Friday, August 12, 2011

Aarakshan Movie Review-Aarakshan has no Aakarshan

Ajay Devgn said recently that Aarakshan is not controversial at all. I came out of the theater and told the policemen guarding the theater that there was nothing remotely concerning (or even thought provoking) in the flick, let alone being riot-worthy The cop agreed, saying that they were asked to waste time due to political pressure. Some ‘Rajneeti’ this

Anyway, back to Aarakshan movie review, what can be said about a film that loses it focus mid-way and becomes a jaded melodrama that ends in a whimper of sorts?

Prabhakar Anand (yes, Big B) is a principled principal who does everything noteworthy but not note-worthy. In other words, he gives financial support for students who are broke, acts as guarantor for people who need loans and does everything that is fundamentally laudable for the human good, but does not believe in trading his goodness for monetary gains. Dare call him a casteist and you’d end up with a suspension letter.

There is a young lecturer called Deepak Kumar( Saif Ali Khan) a Dalit (does not quite look like it) who has a thing going with the principal’s daughter Purvi(Deepika Padukone). There is a rich guy too, Sushant Seth( Prateik Babbar) who is the son of one of the college’s trustees. Both the guys have divergent views, so when there is a Supreme court mandate that gives more reservation (Aarakshan) to the SC/SCT and OBC, there is a huge supportive uproar from one side and an acidic one from the other. Matters hit a disconcerting note between Deepak and Sushant while there is another racket of Mitlesh Singh (Manoj Bajpai), a professor getting political support to start a coaching class by the side.

After an altercation with Purvi on his stance against her father; Deepak leaves for US. The principal is not able to take the bureaucratic pressure and resigns. The vile college professor Mitleish assumes his chair..sorry, gets his own chair and also runs a franchise of his very own lavishly funded KK coaching classes. It does not take time for Prabhakar Anand to turn pauper and it does not take much time for him to turn the tide and establish his own style of education on the strength of his good old principles of goodwill, integrity and hardwork. Finally, the evil meets his fate and the good rules.

Plus points of Aarakshan

The first half of the movie is taut and moves seamlessly. A couple of scenes like the procession of dalits near the gate of the Shankuntala Takaral College, the sequences between Big B and Saif Ali Khan do leave some impact.

Minus points of Aarakshan

1.. Director Prakash Jha looks positively confused; yes it is not a cakewalk to make a movie on a sensitive topic but considering that he is a pro at issue based films; something better than this insipid attempt was excepted from him. Aarakshan become a totally different movie in the second half. Post interval, it is just a tirade against private coaching classes and their profit motive. Whatever happened to the mainstay of the film- caste-based reservation?
2. The execution too is dismal, you can make out that half through the film, the director knew that he was playing with fire, and so he watered the entire script down with a clich├ęd treatment. The movie neither preaches, nor entertains; it just disappoints. If you are looking for an engaging perspective on education, you may have to look elsewhere.
3. Prakash Jha’s confusion is so evident that he does not even know whether to take the flirtatious gestures of Prateik Babbar for Deepika forward, or leave it as it is, because she is Saif’s girl. There are way too many characters in the background with half-baked characterizations. Also why does one need to signify the good with a decent attire and the bad with an over-the-top ghastly look? For instance, since Mitlesh Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) is a cheat and scammer, he has to do with a funny curl on one of his forehead, the wig gone askew and a fake devilish grin.
4. Just when you think Bollywood has evolved, you come with the usual stuff about the good guy losing all his supporters only to realign to him at towards the ending reels.

Performances in Aarakshan

Aarakshan is purely a Bachchan film and the superstar sleepwalks though the role, performing in his usual suave, dignified and understated manner. To summarize his performance in one word-classy  Saif K Ali Khan is sincere, he gets a couple of scenes to go full throttle and he does convincingly but sadly, he is robbed of screentime. Deepika Padukone is pretty but she is not so effective in the intense moments. She has done better stuff in the tougher Lafangey Parindey,hasn’t she? Prateik Babbar is also disappointing, he is not able to give the required depth to his character. The biggest shock is Manoj Bajayee who shows that even he can be a bad actor. Hema Malini, who is the founder of the college, comes in the end and trust me, she looks amazingly beautiful even with the gray wig.

So,should I watch Aarakshan?

Clearly, we can hold the director at fault for a compromising script, compromising screenplay and compromising performance.There is no aakarshan in Aarakshan


Prajwol said...

Aarakshan did not well at box office. Saif is no perfect in role. Movie can be hit if Ajay castes. Film flop as Ajay was absent

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