Aarakshan - Preview
Aarakshan is, what I call, a bell-curve film. Starts shabbily, reaches a peak around mid-way and ends more shabbily than it started. And yes, the issue is not "quote system", we are talking about our hollow education system here. Only that, that too gets a superfluous treatment.
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I heard of Aarakshan very recently. It's very difficult not to get me excited about a political drama. And with a title like Aarakshan, a topic so close to home, I instantly began looking forward to the film.
The next thing I found out was the interesting mix in the cast I imagined a strong and determined Amitabh Bachchan and Saif Ali Khan fighting it out against a nasty Manoj Pajpai with a Deepika Padukone thrown in to normalize the gender equation. But the trailer is a pleasant surprise -
On a topic like 'reservations' in the education system, you have Saif Ali Khan playing on a side against Amtiabh Bachchan. Or at least that's what it looks like. The Deepika Padukone angle of course, is a little too Mohabbatein-esque with Amitabh Bachchan playing her dad and the principal of the school/college in which her love interest, Saif Ali Khan is creating trouble. I sure hope she has a meatier character that'll have something more to do than being sandwiched between the men of her life.
In the past few years, we have had a range of films that are trying to point out the common man's frustration with the education system. "Reservations based on caste" is easily the topic that has caused most grief - on both sides. Imagine the frustration of the person who has worked so hard to get that 93% find himself beside a person who has scored 39%. And this in a world where the limited seats are further reduced because of the 39%. I'd imagine the other side of the argument is that it is now time to correct all the injustice that the reserved castes have suffered for centuries. A debate that Aarakshan seems to be trying to do justice to.
What about illegally obtained "caste certificates" then? The topic would be reduced to mere babble if this issue is not addressed, which makes the topic even more difficult to handle within the confines of a 2.5-to-3-hour film. And yet Prakash Jha has tried. And it looks like he has tried to make a balanced argument.
He has an awesome cast to support him. They are stars but not treated as such. Look at Amitabh Bachcan's character being yelled at by all and sundry, not to mention he is called a "zero"!
Yes, it is obvious that I'm waiting for August 12th when Aarakshan will present both sides of a debate in which I know what side I'm on. Hope it doesn't get too filmy on me. I don't think a movie like this warrants songs, but here they are, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy-
milliblog - "Short and lively soundtrack from the dependable trio."
music aloud - "6.5/10"
Bollyspice - "3/5"
Hindustan Times - "The only worthwhile listens are Kaun Si Dor... and Saans Albeli.... The others will disappear from your memory as easily as they entered it."
Bollywood Hungama - "2/5"
HappySing - "Prakash Jha, who got four different composers to create four songs in Raajneeti has once again got it right, in fact better this time."
Planet Radiocity - "2/5"