Satyagraha Review

Prakash Jha has recently lost his mojo somewhat with all of his films starting to feel and look the same. Raajneeti, Aarakshan and even Chakravuyh all dealt with important socio-political events in the country’s milieu but only Raajneeti somehow managed to be commercially successful. This time Prakash Jha and his long time collaborato-cum-writer Anjum Rajabali deal with the Anna Hazare movement and bring together another solid cast. So is Jha able to recreate the magic of Raajneeti, Damul, Apaharan? Let’s discuss and dissect.

Story: The main protagonist of the story is Dwarkanath Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) who is a Gandhian in his philosophical thoughts. When after the death of his son (Indraneil Sengupta), his daughter-in-law (Amrita Rao) doesn’t receive any compensation from the minister who promised to give them compensation Balram Singh (Manoj Bajpai), he unwittingly starts a Jan Satyagraha movement across the nation. A multi-millionaire friend of Anand’s, Manav Raghavendra (Ajay Devgn) comes to the help of the movement and mobilizes the movement. Anand also receives support from a local politician called Arjun (Arjun Rampal) who is not the strictest follower of Gandhian principles. Another main character who joins their movement is an influential journalist Yasmin Ahmed (Kareena Kapoor Khan). The story moves forward with twists and turns and giving you any further details will spoil the film.

Satyagraha
Satyagraha Movie Review

Screenplay and Direction: The screenplay is laced with events that have made news in India over the past couple of years and they have been given a fictional touch. Jha raises some pertinent issues which are hampering the growth of this country and for much of the running time manages to evoke a sense of guilt inside you for not contributing enough to stop the prevalent corruption in India. The writers Anjum Rajabali and Rutvik Oza deserve special credits for their work. Where the screenplay falters in, are the romantic exchanges between Manav and Yasmin. This romantic track is an unnecessary diversion. Prakash Jha is back to his Raajneeti elements and manages to give all the important characters their due.

Miscellaneous and Music: The cinematography of Satyagraha by Sachin Krishna is expansive and manages to capture the large scale of the movie in his frames. He is ably supported by the set designers who give the film a realistic touch. The editing is a bit lazy with the climax stretching out for a few extra minutes without any desired effects. The music too isn’t the best thing about the film but because of the genre of the film we don’t notice it too much. The reworking of the “Raghupati Raghav” song is good, nonetheless with the lyrics managing to make a mark.

Acting: The biggest selling point of Satyagraha is without any doubt the cast that Jha has assembled. Two actors give standout performances – Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpai. Amitabh Bachchan embodies the fight and struggle of a modern day revolutionary and makes you weep with his performance. It is certainly one of his best performances in recent times. Manoj Bajpai can now play the role of a Prakash Jha film’s villain in his sleep. His performance of the all-black is sadistic and at the same time humorous. Ajay Devgn is also good in his role but I felt he should have taken it to the next level with his brooding expressions. Kareena Kapoor Khan also manages to make a mark inspite of not having the most detailed character. Arjun Rampal continues his fine form over from D-Day and does well, once again. Amrita Rao plays the role of a silent spectator to the best of her abilities. The other supporting characters are appropriate in their roles.

Conclusion and Box Office: Overall, Satyagraha manages to make a mark in your conscience because of the important issues it talks about. If you manage to overlook a few of the film’s logical loopholes, Satyagraha is definitely an entertaining social lesson. Box office wise, I expect the film to do well inspite of the heavy flow of releases scheduled for the next few weeks. Audiences will enjoy Amitabh Bachchan’s Anand the most and it should set the cash registers ringing.

Positives:

  • Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpai’s performances
  • The important issues it raises
  • The screenplay flows along nicely
  • Prakash Jha’s direction
  • All of the characters have been given enough screen presence

Negatives:

  • The editing
  • The music
Rating: ★★★½☆
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24 Comments

  • Why are all of the good movies releasing close to each other? The first quarter of the year had a dearth of good movies. Second quarter also had only Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani which was worth watching. And then comes the 3rd quarter. Chennai Express, Madras Cafe & now this one. And there’s no end to it:Krish 3 Dhoom 3 and many more. Why couldn’t some of them release their movies during the 1st or 2nd quarter of the year rather than competing for the same time period? Everybody could have had a profit.

  • TimesOfIndia-You may not like this movie if you avoid socio-political realities in cinema.(4.5)

    NDTV-It leaves you more disappointed than angry(2.5)

    Koimoi-Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha is a weightless film that leaves by a transitory impact on its audiences.(2.5)

    Bollywoodlife-Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha is a film made with a noble intention to create an impact, but the not-so-tight execution of a flat storyline with loopholes the size of lunar craters leaves you with the empty feeling .(2.5)

    DNA-Satyagraha is a bad script with good actors(2.5)

    IndiaToday-Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha was lacking and managed to land right on top of a pile of weak stories.(2)

    FOI-The film teeters between topical and tiresome.(2)

    Firstpost-Amitabh Bachchan can’t save the deadly bore fest(1.5)

    Rediff-Satyagraha fails miserably(1)

  • I didn’t like it…..Kareena’s character was complete useless….And There were no chemestry between Ajay nd Kareena…..actualy it was only philosopy between them……….

  • @indicine:i dont think the music of satyagraha is a negative sign for the movie success.as per the concept of movie,saliam suleiman has done a good work.most of the songs are of semiclassical flavour.and the “raske bhare tore nain “was fab. .

  • oh yea! people,critics and media are so happy with crap masala movies that when a good movie with something different comes out, they start pointing out mistakes in it. i would give prakash jha a hats off because he does his best to showcase the reality of our country in his movies so that people would become aware but instead people are bashing this film. bas non sense entertainment se matlab hai.

  • Satyagraha (2013) – Genre Action / politico social

    Dear friends, we have not seen the film but, we have seen some scenes from middle segment; as test screening was on-going at our area / main theatre and due to our friendship with theatre officials we saw some parts from the window of the projection booth. Believe us, the film clicked, & it is a good one; & has enthralling components of political set ups and appears to be a mega-film project.

    Amitabh Bacchen is superb and a master of delivering powerful dialogues in his deep voice and is a treat to see him in the role entrusted to him. Ajay is also very good. WE will write about others / supporting cast / music etc after watching the whole film.

    Movies like Satyagraha could change the thinking of masses and it seems that this film would deliver best entertainment for an average and serious movie buffs. However, we along with our friends would go to see “Satyagraha” after reserving our seats perhaps tomorrow and would revert with our review. Attendance at booking counters at cinemas is in full swing indicating successful collections.

    For the time being all the best for the film team.

  • lets all promise not to see the film and give a kick on the nose to prakash jha…show him that we are very snooty…

  • watched Satyagrah last night i must say it is a good one must watch for every one though it is not perfect movie but definitely on of the better movies of this kind of zoner.
    pluses: Amitabh,Ajay and Manoj Vajpayee, Raghupati songs, direction
    minuses: ajay-kareena romance portion, some boring scenes, little short climax

    with this movie BIG B proves yet again that y he is called as Star of the Millanium, no word to describe this power house in the age of 70 he is still at his best, biggest strong point of the movie. rightly said”Rishte me to hum sabke baap hote h Naam hai BIG B”
    Manoj vajpayee is excellent, Ajaya is very good, Arjun Rampal is good while Kareena is not so impressive, amrita is ok

    direction of prakash jha is first rate though it could be better but for this kind of movie it can still satisfactory
    i agree with Indicine rating of 3.5 because this movie definitely deserve a watch because the subject is strong and superb perfomance by BIG B, Vajpayee and Ajay.

    i totally disagrre with critics who r saying that movie not given any solution of the problem, i want to ask a simple question to them is the solution of recent political environment and corruption is simple?
    if a movie maker or writer are intelligent enough to provide solution than there is no need to make film better they will enjoy as a MP in parliament, still they had given a solution in the movie that to make better political and corruption free environment it is necessary that India’s youth should join the politics. gandagi saaf karne ke liye gatar me utarna padta hai.
    its stupidity of critics that when movie like ce,ETT,dabangg etc comes they are given low ratings bt for a good movie they r giving the same rating to them which deserves better. i agree that this is not a 4/4.5 star movie but it is definately a 3.5* movie. go for it you won’t be sorry tfor this.

    P.S.: thanks god that after not so impressive review i had not give u my curiosity to watch the movie and i m happy that i watched this one…..

  • with just 4 crore opening..its goin onto be a huge flop. sorry, prakash jha. you need to change atleast with the casting. we r bored of seeing same people for 4 yrs in all your movies. open out your eyes..the world is big.

  • Believe me,i had gone to the film hall with a huge expectation.but it disappoint me totally.the film isn’t half of its trailor.prakash jha himself isn’t sure what he is doing.editing is totally bad.ending is totally illogical.you will feel this is not the politics of a city(ambikapur) rather than u will feel it is the politics of village.prakash jhaa is totally fail to describe the character of amitabh bachhan.the best part is manoj bajpayee performence.by delaying the film release the producer have done a good job,otherwise it would struggle to recover its cost.

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