Rajneeti - Preview

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

A could-have-been, wanna-be political thriller lacks the sizzle and cursorily glances over the sleaze. And yet, despite the dull lines, modern Mahabharat is a tale worth watching.

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NOT A REVIEW - Just enthusiastically looking forward to some politics and drama…


Yay! Yayy!! Yayyy!!! A political drama is coming up next! So much potential of interesting, gray characters; so many ways to connect them; so many twists, angles and sub-plots to look forward to! It's extremely difficult to keep expectations and excitement at bay.

I know-I know, there is a very high chance that any or all of this could be overdone and thus murdered. Also, some people suspect that the subject would be "Too complex for the current urban youth"There is also a chance that it might turn out to be an idealism vs. crookedness routine. Or that a group that feels marginalized and converts into "revolutionaries" chews up the charm of an intelligent issue.

Add to the mix, some very intriguing casting. Despite the relatively different roles played by Ranbir Kapoor, a politician is far from what I'd have ever expected him to be cast as. Who has ever heard of a shrewd chocolate hero? But, you never know -

Anything written about the cast has to begin with Katrina Kaif being uprooted from having an innocent, Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes image into a milieu that needs a calculative brain at the very least. She will have to play on her glam-quotient but with a difference. Her accent is something that troubles me in her usual roles even if she's born abroad. So I didn't know what to make of a situation where she's to ask for votes in the Hindi heartland. Turns out, that the lady has worked really hard on it and it wasn’t easy going -

Unwilling to make thehttp://www.raajneeti.net director bear the loss, the actress made a unique offer to Jha. She offered to pay him back Rs. 15 lakh from her remuneration for the loss of work. The pretty lass must have done her maths well to arrive at that figure as her average earning for a day.
Later, not only did she redub some of her lines, she had a dubbing studio booked for her for 20 days! Here's a glimpse -

The first name that came to my mind when I saw Katrina in a white/khadi saree, hair tied up, garlanded, and hands greeting us in a Namastey, is SONIA GANDHI. Though both the director and the actor deny any resemblance in the character, people are getting offended. (Like that's a surprise!?) In fact the lady watched videos of Sheila Dikshit, Ambika Soni, Priyanka Gandhi and Indira Gandhi. Interestingly she has arranged to meet these ladies now. Most likely to appease misgivings, if any. A move to get in the good books of the current governing party?
I wonder if the tagline to the title, "politics … and beyond" too is a ploy to the same end? Suppsoedly, Prakash Jha doesn't want the film to be seen as a film about politics because politics is in daily life. He claims it is more of a family drama with a political backdrop. The aim, he says, is to entertain. If the audience takes home a message he will think of it as a bonus. And there you go - take your item number and Steamy scenes as evidence.
Turns out what the director giveth, the censor board promptly takes away. Yep! Lots of chops have been made, ranging from sex and violence to EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) manipulation.
Some of the members apparently feel that a few sequences are too ‘hard hitting’ for the aam janta to digest.

Is that why the special National Anthem has been kept out of the film. Yeah, we in Maharashtra will get to see the cast sing the anthem with us before the film. :P
My nagging thought is how all this marketing gimmickry fits in with the script that took 5 years to write having characters based on Mahabharata. So, we'll have Katrina playing modern-day Draupadi; Ranbir as Arjun; Nana Patekar - Krishna; Ajay Devgan - Karna; Arjun Rampal - Bheem and Manoj Bajpai - Duryodhan. And maybe Naseeruddin Shah is cast as the Bheeshm of our times?
In this setting it will be exhilirating to see National award winners Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, and yeah-yeah Arjun Rampal together. I'm just glad that I'm getting to see them and not the supposedly 'entertaining' bits in the promo. muah to the producers!
So much anticipation, so many possibilities. And the wait isn't too long. Just until June 4th.

Music: Wayne Sharpe's music is being largely liked. Read reviews here - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

This article was first published at meetu's Times of India Blog