotypical (haughty men, permissive women).
The matter of language is handled deftly in the film, which can't be said of all Hindi movies with Western characters. The British officers logically speak Hindi to Indian soldiers and English to each other. To get around the need for excessive subtitling for Hindi audiences, voice-over narration (by actor Om Puri) is smoothly employed to explain what the English speakers are saying.
Despite its strengths, the film lacks emotional punch. The musical numbers are decent, but they fail to elicit much feeling, which is precisely the purpose they're supposed to serve in Hindi cinema. Romantic subplots are tossed in like an afterthought to please the audience (an all-too-common flaw in Western film). The respective love interests of Pandey and Gordon--an indignant courtesan (Rani Mukerji) and a young widow saved from her husband's funeral pyre (Amisha Patel)--add nothing to the main story, but they're sidelined enough they don't detract from it either--and what an otherwise well-told story it is.
- The Bollywood Ticket: The American guide to Indian movies (Subscribe: The Bollywood Ticket)"