Rajneeti in Rajneeti
There are not many occasions when I look forward to seeing a movie since there are very few which have a theme, a story line or an appeal. For many months, there had been a talk of director Prakash Jha coming up with a new project titled, Rajneeti a film which aimed at depicting politics as it exists in this country. Therefore when the movie was finally released, I made it a point to see it on Sunday.
Well, I liked the movie but was disappointed that Prakash Jha has not made an original film. Rajneeti is certainly inspired by Godfather and Mahabharat with shades of Congress politics and violence of several regional parties. Nana Patekar’s performance is outstanding and Nasseruddin Shah in his small role also makes a mark as a Communist leader. Other than that Ajay Devgun, Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai have done well. Katrina Kaif as always looks charming and beautiful and Ranbir Kapoor in what appears to be ‘Michael Corleone’s role’ in Godfather is a misfit. One tends to compare him to Al Pacino, an exceptional actor and in this unequal comparison, Ranbir obviously loses heavily. I feel that Akshay Khanna would have been a better bet for the role.
Unfortunately, a lot of hype about this movie has been created around the false impression emphasizing the similarity between Katrina’s character with that of the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. Firstly, Katrina’s role is not central but incidental. Secondly, she is shown as the daughter of a very wealthy man who is keen to marry his daughter to anyone who will become the CM. Ultimately, she herself gets elected to the position. The short point I wish to make is that Jha has achieved in creating a perception that is attracting audiences to his movie but the promos are very misleading even though the film is gripping. Ajay Devgun’s character is straight out of Mahabharat’s Karan and his end also is shown in a similar fashion keeping the modern context in view.
There is excessive violence and one can anticipate some of the scenes before they actually happen. Jha contested elections from Bettiah in Bihar and it seems that he has tried to portray the manner in which polls are contested in his home state. The movie is a statement on how politics operates in Bihar and elsewhere.
There have been many movies that have been based on politics and I must confess that after Mere Apne, which was perhaps amongst the last films of Meena Kumari and amongst the first few of Shatrughan Sinha and Vinod Khanna, Rajneeti is a film that I enjoyed watching though there were some loopholes which the director perhaps forgot to plug in the end in a true Hindi film tradition. The film’s promotion is also a Rajneeti of sorts.