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Raajneeti - Movie Review

Comments  Comments [ 48 ]    By Susan Jose | 03 June 2010 | 6:28pm


Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar,Manoj Bajpai,

Director: Prakash Jha

Raajneeti- Dirrrty Politics, Grrreat Movie!

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure.  Prakash Jha gathered all the dirty facts about politics and made a movie; and it has undoubtedly turned out to be something that every cinemagoer would treasure.

The film starts with the revolutionary days of politics when communism and its knowledge was a fad everyone liked to flaunt. So we have Ramnath Rai (Darshan Jariwala) your everyday politician. However, his daughter Bharti (Nikhila Trikha) who is more interested in the welfare of Dalits and honest public service openly offends him. So much that she walks in with Bhaskar Sanyal (Naseeruddin Shah), a man who claims is fighting for the voice of the people, to disrupt her own father's public gatherings.

Bharti who calls Bhaskar 'sir' apparently gives more respect than needed when one rainy day she loses her virginity to him. This makes Bhaskar feel so guilty of taking advantage of the 'young one' that he leaves not be heard from again. When she delivers the love-child, elder brother Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar ) promptly wraps the baby in a crimson cloth with a gold chain, (or else how would you come to recognice the baby at re-union time which is so typical of hindi films),  and sets him off in a boat.

Cut forward to a few years and Bharti is happily married to another thriving politician Chandra Pratap Singh. He and his brother Bhanu Pratap Singh are strong contenders for this season's election.  Bharti's younger son Samar (Ranbir Kapoor) arrives from the United States for Bhanu Pratap's birthday and the mood at household is one of joy. Everything's fine until Bhanu Pratap suffers a stroke while addressing everyone during his birthday party.

Bhanu Pratap is paralyzed and is forced to appoint another head for the party. So when instead of his own son Veerendra (Manoj Bajpai) he chooses Prithvi (Arjun Rampal), the eldest son of his younger brother, the whole game of politics begins. Veerendra is completely appalled at his father's decision and his anger is fuelled more as he is pushed away from the core of the party.

Meanwhile Indu (Katrina Kaif), the daughter of a rich businessman (who does most of the funding for party politics) is head over heels in love with Samar and is looking forward to settling down with him.

Somewhere else, Samar's driver's son Suraj (Ajay Devgan) has had a victorious win in a Kabaddi match and is celebrated among the young Dalits of the slums. Why is he being highlighted? Because he, with his popularity and a zeal for not being ruled over by 'other' people wants to be the leader of his own community. When he attempts to get a ticket, Veerendra who like any opportunistic politician, appoints Suraj as a member of the core committee so he can win over the Dalit people through Suraj.

Even when this move doesn't attract people to Veerendra, he is jittery and consults his right hand Suraj over how to draw the masses away from Prithvi and Chandra Pratap Singh. Suraj offers a simple solution and assassinates Chandra. This is when the pace of the game suddenly starts racing. Also this is the point where Samar, the kid of the house is forced to abandon his Ph.D and protect home ground.

So Prithvi is made to contest the elections in the place of his father. Prithvi has the force of emotions and Samar has a calculating brain. Together the brothers set out to win the election. Samar plays his cards well and wisely. But, triumph never comes without losing some of your best cards, which he realizes later.

The lure of the seat is too much and as the deciding date gets nearer, more assassinations take place. Samar is pushed to the limits he never thought he'd have to witness. At the end, the race is narrowed down to Suraj and Samar. The children of the same womb. One has to die to let the other win. That's how destiny has been set. However, does the winner really feel like one after he's conquered it all? This is something the filmmaker leaves the audience to decipher.

The movie is longer than two and a half hours but every minute is worthwhile. The film has everything going for it. Amazing screenplay coupled with an airtight script and complimented by an array of talented actors has worked together to create magic onscreen.

Every element is packed is such a way as a chef would do to get the right taste. There's romance, action, drama, comedy put across in the right amount and more importantly in the right intervals. There is not an overdose of one single element or even an actor for that matter. The whole cast has been beautifully arranged in the timeline to give their performance at the apt time.

Thankfully, there's no unwanted music here. 'More piya' plays in the background twice to effectively pull the chords. Item song featuring Barkha Bisht, agree, was not necessarily needed, but wasn't a pain either.

Dialogues are superb. In the film, Nana without exaggeration states – Raajneeti mein faisle sahi ya galat nahi hote. Unka mol toh maksad poora karne ke liye hota hai. Chahe kaise bhi ho. Pinching but true!

The performances are marvelous. Ranbir Kapoor has never taken charge in any other film as this one. He looks every inch tailor stitched for the role. His panache and style when he turns from the innocent chotu of the house to the sly conniver deserves applaud. Katrina Kaif has tried her level best and her efforts have paid off.

Ajay Devgan is full of punch and without spouting words, just by his presence on screen he makes an impression. Nana Patekar with his dry sarcasm is splendid.  Arjun Rampal is ruggedly handsome and has crossed several leagues with this film. The character of this passionate and at times psycho angry young man has been wonderfully portrayed by him.

Naseeruddin Shah in his cameo is good. Nikhila Trikha as Bharti is a wonderful surprise package. She has the sharp face of an aristocratic lady who's made a lot of sacrifices for the strength of her family, so apt for her character.

After a long time, an absolutely mind-blowing movie has been released at the Bollywood box- office. I say, you book the tickets right away before they are sold out!

Rating: ****

Reporter and Author: Susan Jose

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Katrina Kaif Katrina Kaif

Ranbir Kapoor Ranbir Kapoor

Ajay Devgn Ajay Devgn

Arjun Rampal Arjun Rampal

Naseeruddin Shah Naseeruddin Shah

Manoj Bajpayee Manoj Bajpayee

Year : 2010

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