Sunday, July 18, 2010

Raajneeti - Watch it for Ranbir, Ajay & Katrina

 What is it all about? 

Prakash Jha mixes the elements of the greatest epic in the world the 'Mahabharata' with the mighty superior on screen drama 'The God Father' and gives us a studiously sincere film in which the human drama increasingly gets lost in the political twist and turns though its lead by a convincing cast where Ranbir Kapoor holds the key and it lacks the involving sweep of Jha's previous political yarns like 'Apaharan' (2005) and 'Gangaajal' (2003).

But still it's a recommended watch for its strong and superior quality acting by the principle cast. 

The Story……of course 

Bhaskar Sanyal (Naseruddin Shah), the fire-brand leftist leader, is feared for his single-handed ability to challenge the most powerful of leaders. Until one private mistake of his hurtled him into a self-imposed exile.

Cut to the present day. Prithvi (Arjun Rampal) is the heir to a powerful political legacy and impatient to seize the top position. But his cousin, Veerendra (Manoj Bajpayee), proves his biggest political opponent. He's a man who believes he was born to rule and who will now stop at absolutely nothing to claw his way back to the top.  

Cornered by family and political colleagues, Veerendra plays a new game: He picks up Sooraj (Ajay Devgn), a youngster with anger in his heart and leadership on his mind. Sooraj doesn't know the secret behind his identity, which, of course, is revealed much, much later.  

Prithvi's brother Samar (Ranbir Kapoor) is an 'outsider', with no political aspirations, but he gets sucked into the battle-ravaged arena of family rivalry. Only to turn into a master of the craft of political warfare. Indu (Katrina Kaif), daughter of a wealthy industrialist, is also caught in this web. Last but not the least, there's Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar), who plays the role of mentor and guide to Prithvi and Samar as the battle gets bloodier by the day. 

What to look out for?

The movie has some great pluses where it impressively moves with intensity in the opening reels with fine assistance from its music score.

Each and every performance is noteworthy but Ranbir Kapoor holds the screen excellently and is destined to go places, he is well supported by Manoj Bajpai, Ajay Devgn who always has something special for Jha and of course Arjun Rampal who is very effective indeed and is a welcome surprise. Nana adds maturity to his role, Katrina is a revelation, the girl just transforms herself from the glam doll to desi mode with ease and improves her Hindi dictation as well. Rest of the cast that includes Dayashanker Pandey, Chetan Pandit, Darshan Jariwala, Shruti Seth, Kiran Karmarkar and Vinay Apte and Nikhila Trikha, as Arjun and Ranbir's mother add valuable support.

Sachin Kumar Krishnan's textured photography, stressing the interiors of Madhya Pradesh convincingly conjures up the mood. Art by Jayant Deshmukh and costuming by Priyanka Mundada looks equally natural. Editing by Santosh Mandal is sharp.

Jha shot takings are brilliant, and helms the film like a master. 

What Not?

Completely fictional with very loose resemblance to characters from Mahabharata like Ajay is Karna, Manoj Bajpai Duryodhan, Nana as Lord Krishna and Nikhila Tirkha as Kunti, the absorbing first half suddenly post interval moves away from contempt parallels and starts to take on the gangster lane. With conspiracy and everything happening for state elections, issues are sidelined and personal enmity and rivalry takes over where the characters are fighting to settle their personal scores… making it difficult for the audience to draw identifications.

The climax is ridiculous where the script writers allowing the main characters who are shown as smart, cunning politicians taking guns to settle scores.

Jha paints 'Raajneeti' on a much bigger canvas then his previous films and assembles a mammoth cast and that's really commendable but the characters get lost in the plot-heavy predictable script.

The length is also a drawback...

A senior actor like Naseer is wasted. 

Conclusion: The movie has tremendous curiosity attached to it, thanks to its promotions and the actors excel while the writers don't. Watch it for Ranbir, his growth as an actor and performances by other principal cast as well.

Rating ***



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