Rating: 4/4 (Must watch!)
My first brush with Roja (ரோஜா) was its music. This was the stunning movie debut for the music director A. R. Rahman. Though I could not understand a word of Tamil, I listened to the melodious songs from Roja for countless hours while in high school. Years after that I caught the movie in bits and pieces on various TV screenings and saw the movie in complete with subtitles only recently. Directed by Mani Ratnam, the movie stars Arvind Swamy and Madhoo. Rishi (Arvind) and Roja (Madhoo) are a newly wed couple. Rishi, a computer engineer who works on cryptography software visits Kashmir with Roja on an assignment. He is kidnapped there by a separatist terrorist organization and held captive for the release of their jailed leader. Roja runs around the military and political bureaucracy to get him rescued, while Rishi tries to reason with his captors.
Roja not just deals with a sensitive topic (Kashmir) but is also a highly entertaining movie. Santosh Sivan’s camerwork is a treat for the eyes, every scene begs to be frozen and admired for its composition and colors. A. R. Rahman’s music in this movie needs no introduction, it still stands as one of his best creations. Annu Aravind and Madhoo have acted well and bring in freshness and innocence to their characters. All in all, Roja is a gem from the oeuvre of Mani Ratnam.