Aarakshan: Biased? Anti-Dalit? Anti-Anti-Dalit?

Prakash Jha is a master filmmaker. I mean, fine, he was into some advertising in here and had Star News, Tata Photon and what not in the time when he talks of Mandal Commission and introduction of 27% reservation, but he comes up with a good movie on a sensitive issue and manages to keep it almost as unbiased as it is possible, and gives views of both the sides.

But then, the movie has some anti-dalit dialogs that come from the alleged upper caste people. And again, I would say that Jha has handled things very carefully here because while it’s not possible to make a good movie on the subject without including at least some such dialogs, he has put the counter-views in the same place to keep the balance.

The interesting thing here is that while the villain here are clearly politicians and businessmen who try to get their own profits out of every policy, Jha has shown the plight of everyone who becomes a victim. While on one hand he explains the problems of ‘dissimilar start line in race’ very clearly, he also shows the pain of an upper caste peon’s son who could not make it to the college of his choice because of reservation.

And then, there is his hero who does not want to believe in caste, does not believe in untouchability in the least bit, but asks his ‘Pandit’ peon not to touch his feet saying he’d be a sinner if the peon does that, even though not seriously. But most important of it all, his hero believes that he as a teacher should be above caste etc. but gives free education to those who are less affluent and do not have ‘equal’ means, irrespective of caste, and on the same ground he personally supports reservations so that everyone can rise.

So, in a way, the movie can be called pro-dalit, or anti-anti-dalit as it goes against those who are anti-dalit, but it can not be termed as anti-upper caste. Calling it anti-dalit is not even a possibility, even with the presence of a few anti-dalit dialogs in the beginning of the movie, because while Jha has tried to show the problems and emotions of everyone, including a mother who thinks a rule that goes against her child’s life/career is wrong. Yes, she sounds biased, or rather is biased, but she is true too. And towards the end, he has tried to give a solution as well, though it is not too practically applicable at a large scale and which needs highly selfless politicians which looks next to impossible today.

But overall, I’d say that the movie is almost as good as it could be. And while watching the movie, at some point I was feeling that Amitabh was right in asking Rajdeep Sardesai to watch the movie and then comment, especially in view of the former’s own character in the movie.

(Views expressed here are my personal views about the movie and do not endorse any political or other agenda)

Rajneeti: Review

When i was in school and we were asked to write essays on our favourite books i always wrote Mahabharata. There is a saying in Bengali :”Ja nei bharate, ta nei bharate” which means anything that did not find a place in the great epic, does not exist in India. Politics forms the crux of the epic. Dynastic politics, feud over property, power tussle between blood relations make each page of the greatest story ever told so gripping. But an adaptation of the same with Indian electoral politics as the backdrop fails to impress much. Specially so because this film comes from the kitty of Prakash Jha (who had raised the bar of film making with Gangajal). Had Karan Johar made this film i would have been all praises (like i was in MNIK; that film was pathetic too). Rajneeti works because Mahabharata works.

I will not go into the story of the film. I would just try to talk about certain aspects of the film which if absent could have made Rajneeti a classic. First is the screenplay. In the first half of the film it almost resembles a Yash raj drama! Specially the scenes between Ranbir and Katrina! The scenes went by too fast and editing was really bad which hampered the flow of the film. The songs were complete misfit and could have been given a miss! Prakash Jha should really learn how to use songs as background scores. Some concepts were cliche ridden. Dialogues were stale in most parts and evoked laughter in some serious scenes (like “tum mere jyesth putra ho”). The director’s attempt to adapt Mahabharata boomerangs. He lets many strings loose which becomes very difficult for him to sort out by the end of the film.

This is an extract of Aagan‘s review. Complete Review at Aaganzworld.

Update: I watched Raajneeti and absolutely loved it. My suggestion, Do watch it, if you like or have any interest in that bad game called Politics. I have. 🙂

Rajneeti: Trailer

Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti might be awaited, but NOW, it will be really awaited. I think we need such trailers for movies to be hit. The trailer reminds me of Mahabhrat (intendedly, of course) with a wonderful voice over that sounds like that by Nana Patekar. Well, no discussions on that for now. Watch the trailer. Listen to the voice over. To Vande Mataram. And wait for May 28th.
Continue reading “Rajneeti: Trailer”