Raajneeti (2010)

This review is for those who got it wrong. I was trying to be sarcastic on Facebook, when I wrote a few comments about Raajneeti (2010), apparently, I am not very good at sarcasm. Imagine. All this while, I thought that was the only defence mechanism I ever had.

I watched this film for two reasons. Prakash Jha and Nana Patekar. Also, there was gossip amongst folks that Katrina Kaif displayed glimpses of acting. But I didn’t fall for that.

WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS AHEAD.

See, the film is predictable from the first shot of scene one. I can’t spoil it for you. The story-writer and the director have already done it.

The only excitement in the film, is to decipher the source of the metaphors. It’s not very difficult, because Raajneeti is a family film. It is based on the life and times of three families. The Pandav family, the Corleone family, and a very well-known political family. And the stories of these families from different eras have been wonderfully intertwined. So is Arjun Rampal a yuppy Yudhishtra, straight-haired Sonny or a a misunderstood elder brother of a very well-known political family. 553 other such examples in this 180-minute saga, will make you keep going back to the Wikipedia to identify the parallel characterisation of the actors in this drama. Was Ranbir Kapoor Michael Corleone? Was Nana Patekar Krishna or was he Tom Hagen? Perhaps a combination: 86.3% Krishna and 13.7% Tom.

So much for the story.

I have no idea, what people mean when they say they saw great performances. Ranbir is the same as he was in Wake Up Sid as he was in Rocket Singh as he was in any of his films. (I didn’t have the guts to watch Saawariya) He is one consistent performer, irrespective of the character – he gives the same performance. Ajay Devgn (Not a spelling mistake, he spells it like that now) is disappointing. He and Jha have done better stuff, the chemistry was unbalanced. Manoj Bajpai runs the risk of being the next Manoj Kumar (later years). He is still very far away from delivering anything close to what he did in Satya or in Shool. (Useless Side note: Bajpai’s character in Shool was called Samar Pratap Singh. Ranbir’s character in Raajneeti is called Samar Pratap Singh.) Naseer Saab shouldn’t have been on the poster – he is on screen for 2 minutes and 21 seconds (or less, perhaps). I’ll give you this much – Katrina tried very hard. So did Arjun Rampal.

Nikhila Trikha’s one dialogue, undid what semblance of a film, it could have been. I must say – I was surprised that one scene got past the editor and the director.

In a recent interview with Sudhir Mishra on a TV show, Prakash Jha said that he makes commercial cinema to fund his parallel interests. I could pardon Raajneeti on those grounds. But, while Raajneeti will make money, coming from the banner of Prakash Jha, he need not have taken his audiences for granted to such an extent.

So, if you have misinterpreted my sarcasm on Facebook, before; here it is – as I saw it.

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