This film by Prakash Jha focuses our attention on a subject that we all love to hate- Indian politics. The setting is Bhopal, but it could have been any State capital. The characters are believable for the most part, and the political machinations are authentic and real, though at times sprinkled with a touch of the exaggerated.
Here’s a look…
- Real politic – ‘Rajneeti’ scores where it aims to, in depicting political personalities of the sort who exist all over our country. The politics is intense and no-holds-barred, and depicts drama from real life that has been witnessed hundreds of times by us Indians.
- Racy and pacy– The momentum of the film is such that one dramatic episode follows another and there is no let up till the very end. In fact, at times you wish that there was some respite from all the action and scheming that goes on.
- Well directed and slick– Jha is a film maker who doesn’t believe in holding his horses. He lets go his energy, his ideas and his theories with such gusto that we cannot but marvel at the intensity and electricity that his film generates.
- The performances– Quite brilliant…
i) Ranbir Kapoor- He is just outstanding for a young actor who’s only three years old in this profession. Intense, manipulative, cold-blooded and even inhuman at times as Samar Pratap Singh, he is a true chip off the old block!
ii) Ajay Devgn- He plays the type of role he knows well. Totally at ease as the brooding, revengeful, champion of the downtrodden.
iii) Arjun Rampal- An under-rated actor, Rampal has the looks and the talent to be a front-line hero. His role as Prithvi Pratap Singh is a trifle contrived and far-fetched, but he goes from villainous extremes to being a sensitive family man, in an effortless manner.
iv) Nana Patekar- One of the most talented actors of our time, he plays his best role yet! Understated and reserved as the wily and loyal Mamaji, unlike some of the over-the-top portrayals that he has displayed in the past, Patekar is the fulcrum of the film.
v) Manoj Bajpai- He is the enemy within, and excels in his role as Vijayendra Pratap Singh. He plays the bad guy to the hilt but one still feels sorry for him at the end.
vi) Katrina Kaif- The promos seemed to indicate that she would have a major role, but it is a male dominated film. She gets some good scenes to display some histrionics for once, and she’s passable in them.
- The violence- One doesn’t know what they use to show blood nowadays but it’s not ketchup and it looks too real. There is too much senseless killing in the film.
- 2. The lack of music- A film like this one would be expected to have at least a few songs and some memorable music, but there is too little melody and that, for us, is a big minus.
- No laughs- There isn’t even one scene with a comic touch and even though the film depicts a serious story, a few smiles here and there would have added to the depth of the film.
All in all, Rajneeti is a powerful and authentic film with brilliant performances, but perhaps a tad too dry.