If a trash can occupied the street corner at the destination of this projectile, we did not see it. So we can assume with a decent level of assurance that he littered.
No, wait, in one of my favorite scenes of the film, he did throw a cigarette to the ground. Let's treat it as fact. Shame.
Let's see, what else?
Rowdy he certainly was.
And he did attempt to steal (albeit very infrequently).
Yet, Munna demonstrated characteristics of 'An Ideal Boy':
He tried to read attentively (attending school wasn't applicable).
He took part in games.
Decent taste for desi food, of which no one needed to remind him to consume, he did have...
...and the ways in which the orphan related to and respected the parents of the woman he loved...
...won them over.
Mrs. Joshi too knew Munna was an ideal boy with bad habits!
Munna is just one of several very interesting and colorful characters in a film that remains a favorite for many reasons. In addition to stellar performances by the entire cast, the music to the love triangle was A. R. Rahman's first original soundtrack for a Bollywood film. It also resurrected Asha Bhosle's singing career, and gave director Ram Gopal Verma (of whom I'm not the biggest fan) one of his biggest commercial successes.
Rangeela is the story of Mili (Urmila Matondkar), who lives with her parents (Achyut Potdar and my favorite filmy mom, Reema Lagoo) and younger brother in the same community as her best friend, admirer, and tapori (rowdy vagabond) Munna bhai (Aamir Khan). Mili, who always aspired to be an actress, goes from a supporting performer to lead actress courtesy her favorite actor Raj Kamal (Jackie Shroff), who gives her the entree. They star in a musical titled 'Rangeela' -- the film within the film -- during which Raj realizes he loves her, forming the love triangle. Does Mili love anyone? To what lengths will she go to advance her career? Will she lose a friend if she reveals it? And would it be too late if she does? Rangeela answers these questions using an excellent narrative that is extraordinarily engaging for the most part.
It's a good example of the film fraternity reflecting on itself. This is done primarily during the making of the film within the film, which, for viewers, is a delightful musical. There's director Steven Kapoor (Gulshan Grover) who has budget issues with the producer. There's the meddling assistant P.C. (Avtar Gill) who loves to talk of his greatness despite his failures. There's an actress who arrives late to the sets, refuses to step outside her comfort zone, and must be accompanied at all times by her mother.
There's involvement by the onlookers at the sets. There are audiences and their reactions to film at various points in the film's supply chain. And there are even those, including our very own ideal boy with bad habits and his best friend Pakya (Rajesh Joshi in fine form) who make a living selling movie tickets in the black market! (I take back the 'infrequent stealing' comment above :P). They all serve their purpose well. And one gets a sense of the consistency of the narrative with the opening credits, which are remarkably well done. Sample these frames of some of my favorites:
Aside: I was somewhat concerned when I saw this; I am not free of biases, but if you ever think my comments on films starring my favorites stem from blind loyalty, please wake me up! :o)
Urmila Matondkar and Jackie Shroff are very good, especially the former who is afforded more room to showcase her work. Her acting is as much the reason for her success here as the sex appeal she brings to a role that requires it (for better or for worse). She easily and consistently switches between a girl next door and glamor queen, and does it quite well.
Jackie dada is cool as he usually is. He even enjoys video games!
Aamir Khan's casting is probably the best thing that happened to the film and to the careers of everyone who stood to gain from it. His behavioral attributes -- speech, walk, wardrobe -- are extremely well depicted. But it is mostly his effortless assumption of the character which is art at its finest and a thing of beauty.
Having said that, Rangeela has much more to offer than merely excellent performances and a different approach to love triangles. The dialogue, cinematography, background score and soundtrack are brilliant. The film within the film carries some potential to diverge from the plot. My only complaint with it is that there is about a 15 to 20 minute sequence in the second half in which things becomes slightly less engaging, most likely because of one song too many.
But the songs are all so very good, I think fans of musicals would only enjoy them, which combined to win A. R. Rahman the Filmfare Best Music Director Award. This YouTube video has a medley. Udit Narayan, the voice of Aamir ever since their debuts in Qayaamat Se Qayaamat Tak (1988), gave us my favorite song of the film in Yaaron Sun Lo Zara (watch it here). Mr. Narayan's son Aditya sang in the film too, and even appeared in the title song.
Mangta Hai Kya? (watch it here) had vocals by A. R. Rahman and Shweta Shetty (who shot to fame in the pop music scene with this song) -- in addition to being an excellent song, it featured a magic love seat ride (we've crossed the carpet chasm)! :o)
At the surface, the songs featuring Mili and Raj inherently restrict the film's appeal as family friendly. However, if we skip these that were bolder than most of their counterparts during and around 1995, especially when it came to treading the fine line between the artistic and the vulgar (there's at least one song in which Shroff of all people could have used better swim wear -- his was rather silly), Rangeela is cleaner than one expects.
Many including myself credit the film as much as any other as the one in which Aamir dared to, as Robert Frost would say, take the path less traveled by. That has since indeed made all the difference. If you want to get a better understanding of why some of us believe he's the best actor by far of his generation, and one who is tremendously skilled at operating at the intersection of art and commercial film, I'd highly recommend you see Rangeela and judge for yourself. The ideal boy with bad habits will most likely make it worth your while!
Movie rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent!)
A 5/5 for Aamir, but better choreography in the film within the film (the music some what makes up for it) could have made the overall product even better.
Music rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent!)
Aamir and Rahman went on to work on several more soundtracks, those to 1947 Earth (1999 - discussed here), Lagaan (2001 - discussed here), Mangal Pandey (2005 - discussed here), Rang De Basanti (2006), and the upcoming Ghajini (2008).
My classification: PG-13 (for song picturizations).
Director Steven Kapoor in the film talks of his competition lying with directors from outside of India.
I finally saw Steven Speilberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) this past weekend, in which John Hurt's look...
...almost reminded me of Nasir Hussain's in Kashmir Ki Kali (1954)! :o)