(Recommended by SI readers Guruprasad, StrYngLad74 & Viswajithkn)
Mon dieu, never have our old, tired eyes fallen on such pitiful acting.
Urmila Matondkar and her sadistic accomplice in crime Jackie Shroff have butchered the 1995 Bollywood movie Rangeela with one of the clumsiest performances we’ve ever beheld on the big screen.
The nightmarish quality of the duo’s acting is a sordid spectacle evident in frame after frame.
Since Urmila Matondkar’s Bollywood dreams form the leitmotif of this Ram Gopal Varma film, she unfortunately figures in much of this movie. Much to our immense discomfiture.
When the woman is not irritating with her pathetic acting, she is offending with her sluttish motions as she spreads her legs wide and goes through weird contortions that are supposed to be dancing!
Whether it’s her initial failed screen test, her solo dance on the beach when Jackie Shroff first discovers her, the Tanha Tanha song-dance in the movie-within-the movie, in all of these and more Urmila Matondkar completely fails to deliver the acting goods.
In a cheap trick that’s fairly common in the Bollywood cesspool, Rangeela director Ram Gopal Varma has Urmila don some of the skimpiest costumes in hopes that the audience will drool over her long legs, upper thighs et al and overlook her utter lack of acting or dancing capabilities.
In the Hai Ram Yeh Kya Hua song, when Urmila tears Jackie Shroff’s black shirt and slides down his body we thought she was going to give him a blowjob on screen. Really.
Rangeela is the story of a young girl Milli (Urmila) obsessed with becoming a movie star and the two men obsessed with her – the orphan Munna (Aamir Khan) and her co-star Kamal (Jackie Shroff) in the movie-within-the-movie.
Given her total lack of acting skills, not once does Milli’s obsession to become a big Bollywood star come to life.
As for the woman’s dancing, it’s a perversion of the art form at best.
Mercifully, this horrid woman never made it to the top of the Bollywood heap.
Thank heavens for some crumbs of justice in an unjust world!
Rahman & Aamir, Our Saviours
What salvages Rangeela from the dustheap of Bollywood are two things – A.R.Rahman’s nonpareil music and Aamir Khan’s decent performance.
Virtually every song in this movie is a euphonic feast for the ears.
No surprise then that songs from Rangeela took the nation by storm when the movie debuted 14 years back.
Long years after the movie’s release, Rangeela’s songs like Yaire…Rangeela Re, Tanha Tanha, Kya Kare, Hai Ram still cast a spell over you although the picturization of all of them were far from spellbinding.
With a solid performance, Aamir Khan proves that he’s the most talented among the gaggle of Khans littering the Bollywood landscape.
As he senses the woman of his heart drifting away from him into a starry, glitzy world, Aamir Khan does his best in bringing the character of Munna to life within the straitjacket of a mediocre script.
Rangeela provides more evidence (as if any more were really needed) that Ram Gopal Varma is the devil’s apprentice and that his Satya was a mere fluke.
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If Satya was a fluke, Company wouldn’t have happened.
(wish you would rein-in your sweeping comments and exaggerations a little)
Let’s see – Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, Sarkar Raj, Sarkar (pre-SI blog), Rangeela…how many more times do you want to be singed before you realize your hair is on fire?
Don’t know if you noticed – Rangeela happened to be instrumental in pushing 4 people’s careers into overdrive.
This was Rahman’s first score for a Hindi movie (his prior scores were originally in other languages), Urmila became the overnight object of adolescents’ desires, Aamir Khan branched out into a variety of roles moving away from his chocolate-boy image (coincidentally the same year had DDLJ, which made Shah Rukh Khan follow the reverse trend and start doing one kind of a role), and Ram Gopal Varma started being considered a top director.
One RGV movie you might want to watch is Kaun, provided you haven’t been spoilt with the ending.
1. You write above: Rangeela happened to be instrumental in pushing 4 people’s careers into overdrive…. Urmila became the overnight object of adolescents’ desires
Urmila’s career, as best as we can recall, went nowhere. She was never in the top league with peers of her era like Madhuri, Kajol et al.
Didn’t know that Rangeela was Rahman’s first score for a Hindi movie. Thanks.
Sure, Urmila may have become the object of every sex-starved Indian’s priapic fantasy. But if you strip any other gal of most of her vestments and put her up on a screen, she’d achieve the same result – every dick up at a 60-degree angle. 😉
2. No, we haven’t seen Kaun and we are unaware of the story.
Jackie looked wooden as ever. The supporting cast who played Urmila’s family were decent.
You missed Gulshan Grover’s inspired performance as the constipated director Steven Kapoor (spoof of director Vidhu Vinod Chopra).
1. You write above: You missed Gulshan Grover’s inspired performance as the constipated director Steven Kapoor (spoof of director Vidhu Vinod Chopra)
Gulshan Grover was alright but he was not that germane to the main theme.
In fact, Rangeela was one of those rare movies where we didn’t find Gulshan Grover irritating.
2. You write: Jackie looked wooden as ever
Jackie Shroff was plain awful in the movie, as bad as Urmila Matondkar. Mercifully, his role was shorter.
3. You write: The supporting cast who played Urmila’s family were decent
Yes, the folks who played Urmila’s parents were fine but the fella who played Aamir Khan’s sidekick Pakhya was lousy.
The choreographer of Rangeela didnt do his/her job at all.
The fine songs were not supported by matching dance movements. In fact, not having any dances might have been better.
The flurry of songs at the end slows down the pace.
I didnt find Urmila’s acting as bad as you did, but dancing was atrocious.
Jaggu dada (Jackie) was OK I thought, although his scenes sort of had a halting effect on an otherwise breezy movie.
The highlight for me were the scenes involving our sadak chap tapori Munna, be it ‘das-ka-tees’ outside the theatre, or in the cinema hall (‘abe tu picture dekhne aaya hai ya mera pair’), or in the five star hotel (‘zinda rice’ et al, ‘settle ho jaane ka, kya’), or when he is trying to teach Mili some acting (‘I shocked’).
The director too should get some credit for screenplay in such scenes, although he loses points elsewhere.
This indeed was Rahman’s first score for a Hindi movie.
Prior to this, his Hindi songs (Roja, Bombay Hum se hai Muqabla) came in Tamil first.
Of the many Khans that populate Bollywood, Aamir Khan has distinguished himself as an actor and as a director (Taare zameen pe) too.
Watch him in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992), a movie that has much better story and screenplay than Rangeela, but equally good songs that are popular to this day.
JJWS is seriously not to be missed.
1. You write above: The highlight for me were the scenes involving our sadak chap tapori Munna,
Aamir Khan was good throughout the movie and the ‘settle’ scenes were one of the rare palatable moments of this movie.
2. You write: I didnt find Urmila’s acting as bad as you did, but dancing was atrocious.
Her dancing as we said in the review was a perversion.
3. You write: The choreographer of Rangeela didnt do his/her job at all.
IMDB lists Saroj Khan as one the choreographers.
BTW, Urmila’s character Milli also mentions Saroj’s name in one of the scenes.
4. You write: Watch him in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992), a movie that has much better story and screenplay than Rangeela
Added Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar to our Netflix queue. Will watch it soon.
BTW, Pooja Bedi (who features in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar) was quite a voluptuous woman in her time rousing the priapic fantasies of many an Indian youngster. 😉
I hated Urmilla’s voice!! Why was she yelping in an annoying high pitch tone the whole time…aargh
Is it me or Jackie looked horny the whole time he was looking at Urmilla
And please, what are the odds she never saw a horny guy standing there checking her out while she was touching herself in the beach to some song.
I only watched it for Aamir
You write: Is it me or Jackie looked horny the whole time he was looking at Urmilla
Hard to blame Jackie’s drooling given Urmila’s skimpy attire in much of the movie.
Say what you will, but the woman lacks grace.
What!! She was touching herself??!! How did I miss that? 🙂
If I am not mistaken the main choreographer for Rangeela is Ahmed Khan (particularly for the song Yaire)
BTW, an interesting anecdote from after this movie was that Aamir Khan remarked in the press, “Rangeela is an average movie”, to which RGV retorted, “Aamir Khan is an average actor. The guy who played the waiter in the 5-star hotel is a better actor”.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander is said to have been inspired by the Hollywood film “Breaking Away”. I have watched both and I found very little similarity between the two (apart from the fact that both movies dealt with cycle races). JJWS seemed much better crafted and much more engaging.
1. You write: She was touching herself??!! How did I miss that?
We think Deepa is referring to the song/dance in which Urmila ‘dances’ to music from a boombox.
Most likely, Urmila’s weird leg and hand-movements seemed to suggest otherwise to Deepa.
2. You write: BTW, an interesting anecdote from after this movie was that Aamir Khan remarked in the press, “Rangeela is an average movie”, to which RGV retorted, “Aamir Khan is an average actor. The guy who played the waiter in the 5-star hotel is a better actor”.
Aamir Khan was being charitable if indeed he described Rangeela as an “average movie.”
In the years since Rangeela, Aamir Khan has won greater acclaim as an actor than RGV has gained as director.
You guys, i didnt mean touching herself ‘literally’ 😛
yeah it was some weird movement she was doing in the beach in the name of dance!
I unfortunately watched Saskiyaan cuz i recently had a botched wisdom tooth surgery and it was the CRAPPIEST movie ever!!!!!!!!!!!!
The things that took place, if i were to write the review, it would be pretty long but seriously, there’s bad movies and there’s BAD movies
You write: You guys, i didnt mean touching herself ‘literally’
Alas. There we were getting ready to order Rangeela again from Netflix.
You must be referring to Siskiyaan.
I hated urmila’s acting and voice in this movie and story itself is very average.
As you said movie was a hit only due to amir khan and rehman.
RGV is definitely not the worst of the lot. His creative graph started going down from the day he started directing bachan’s family. Most of the movies you reviewed are recent ones of his.
There are still some good movies of his Shiva (telugu) or udhayam(tamil), company, Kshana Kshanam(telugu), Kaun.
Did you see “Pallavi Anu pallavi”( Kannada), Mani Ratnam’s Debut as a director
1. You write: I hated urmila’s acting and voice in this movie and story itself is very average.
Join the non-fan club.
2. You write above: Did you see “Pallavi Anu pallavi”( Kannada)
No, we’ve seen very few Kannada movies in our life.
Does Pallavi Anu Pallavi have shades of Ranganayaki?
Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t have both.
Yes, pallavi anupallavi does have shades of ranganayaki. i.e an young male falling in love with an older female.
but in Ranganayaki the older female turns out to be his mother!!. The story must’ve shocked the shit out of audience in those days 😛
Nodona (we’ll see) if we can get the two DVDs in the course of our travels.
You say just Urmilla is bad ? What about Amir Khan ? He is as bad an actor as most of the others in bollywood. Most bollywood actors overact. Its a norm, I guess. I mean, sparing a few actors like Irfan Khan, Naseer, Om puri, etc, who else in Bollywood acts ?
Either its the directors who force them to act this way, or they know no better – but whichever way, its horrible !
I hadn’t watched Rangeela earlier, but just saw it yesterday after visiting reading the discussion on this page. Watched it here, nice print :
The music/songs were pretty neat, tho I hated the choreo !
1. You write: What about Amir Khan ? He is as bad an actor as most of the others in bollywood. Most bollywood actors overact. Its a norm, I guess. I mean, sparing a few actors like Irfan Khan, Naseer, Om Puri, etc, who else in Bollywood acts ?
True, Aamir Khan is nowhere in the league of Irfan Khan, Naseer and Om Puri but is ahead of the major Khans. Saif Ali Khan is not bad, of course
2. But Aamir Khan is a cheap scumbag who profits from theft. Remember the stolen shit Ghajini?
3. You write: I hated the choreo
We hated the whole film.
“True, Aamir Khan is nowhere in the league of Irfan Khan, Naseer and Om Puri but is ahead of the major Khans”
It’s difficult to make such a conclusion. SRK was solid in Paheli. Loved the film. And in Swades too. 🙂
1. We’re talking about Aamir ‘stolen Ghajini’ Khan and you’re writing about Shahrukh Khan. Are you trying to explain a non sequitur to readers? 😉
2. We liked Paheli.
In Swades, we loved Gayatri more. Sad that she bid adieu to films after tying the knot.
Kaun is a decent thriller which starts of slow but then increases in pace towards the second half. It’s got a delightfully quirky performance from Manoj Bajpai (Satya fame); could be worth a watch.
Did you guys watch Oldboy?
1. Added Kaun to our Netflix queue. Alas, this movie too features that non-actress Urmila Matondkar. 🙁
But we’ll watch the movie though.
2. Oldboy, not yet. We’ve seen the Bollywood version Zinda.
[â€œTrue, Aamir Khan is nowhere in the league of Irfan Khan, Naseer and Om Puri but is ahead of the major Khansâ€
Itâ€™s difficult to make such a conclusion. SRK was solid in Paheli. Loved the film. And in Swades too.]
@SI: Mallukuttan was responding to your comment that AK was way ahead of the other Khans. He was trying to say that AK may not be ahead of SRK.
Yes, Mallukuttan had a valid point, not a non sequitur.
Urmila in in my opinion is the most versatile actress we have today…! she has acted in unconventional characters…! Urmila’s career hasnt seen peaks but she’s a very talented actress who dint get many films to do, she was really good in pyar tune kya kiya , Kaun , Ek haseena thi , for that matter even in flops like Khoobhsurath and some films with Govinda .
Bhoot was a well made horror flick and the silver lining in the cloud was Urmila’s performance…again Tehzeeb is such a wonderful down to earth character of a daughter who has problems with her famous mom whos stuck up in an image…! Puro in ‘Pinjar’ and Sarika Vartak in ‘ek Hasina Thi’ are roles that any actress would die for and any other actress wouldn’t have done justice to….!
And her role of Trisha in ‘Maine Gandhi ko….’ was wonderfully played, even better than the much hyped and grossly overrated Mitchelle (rani mukherjee) of ‘Black’… RGV gave a kick start to her career and she did a good job in all the RGV movies…But she did wonders in other RGV movies too…
and may be the dance moves in rangeela were horrible but she did what she was supposed to..and the whole nation dance to yae re!! and today also urmila is regarded as one of the best dancers of bollywood (see chamma chamma, kambakht ishq).
Urmila’s career hasnt seen peaks but she’s a very talented actress !!
1. You write: Urmila’s career hasnt seen peaks but she’s a very talented actress who dint get many films to do
Bah, the only peaks in Urmila’s life are the twin peaks behind her Choli. 😉
Now, Urmila, peaks and all, is over the hill.
2. You write: RGV gave a kick start to her career and she did a good job in all the RGV movies
What RGV should’ve done is to give her a kick on her derriere and asked her to improve her acting and dancing skills.
3. You write: But she did wonders in other RGV movies too…
Not true…Urmila was awful in that item number in Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag. Disgusting.
4. Urmila lacked all sense of grace, in her older movies like Satya, Rangeela et al.
common.. u r being harsh..she has done some super movies like kaun..pinjar..ek hasina thi..maine gandhi ko nahi maara.she was awesome in these movies..yes in between she does have her Aags and all..but then that happens to anyone..
Atleast she is better than those aishwarya, kareena and katrina craps!!
Urmila was alright in Ek Hasina Thi.
Haven’t seen Pinjar, Kaun et al.
Aishwarya Rai is not an actress…just a powerful brand.
Mr / Ms. Reviewer,
I consider your review as a salvage thrash…the reasons are simple, you might be an Urmila Matondkar or Jackie Shroff Hater who slept during all these years from 1995 to 2009. Every Film has its own pros and cons and Rangeela was very well recieved by both critics and viewers alike back then. The film got numerous awards and recognitions as well. And Urmila Matondkar is a great actress otherwise she was never nominated for filmfare and so many award functions..so check while writing…..And If a Good Entertainer like Rangeela is thrash, Defintely the ugliest films of bollywood shall be Dilwale Dulhaina Le Jayenge and Jab We Met…. And i dont need to prove how kajol and kareena both hamped in their movies…especially KAJOL looked so ugly in DDLJ with those thick eyebrows.
Anyways I just wanted to say that after so much time, A stupid reviewer and some jerks following you can’t make any difference. Rangeela was a good film. You don’t agree…hmmm…the world cares a damn…
Mr / Ms. Commenter,
In the spirit of your above incoherent comment, we shall try to respond likewise (although it’ll be mighty hard to emulate you in the incoherent respect).
America is going through a recession and a particularly hot summer.
You may call this season the summer of our discontent.
But Americans still like to think big.
Even small people have big dreams in America.
Particularly, American women who live by the credo Big is bountiful.
That’s what makes this country a joy to live in.
Thanks to the Internut, we all know that Urmila Matondkar is well acquainted and well endowed with things big.
We agree with you that compared to Kareena and Kajol, Urmila is a much
Do you think her big top-uns are God-Given or Plastic Surgeon bestowed.
If you could please answer the above question to our satisfaction we can establish a profitable outsourcing operation here.
We can run a Groupon for desperate American women and export them to India where you can sexpose them to a local plastic surgeon in Dadar or Mahim. Should you agree to this profitable proposal, we can deposit $23.45 million left behind by our desi mama Giridhardas Gandhi who was an adviser to the late Nigerian leader Sani Abacha into your Borivilli account at the State Bank of India.
Please do not think this is one of those Nigerian scam e-mails.
We assure it’s not. This is a 100% desi scam.
We have tried hard to make our response as incoherent as your comment. If we’ve not succeeded, we confess that yours truly still has some gray matter left in the head unlike the commenter.
With best regards,
Nephew of Giridhardas Gandhi, Adviser to late Nigerian President Sani Abacha
N.B.: Urmila Matondkar would not recognize acting if it collided head-on with her ahem udders at 100MPH.
i tried looking up giridhardas gandhi on google as well as a list of sani’s known advisors,no match…..
We have a feeling it’s that stupid cow Urmila herself. 😉