wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)
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.Read more
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.
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.
~ ~ ~
This article was first published at meetu's Times of India Blog
- meeta, a part of the audience
The wait for a high-octane, all-engrossing drama just became longer. But, that still doesn't mean we don't have a decent watch in hand with Raajneeti. The set-up is certainly complex and intriguing. And there are a couple of sly and conniving twists, no doubt. But, the depth is still missing. It's almost as if introducing the characters and their connections was an end by itself and not merely the beginning nor the means to get there.
Given that the characters are based on Mahabharat, it would take real skill to make them uninteresting. So, are all the characters here. In fact, if you focus only on that angle, you'll see even more curious amalgamations. For example, Nana Patekar's character, Brij, is more Krishna, but has shades of Shakuni mama and a little bit of Bheeshma too. Made me think a bit about Krishna's manipulative tactics too. And after a while, these analogies can burst out of their seams. It's best to leave these aside and just watch the film for what it is. It would also help to keep Corleones, Gandhis, and Thackerays at bay. As glaring as they are, they only serve as distractions.
And despite so much potential for complexity, the lack of details along with the creativity-challenged treatment offered to some of the situations gives you the heebie-jeebies. And as almost always, the negative lingers longer than the positive. Some of the scenes, like the one in which a character is introduced just after the previous scene alluded to him; or sundry women getting pregnant; or a woman falls in love with the "arranged" husband after he respects her wish not to be touched. Such scenes clearly didn't belong here; or the on-the-face references to the mythological epic. Oh yeah, and not to mention the deranged "item" number.
Also with the various connections and cross-connections, the film deserved a lot more in terms of flow from one sub-plot to another instead of a "my turn-my turn" shout-out by the characters whenever they were made missing-in-action for a bit.
Then there were other things that didn't go with the tone of the film like say, Prithvi's (Arjun Rampal's) sudden eccentricity. It was almost as if to say Arjun's otherwise wooden facial muscles can be chiseled into this other form - Exhibit A, B, and C presented as proof. To be fair, he was doing a decent job till then. The other usually plastic face is Katrina Kaif. Not in this one, at least in some parts. But all of you who are going to the film to see the surreal vision of the diva in a sari, please pass this one. The bits you see in the promo are almost all of what you'll see in the film too.
The film is all about Samar and Ranbir has certainly carried off the chameleon-skinned character well. My complaint though is against the almost Jekyll and Hyde conversion without any symptoms of the disorder. Many of the other actors mostly retain their first expression, despite having fairly gray characters.
This almost 3-hour affair doesn't slacken but doesn't keep you waiting for the next move either. Because somehow there's a foregone conclusion given the epic characters the film is based on.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...the story alters constantly, unravelling in a serpentine manner and speed... so much so that you don't know what's gonna happen next. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...While his Hindi heart-belt dialogues and political jargons add authenticity to the film, at times it may be difficult for the audience to appreciate the proceedings... full review
Thumbs up, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...At least two-thirds of this 2 hour-50 minute film are an exact equivalent of a page-turner—and you can’t wait to find out what happens next. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Partha Pratim, Mixed Bag : ...While the movie gracefully and tactfully reminded us of the agelessness of Mahabharata in many of the scenes, it made a dead bomb of the famous scene where Kunti meets Karna... full review
Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...A taut, clenched drama of devastating nemesis, "Raajneeti" moves across its epic-inspired canvas with a vigour and velocity that sweep audiences off their feet.... full review
Thumbs up, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ... Ajay Devgn, who plays the character of Sooraj, is good in the first half. In the second hour of the film, Ajay’s character seems to have been forced to go on the backburner by the director Prakash Jha despite of their excellent working relationship.... full review
Thumbs up, by Fakir Hassen, TONIGHT : ...Together, the loves and lives of all these characters, as they get entangled in the power struggles, dirt and gore of politics, makes for a compelling movie for those who love serious cinema.... full review
So-So, by Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...It is long, heavily drenched in political stratagem, and reeks of the staples of good drama – deception, betrayal and wily, capricious people.... full review
So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...the filmmaker smartly suggests here, to set the Mahabharat around India’s present democracy, given the business of competitive politics is just as dynastic. ... full review
So-So, by Sarita Tanwar, MiD DAY : ...in his attempt to succumb to commercial parameters, Jha somewhat loses out on his unique ability to merge reality into the mainstream format of cinema... full review
So-So, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...The other problem with the movie was its runtime which is around 175 min. However, the intact and dexterous direction wins back your attention... full review
Thumbs down, by Amrita Rajan, Indiequill : ...As all these lovely people try to get the better of each other with increasing amounts of violence, truckloads of minor characters are steadily mowed down. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Mr. Inketi, Mr. Inketis Weblog : ...The first 20 minutes our entire group of 6 were looking at each other and discussing who is related to whom, why, and why are they so pissed of at each other? ... full review
Thumbs down, by Great Bong, Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind : ...But truth be told, Mahabharat and Godfather had never been done together. Before Rajneeti that is. Wow. Kya idea sirjee.... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
Want to Watch, by raajneeti : must watch
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Aditya : The movie is as i wanted!
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Jessica : Cool
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Nishant Upadhyay : Fantastic, wonderful film!! has already became a blockbuster.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by PeterRossy : cooooool
Yay! Thumbs Up, by preeti
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Sumit Chandra : Superb Movie! Prakash jha's nice comeback. Will be a superhit!
So-So, by zanildee
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Love, sex and betrayal with a political dynasty backdrop