Friday, July 2, 2010

Rajneeti - Movie Review

Watched Rajneeti last week. I was looking out for the Mahabharath angles in this contemporary political thriller so I got along fine. But a couple of my friends who are not too clued into Mahabharath left the theatre before the movie ended. Personally I liked the movie - my one big compliant was that it failed to leave any moments with me after the movie was done. Not one!

Also I felt that there was a bit of Godfather meets Mahabharath in Rajneeti with atleast three scenes that I can identify out of the Godfather. The cop slapping Ranbir Kapoor is reminiscent of  Michael Corleone getting slapped by a cop in the hospital, the car bomb going off killing Arjun Rampal and the phirang girl was reminiscent of the Sicilian gun men running off before Micheal Corleone's girlfriend Appolonio dies in a car blast and the most obvious one is of Babulal walking up to the discomfort of slimy blood in his bed which runs from the neck of his gay partner just like the producer in the Godfather wakes up to find the head of his race horse in his bed. Or for that matter even Arjun Rampal's torrid fling with a ticket aspirant (I can't get her name but she did a good job) reminds one of Sonny Corleone's brief affair with one lady with a peculiar gynaec problem during his sister's wedding. Frankly I did not really expect this from someone of Prakash Jha's calibre. I mean, those scenes could have been constructed differently to the same effect. Lazy? Bored? Taking the audience for granted?

Bhaskar Sanyal (Naseeruddin Shah) is the Sun God as the name suggests, Bharti is Kunti, Suraj (Ajay Devgan) is Karna, Virendra (Manoj Bajpai - he is brilliant) is Duryodhan, Prithvi (Arjun Rampal) is a mixture of Yudhishtir, Bheema, Nakul, Sahadeva and Sonny Corleone, Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar) as the name suggests is Krishna, Katrina Kaif is Draupadi (in love with Ranbir and married to Arjun Rampal) and a host of such Mahabharathian characters getting into such situations. For example why Krishna had to leave the baby Karna in a boat on the ghat I did not understand when there are several orphanages around.

What did not work for me most was that the desire or the reason to gain the CMs post or of being wronged by their cousins did not appear strong enough for Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor (not their fault though - they did a good job). In fact Manoj Bajpai leaves a bigger impression of having greater desire for the CMs post and of being wronged than Arjun Rampal.does. Ranbir seems to conjure all his tricks out of the laptop and some of his actions don't really make sense. Like rejecting Katrina Kaif and then wanting to marry her and getting her finally married to his older brother (if Katrina's father was such a power hungry industralist, he'd be pretty clear anyway without all this). Kunti's offer to Karna made no sense to me considering that Karna had already killed off her husband and her older son and nothing was to be gained by having him on their side anyway. Karna throwing off his revolver to save his friend also made no sense since he could have killed Arjun and Krishna both and then gone ahead specially since he knows that Arjun knows he  killed off his father and brother and wife and unborn kid as well- unless he had no bullets in his revolver but nothing indicated that.

Despite my personal issues, I would still go and watch it at least once for the scale and the attempt. All performances were good with Manoj Bajpai, Ajay Devgan, Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar bringing on stellar performances. A *** star rating from me. Maybe half a star more for the attempt.

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