Prakash K Jha known for his hard-hitting films returns with a multi-starrer Rajneeti, a present day adaptation of the Indian epic Mahabharata. The director who, himself, has fought elections in Bihar in the past, heads this political drama that stars some of the best talents in the industry.
Prithvi Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal) and Veerendra Pratap Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) are the successors of a powerful political party. Prithvi is eager to take the top spot, but Veerendra turns out to be his biggest opponent. When Prithvi is appointed as the head of the party, Veerendra teams with Sooraj (Ajay Devgan) and the two successfully evict Prithvi from the party.
Enter Samar (Ranbir Kapoor) who has absolutely no political aspirations, but is sucked into the world of politics due to the family political rivalry. Under the guidance of Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar), Samar and Prithvi start their own political party and contest the elections against Veerendra. What follows is an extremely compelling political drama, that should not be missed!
Why Rajneeti should not be missed
- In Rajneeti, Brij Gopal plays a role inspired by Lord Krishna who guides Ranbir Kapoor who plays a role derived from the legendary character of Arjuna, Veerendra plays the evil Duryodhana and Ajay Devgan is Karna. The film also has shades of Hollywood classic Godfather and our very own Ram Gopal Varma directed Sarkar. All characters are well fleshed out and what makes Rajneeti interesting is the fact that all characters have grey shades.
- Prakash Jha’s style of narration proves to be extremely effective. The treatment is simple and the film never really gets monotonous.
- The screenplay is tight with plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience hooked, the first half is well-paced and gripping, the dialogues although at times hard to understand are good. The lack of songs works very well for the film.
- The performances are top notch. Two actors stand out – Manoj Bajpai and Ranbir Kapoor (more on the performances below)
A few negatives
- The length – 3 hours – is slightly on the longer side. The pace does slow down considerably in the second half which seems a bit over-stretched.
- The Kunti meets Karna track doesn’t work.
- Katrina’s dialogue delivery and her expressions tends to fade away at the crucial point, the climax! The punch, the tone that was necessary to cast that one last powerful spell fell pheeka. It failed to make the impact it should have and was very much necessary.
- Dialogues, the powerhouse of any political drama, at times felt hackneyed, a little low on the rank and monotonous. It gets cynical and comical at wrong places.
- Manoj Bajpai is fantastic in a outright negative role, the actor gets everything right – his diction, body language and expressions. An award worthy performance!
- Ranbir Kapoor is extremely effective in Rajneeti, blessed with amazing screen presence the actor proves yet again why he is considered worthy enough to be the next truly bankable star!
- Arjun Rampal is brilliant, one of his best performances ever.
- Nana Patekar is terrific, yet again. He delivers the most difficult of lines with utmost ease.
- Ajay Devgan doesn’t really get a lot of footage, but he does well in most sequences that he is a part of.
- Katrina Kaif does very well in a role without an iota of glamour. Her dialogue delivery is surprisingly good.
- Shruti Seth deserves a special mention, she’s very good. Nasseruddin Shah has a short role and he sleep walks through it. All other supporting actors are good.
Overall, Rajneeti is one of the most compelling films in recent times and Prakash Jha’s best in a long time. The second half though could have been better and much shorter. At the box office, the film is already off to a flying start and over the next two weeks prior to the release of Raavan should do very well with good word of mouth . Business at single screens too is expected to be very good.