Aarakshan Review

The controversial Aarakshan released today and frankly, we didn’t see anything in the movie that would justify a ban. Controversies aside, Aarakshan is directed by Prakash Jha who last directed Rajneethi, a box office blockbuster.

Expectations are high, the star-cast is extremely talented and Jha once again handles a socio-political subject based on the ‘education quota’ introduced by the Government of India. For those who have grown up and done their schooling in India, we have all heard of reservations a.k.a Aarakshan, for the scheduled caste (S.C), scheduled tribes (S.T) and the lower/backward classes.

Aarakshan also talks about the private coaching classes / tuition’s that are booming in every corner of the country, with students forced to take up such after-school classes that charge a hefty fee.

Story: Aarakshan is about Professor Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan). As the principal of a college, he has single-handedly turned it into one of best in the state. Prabhakar has a special soft corner for the lower class and he runs a coaching class for the needy free-of-cost at his residence. Aarakshan is also about Deepak Kumar (played by Saif Ali Khan) a loyal follower of Prabhakar. Deepak is in love with Prabhakar’s daughter Poorbi (Deepika Padukone).

Things take a turn when a Supreme court verdict upheld’s the quota system of the government, that leads to a clash between Prabhakar Anand, Deepak Kumar and the vice-president of the college Mithilesh Singh (Manoj Bajpayee). Prof Anand is humiliated and almost left with nothing. The rest of the film is about his fight against all odds.

Aarakshan Review

Reasons to watch (Positives): Amitabh Bachchan as Professor Prabhakar Anand delivers one of his best performances since his much-appreciated role in Aditya Chopra’s Mohabbatein. The characters are similar, but here Bachchan’s character doesn’t carry the arrogance or the attitude. Its a simple honest man’s fight against all odds and Bachchan excels in every scene.

Prakash Jha’s direction is good and he handles the subject with maturity without taking sides. Sitting on the fence, he gives the viewer both sides of the story. There are several interesting moments in the first half and the mini-internal conflicts between characters is handled exceptionally well.

Reasons to skip Arakshan (Negatives): The film is just way too long. At around 160 minutes (2:40 hours), Aarakshan feels like a long, tiring watch. What makes the film seem even longer is the repeated scenes and the frequent change-of-mind that almost all characters go through. Better editing would have done wonders to the overall impact.

Performances: As mentioned above, Amitabh Bachchan stands tall here. None of the other actors come close. Deepika Padukone is refreshingly good and she looks beautiful throughout, its the best she has ever looked on screen. Saif Ali Khan does well too, but is clearly out-shined by Bachchan. Manoj Bajpai is good. Prateik Babbar’s performance was disappointing, especially his dialogue-delivery.

Overall, the biggest flaw in Aarakshan is its length. The film goes on for so long, that you eventually stop caring. If you don’t mind watching slow paced 3 hour films, Aarakshan is definitely worth a watch. Especially for Amitabh Bachchan’s performance. He’s brilliant!

Rating: ★★★☆☆


  • Amitabh Bachchan: The greatest actor ever born. Another brilliant performance. Not only in Mohabbatein, in Sarkar, Sarkar Raj, Rann, Bunty aur Babli, Paa, Khakee, Cheeni Kum, Black, Virudhh, K3G and the most recent Buddah; even in short roles like Veer Zaara, Shootout at Lokhandwala, the great man has excelled in every role. Even in Eklavya,The Last Lear, Nishabd, which were box office duds, he was widely appreciated for his performances. He has been in sublime form ever since his return. Salute to the living legend.

  • i dont know why you people keep going gaga about bachchan saabs performance everytime be it this one or his bombed venture budaah… here too he isnt anything great,, he has just to recall his old self and deliver the dialogues in his now too common style.. nothing great in doing that!!!!the entry of hema malini came as a cliche in the end

    the problem of reservation is left in the middle and coaching institutes become the target…even here because of personal vendetta the message is lost…caoching istiitutes are the order of the day.. and children join them for that extra help that can take them across the 50% cut off. nothing wrong in that and people from all walks of life take it..the issue of reservations good /bad was lost and diluted in the film with no definite conclusion given as to whether it is good or bad for us..the movie does not justify the title with a couple fo confrontation scenes thrown in where arguments are made back nad forth and the issue left at that.. the second half is purely devoted to revenge whci is not created by reservations only utterances about reservations.. giving free coaching to al and sundry is not the solutiom though it may sound utopic..where film falls is when it tries to give sermons through dialogues spoken in typicaly dev anand type movies .. nothing is done subtely here .. sometimes the mandal era is shown and then mobile phones appear… the reservations has become so much part of our lives that today there are no protests..if there is anything wrong then that should have been shown in the present context..
    private coaching centre are like pvt hospitals ..you need to have them around as education imparted in whatever form always helps.. all put together it is a nonsense film and doesnt deserve more than 1/5.. it should flop nicely and prakash jha should go back to the drawing board and find out why the name of the movie and content dont match…for all i know it could have been called professor ki jwala!!!

  • @Megha: :D, I like the way you write your comments.
    But frankly speaking i didn’t see anything wrong in Bachchan’s performance in Arakshan, he was brilliant.
    I didn’t like him in BHTB, but here he suited the role to the perfection, he should strick to such roles he is perfect for them.

  • AARAKSHAN: Me and the entire screenwriting faculty went to watch the film as our HOD is the co screen writer of the film, Anjum sir. But we were all pissed off witht he film, the plot, the direction, the editing and hell….the story has nothing to do with the title…..It should have had been renamed as ‘TUTIONS’ or something like that. Manoj Bajpai made me survive the 3 hour long film. VERY BADLY MADE FILM :(

  • Aarakshan collected more than 26 crores despite ban in the biggest state of India (UP) …it could have collected more ….Loved the performance of BIGB after BHTBaap…Such a versatile actor and talent he is…..KBC 5 is rocking and so is BIGB !!!!………..

    Agar muchhe ho to nathulaal jaisi ho varna naa ho…….Agar anchor ho to BIGB jaisa ho varna na ho!!!

  • kk tere bulane se to koi kutta bhi naheen mutega tere upar … mujhe bulaega to thappad khayega itni himmat hai mujh me ki tere jaise bigb ke bhadwon ko do tamche marke ulta tang doon..
    anyways the film has flopped and we are very happy with this result.. the film was badly made badly enacted and could not justify the title .. another flop is added to the bachchan parivars kitty.. and btw his kbc has run into poor ratings thanx to anna!!! but all this im not telling kk cos he will definately commit suicide from this bashing ive given to him and his beep!!!

    big b is now officially the shehenshah of flops and craps

  • @megha

    hahahahaha…….yes yes…his KBC5 show is utter flop..and aarakshan is disaster and his performance is third class…….. comeon bring some more………..I am loving it!!!!!

  • and since you love him so much then go and suck his ..lls…
    the truth is always hurtful
    boi,com has announced that the film has crashed on last tuesday..so where was the fight !!! ??? it tmely sank.. the analysts and that includes me say that the film lost tits path after interval and solely went on about good and bad of coaching institutes and how praksh anand got his respect back forgetting that the topic was about reservations!!!! what a terrible let down..!!!! we have yet to see a badly performed film in the recent past…kbc is a thing of the past.. with very poor ratings all over only the participating families are watching the show .. even radiomirchi has blasted the show saying it is most unwatchable show cos nobody has hit the jackpot !!!
    so to all who are visiting this site ..please spread the word.. aarakshn is not aakarshan

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