AD. The entire Indian sub continent is ruled by the British
East India Company, the most successful business enterprise
in history. A truly colonial enterprise, it follows its own
commercial and administrative laws, arrogating the right
to pillage and exploit the country's natural and human resources
with total impunity. In order to control the population,
it creates its own army, composed of native soldiers, Hindus
and Muslims, who are called "sepoys". The Company controls
the destiny of one fifth of humanity.
a fierce battle in one of the Afghan wars that the Company
fought in the mid-century, Mangal Pandey (Aamir Khan),
the heroic sepoy, saves the life of his British commanding
officer William Gordon (Toby Stephens).
Gordon is indebted to Mangal and a strong friendship develops
between them, transcending consideration of rank and race.
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 rumoured to be 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 kartoos
(gun cartridge), it would defile them.
Pandey becomes the leader of the rebellion, although he has
to sacrifice his relationship to the beautiful courtesan
Heera (Rani Mukherjee) and his friendship
with Captain William Gordon.
in one of the most beautiful countries on earth, told
across the divides of time, 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 Indian independence.
THE RISING –
Ballad of Mangal Pandey 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
the thrilling and moving story, THE
RISING draws a breathtaking, beautiful picture
of "classic India": Colorful, with impressing
costumes and scenography of Indian palaces and cities of
the mid-19th century. The great soundtrack, influenced
by classical Indian music, was created by the famous composer
A.R. Rahman, who also is accountable for the stirring LAGAAN soundtrack.
Mehta, who has been particularly known for rich
in content art-house
movies until now, included many other aspects into THE RISING
apart from the main story line. Besides illustrating the
cultural clash between Indians and the colonialists, he
undemonstratively weaves subjects into the story like the
opium crop growing and trade practiced by the East India
Company with the goal to also colonize China, utilizing
of the Indian mercenaries to suppress their own people
and to fight other colonial wars, trafficking of women,
profiting from prostitution, corruption and the arbitrariness
of the occupying forces. All those aspects can be seen
as an universal picture of suppression and exploitation
of a nation through a military-political strategy of a
great power. Accordingly the politically active actor Aamir
Khan compared the story of THE RISING with
nowadays behavior of the current great power USA at the
press conference for the movie at the Locarno Film Festival.
KHAN. Being one of the most famous Indian
actors, Aamir Khan is known for choosing his roles very carefully.
He often acted in rather sophisticated films, either art-house
movies like Deepa Metha's (WATER) drama EARTH about
the partition of India and Pakistan or in great Bollywood
productions. 2002 he became famous internationally with the
Oscar nominated epic LAGAAN: Once Upon A Time In
India, which was the first German subtitled and
till today most successful Bollywood film in Swiss cinemas.
After that he acted in Farhan Akhtars (LAKSHYA) sensational,
innovative movie DIL CHAHTA HAI, which today
has cult film status also within western Bollywood fans.
2006 Aamir Khan convinced again in a very strong role, in
the groundbreaking political youth drama RANG DE
Rising – Ballad of Mangal Pandey
Language: English and Hindi (international version) with German
Running Time: 150 min.
Print: 35mm Scope, SRD
by: Ketan Mehta
Produced by: Bobby Bedi
Script: Farrukh Dhondy
Music: A.R. Rahman (Lagaan)
Camera: Vijay Arora
Cast: Aamir Khan (Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, 1947 Earth),
Rani Mukherjee (Paheli,
Black, Yuva, Saathiya),
Amisha Patel, Toby Stephens (James Bond: Die Another Day),
Kiron Kher (Main Hoon Na,
Veer-Zaara, Khamosh Pani, Devdas)
& SONG PROMOS.
Trailer, 0:32, 4.7 MB
1:04, 10.7 MB
VARI Song Promo, 1:06, 18.9 MB
Song Promo, 1:12, 14.1 MB
MPEG4 H.264 files, resolution 640x272 pixel (original cinema
format scope 2.35:1), subtitled in German