Mumbai: After a long time, ‘Raajneeti’ brings a great cinematic experience on the silver screen bringing respite to viewers who have been suffering through mindless comic capers and mushy romantic films. The best part is that the film has a strong storyline, which has parallels to the epic ‘Mahabharata’ as well as the classic tale ‘The Godfather’. The film is rich with multi-layers and open to interpretation. It has all the ingredients of a great film - drama, romance, suspense and more than anything it reflects our society, history and politics in a very realistic manner.
The story is well-written and gripping. The film is about the Pratap family, which is in politics for years. The film showcases a bloody battle for power between two rival claimants of the family. When the head of the family suffers a stroke his claimants clash with each other. Ranbir Kapoor (Samar), who is settled in with a girlfriend abroad, does not want anything to do with murky politics. But certain circumstances in life force him to join his elder brash brother – Arjun Rampal (Prithviraj). The equation of the characters is very much like Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.
After his father’s assassination, young Samar (Ranbir, first-rate) slips in like a fish into his family’s dirty pond. This transition appears too hastily unexplained for someone who’d been pursuing for years a PhD in Victorian literature before this.
On the other side is the eldest son (Manoj Bajpai) of the head of the family, who forms an alliance with step-brother (Ajay Devgn), a locally popular Dalit youth leader. But no one knows this yet. His character is like Karn from the Mahabharat, picked up and elevated in the rival Kaurav camp. What ensues is a massive struggle for power between the two groups. Nana Patekar akin to Krishna manipulates from behind closed doors. The film shows travails of Ranbir Kapoor as he metamorphoses from a novice to a veteran politician. Katrina Kaif (Indu) plays his childhood sweetheart, who takes over the mantle when the time comes and wins over all by emphasizing her vulnerability and riding on public sympathy.
Director Prakash Jha, who had a stint with politics, gives a vivid insider’s account about the dirty world of politics where there are no scruples just hunger for victory.
He shows us “the party’s” abuse of media, business, caste, coalitions, law courts, police, bureaucracy, even marriages and friendships for power. And all the actors have slipped into their respected roles as if it was tailor made for them. Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif’s chemistry is awesome and Nana, Arjun, Ajay and Manoj have proved their acting prowess once again. Naseeruddin Shah delights in his miniscule role of a revolutionary.
The film has excellent background score, music, cinematography and direction. There is just no reason to miss this one. Go for it!
Rating: Four cheers