Aarakshan - External Reviews

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

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.



Click on the tabs below for wogma review, external reviews, user reviews, and twitter verdict

48 reviewers have given Aarakshan an average rating of 2.0/5.0 (?)

8 yays
18 nays
22 so-so

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

So-So by Anna Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies ...tries to pack in too much into one film, beyond a point it lacks focus since it seems torn between reservations and the overall flaws in our education system... full review

Thumbs down by Naresh Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice ...painfully pointless... full review

So-So by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express ...I was frankly surprised by my engaged response to Aarakshan. I wished it had been better (in terms of the supporting characters, in terms of the writing) and shorter, but I could really identify with the girl who cannot concentrate on the sums on the blackboard, on the pleasures of learning, because she can only think about the marks she needs in order to sit for her exam.... full review

Thumbs up by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com ...two different films pre and post interval quite surprisingly which brings down the whole spirit of the project.... full review

So-So by Pooja Rao, Bolly Spice ...Some of the best lines on reservation, which were part of the promos are just about as limited in the film... full review

Thumbs up by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama ...It requires great courage to cast Saif Ali Khan in the role, but he comes across as very persuasive. ... full review

Thumbs up by Malvika Rao, BookmyShow ...Our education system needs a revolution. This film has the potential to start one.... full review

So-So by Charu Mahesh, Buzz in Town ...Run time of approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes becomes a challenge for audiences, especially at a time when film-makers are experimenting with short and interval free movies.... full review

Thumbs down by Bollyfan, Cinemaa Online ...All smoke and no fire... full review

So-So Daily Bhaskar ...He shows the conflicts between the characters quite convincingly, but fails to create an impact with the climax, as he takes too much time to convey the message.... full review

So-So by Bikas Mishra, DearCinema ...It’s a highly accomplished film that chooses to work within the discipline of commercial aesthetics of Hindi cinema which the industry seems to be trying hard to write off in favour of Hollywood inspired realistic-plausible storytelling and Europe inspired self-indulgent auteur cinema.... full review

Thumbs down by Ameetbhuvan, Desi Martini ...Shallow and Superficial ... full review

So-So by Rony D'costa, Desi Martini ...is escapist issue based cinema ... full review

So-So by Smita, Desi Martini ...heavy and academic... full review

Thumbs down by Ankur Pathak, Desi Martini ...Number of emotional chaos raked up, and a clear diversion from the intended destination, Aarakshan reaches an awkward climax that would want to believe in itself to be revolutionary. ... full review

Thumbs down by Aniruddha Guha, DNA ...confused attempt ... full review

Thumbs down by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions ...But Deepika Padukone's Poorbi (Anand's daughter) isn't properly fleshed out and given the actress' limited skills, the character simply falls flat. ... full review

Thumbs down by Deepa Gahlot, Film Impressions ...Hema Malini’s portraits are very prominently displayed on the walls, and when she does turn up, it’s a laugh.... full review

Thumbs down by Sukanya Venkatraghavan, Filmfare ...But the hero of the day is Mr Bachchan. He towers over the flagging screenplay and the wavering vision and takes the film up a few more notches than it deserves.... full review

So-So by Nupur Barua, fullhyd.com ...Make no mistake - this movie is all about the Big B, who can do no wrong on the big screen. Despite abrupt changes in characterisation, AB delivers, and how.... full review

So-So by Pankaj Sabnani, Glamsham.com ...Saif Ali Khan acts well and makes his character believable. Deepika Padukone is decent.... full review

Thumbs up by Divya Solgama, Gomolo.in ...His whole persona is superb and the dramatic scenes between him and Saif, him and Manoj and others are outstanding.... full review

Thumbs down by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live ...a deathly boring slog... full review

Thumbs up by Kaveree Bamzai, india today ...This is not a movie, it's a slogan. And like all powerful ones, it is stirring. Which means you have to forgive the long speeches, the terrible dances, as well as the dialogue written to the sound of silent applause and sudden thunder... full review

Thumbs down by Shubhra Gupta, indian express ...You could dismiss that as just an overlooked plot-point, but overall Prateik manages to come off less than impressive. Weak acting or ineffectual characterization? Or both? ... full review

Thumbs down by Komal Nahta, koimoi ...Hema Malini leaves a mark in the single sequence she is seen in in the end.... full review

Thumbs down Live Mint ...Thankfully, Bachchan holds the show together. He towers above the rest and makes the most of a script that is weighed down by the burden of the subject. He brings gravitas and dignity to the role of the righteous Anand. He is the one reason to watch Aarakshan. ... full review

Thumbs down by Prem Chand Sahajwala, merinews ...Manoj Vajpayee is no match as a villain as opposed to the hero Amitabh Bachchan, who, to be fair to the film is more impressive than any of his old man roles played by him recently... full review

So-So by Shrabani Mukherjee, merinews ...fans of Amitabh Bachchan should book their tickets now as it is one of his best films. ... full review

Thumbs down by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY ...Deepika is pretty good, but I wish she didn't deliver dialogues like she has just mugged them up in her dad's classroom.... full review

So-So Mixed Bag ...Manoj Bajpayee has delivered a calculated performance showing no marks of being average anywhere. Not brilliant either. ... full review

So-So Movie Talkies ...Manoj brings a level of belief to Mithilesh Singh that a lesser performer simply couldn't manage.... full review

Thumbs up by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com ...The sequences showing Prabhakar Anand teaching maths in a tabela with ample support from his daughter (Deepika Padukone), and two students from different social stratas (Saif Ali Khan and Prateik) convey the warmth of an idealism that we lost in our cinema since the days of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Satyakam".... full review

Thumbs down by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com ...Characters like Prateik Babbar work against the film even more. He not only appears expressionless but also has a very accentuated dialogue delivery.... full review

So-So by Bhavikk Sangghvi, Planet Bollywood ...Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is functional with only one song ‘Achcha Lagta Hai’ of hummable quality. Lyrics by Prasoon Joshi are meaningful.... full review

Thumbs down by Saisuresh Sivaswamy, Rediff ...when a fine bunch of actors don't impress you as you leave the auditorium, the director has to shoulder the blame... full review

Thumbs down by Prasanna D Zore, Rediff ...The film lacks the historical perspective and characters that showed guts and gall that one has come to associate with filmmaker Prakash Jha's style after Mrityudand and Gangaajal... full review

Thumbs down by Aseem Chhabra, Rediff ...A note about the evil people. Jha makes them look like bad caricatures, and they all belong to the upper castes. ... full review

So-So by Ruchi Mehta, Roochster ...I got very bored in the first half. I was losing interest and felt like it was such a waste of my time. They didn’t even show the story properly and neither was it gripping. The second half however, was damn good but hardly related to the subject and more about competition and teaching a lesson to the bad guy.... full review

So-So by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies ...The songs (except the incongruous Mauka) and background score are great fun. ... full review

Thumbs up by K N Gupta, SmasHits.com ...Music and cinematography are good too. Kudos to Sachin Krishn for capturing every sequence brilliantly! ... full review

So-So by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice ...Deepika and Saif’s love story is portrayed only through one song and a couple of hugs and glances. They don’t have the chemistry they did in Love Aaj Kal. It’s simply a side-track here.... full review

Thumbs up by K K Rai, STARDUST ...A good flick from Prakash Jha.... full review

So-So by Sudhish Kamath, The Hindu ...A brilliant socio-political debate halfway becomes a Rajnikant film without Rajnikant... full review

So-So by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India ...Serious cinema meant for serious cinema buffs who like issue-based films. ... full review

So-So by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall ...With his considerable dialogue-writing skills though, Jha rescues the film from Bhandarkar-category and manages to equip Amitabh and Saif Ali Khan with legendary speeches that rival Nana Patekar's in Krantiveer... full review

So-So by Kunal Guha, yahoo! India ...Shankar-Ehsan-Loy drum up a mediocre fare for the ears, with 'Acha Lagta Hai' clearly scoring over 'Mauka', which seems right out of the 80s.... full review

So-So by Spicezee Bureau, ZEENEWS.COM ...Prakash Jha’s magnum opus tangentially touches upon the contentious issue of caste based reservation, leave aside confronting the hot potato. ... full review