Movie review : Raajneeti 2010


Raajneeti was a neat and decent movie, one more from Prakash Jha. I dint feel it was fantastic, definitely not a masterpiece as most of blogosphere felt. It wasn’t bad either, considering most of the Bollywood movies of this genre are disasters. I would rate this 6.5 out of 10 overall. Movie is well presented keeping story fast moving, the only reason why audience managed to sit back for three hours. I still feel they could have cut down the length without harming the gist of the movie.

I am a big fan of Ranbir Kapoor, for the fact that he always puts his best. He has beautifully managed his big character in this big movie. I can’t think of any other actor in business who could fit to this role of being young blood and smart. Katrina Kaif is not made for this but I could tolerate her anyway, no harm done. Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan and Naseeruddin Shah were okay, but Manoj Bajpai and Arjun Rampal lost their pitch couple of times. There were definitely scopes of improvement in both acting and direction departments.

Movie is made for Indian’s with orthodox Indian masala genre. Good to see this presentation after a long time, since most current day Bollywood movies are made for NRIs with customised ‘butter chicken masala’. The language was good, classic Hindi(with some flaws). Something you can recall from the days of Doordarshan TV serials Chanakya, etc. presentation of thousands of supporters campaigning in open fields of a political arena was fantastic.  Producers did not hold their selves from spending a single rupee.

***Spoiler alert***

Thumbs up for

  • Kabaddi: Cricket wouldn’t have given same punch.
  • Sound effect: The cinema I went to watch had very good sound system especially after effects of car explosion.

Thumbs down for

  • Language:  sometime it became too much classic, sounding as if they are speaking some ancient knowledge. Few Urdu words also crawled in, which sounded odd.
  • Mother of the movie (Kunti) changes her political stands from ‘far left’ to ‘far right’. This rarely happens in real life, looked like Karl Marks selling ‘asset based securities’.
  • Sex, violence and pregnancies: Sex can be justified that Bollywood is moving ahead from “kissing flowers”. Violence is Jha’ movie signature, but what’s up with pregnancies? Does it prove Banks of Ganga is most fertile land in whole of India?
  • Fight: all four (Nana, Ranbir, Ajay and Manoj) can aim so well, looked amazingly stupid. Ranbir is supposed to be a PHd student.
  • What happens after epic war is over? Media is up to the neck of every character throughout the movie, but nobody cares after evil is dead?

By this time you already might have read about plot of this movie being inspired by ‘Godfather I’ and Mahabharata. I am attempting to list down the similarities, feel free to add if have missed any.

With Godfather I

  • There are Sonny Corleone (Arjun), and Michael Corleone (Ranbir), Tom Hagen (nana) and a character vaguely similar to veto Corleone.
  • Sonny’s character is of an established goon from the beginning, but Michael’s character (initially reluctant) gets dragged into Mafia after deaths of Vito and Sonny’s death.
  • Tom’s character masterminds most of the criminal activities, including one death on mate of Babulal. It was a horse in Godfather.
  • Assassination of Sonny, retaliation by Michael.

With Mahabharata,

  • The summary of movie: Dispute between cousins (for power) lead to ugly war, where state and royal family getting split between themselves. Survival of the smartest.
  • Notable incidents: Karna’s (Ajay) illegitimate birth to Kunti, who is mother for Pandavas (Arjun, Ranbir). Dalit family adopting Karna after retrieving from river Ganga, Kunti approaching Karna on behalf of Pandava’s (without Pandava knowledge). Karna rejecting this offer quoting friendship with Kauravas, constant support from Krishna to Arjuna including one minute Bhagavad-Gita on final stages of war, bullet proof car being symbolic to Kavach.
  • Characteristics of characters:  Arjuna’s ability to win (hearts of) women, sharing Draupadi with brothers (singular here) on Kunti’s approval, Krishna’s cunningness, Karna’s friendship, Duryodhan’s rage, bedridden Dhrutarastra.

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