Aarakshan Movie Review

Director: Prakash Jha

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar

Producers: Prakash Jha, Firoz Nadiadwala

Rating: * * * 1/2


Please Ignore The Title!

Plot: Idealist Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) is the principal of Saraswati Thakral Mahavidyalay. Prabhakar’s disciple and Professor Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) is in love with his daughter Poorbi (Deepika Padukone). They both share a good bond with student Sushant Sheth (Prateik babbar).

A storm arrives in the college after the Supreme Court gives green signal to the 27% reservation in education institutes with some being in favor of it and some against. Prabhakar’s reaction to the issue is misinterpreted and he is forced to resign from the institution.

Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan is surrounded with controversies and is also banned in three states because of its subject – reservation in education. Ironically, after watching the film it is realized that the main plot has hardly anything to do with reservation as the issue is left stranded even before the film completes its first half.

The focus of the movie is how Prabhakar Anand fights back after being down in the dumps. However, Big B’s way of fighting the battle while bringing a change in the education sector makes for a delightful viewing.

But to experience that, you need to just ignore the title and forget the hue and cry about reservations that took place in the first half.

During the starting moments, Jha and Anjum Rajabali’s screenplay doesn’t completely hook you into the proceedings although that isn’t a problem factor. Things get a kick-start once the 27% reservation is passed. The high-octane drama that follows is terrific. In fact, the film is blessed with a good number of well shot dramatic scenes which act as saving graces.

But as stated earlier, the whole issue of reservation is lost in thin air as the focus becomes Prabhakar and his family’s downfall. Inclusion of an unwanted scene where Saif tries to be a hero but falls flat is largely responsible for the loss of focus.

Fortunately and unexpectedly, the film moves uphill after that as Bachchan’s character shows his heroism and fiery attitude. This is followed by an extremely moving climax. It is for these proceedings that the film along with Jha needs to be appreciated. Jha has also penned some powerful as well as touching lines that suit the mood and nature of the film perfectly.

There isn’t much scope for music. Trio of Shankar Ehsan Loy manage to do an average job. Sachin Kumar Krishnan’s cinematography is another plus point and so is Wayne Sharp’s background score.

Since it is already mentioned how Amitabh Bachchan’s acts provide pleasure, it goes without saying that the actor shows his supreme talent in the film. His portrayal of different sentiments and specially his fight back can touch anyone’s heart.

Saif Ali Khan manages to play a complete common man with perfection. But it is doubtful whether his admirers would appreciate his character considering its disappearance from the proceedings in between. Deepika provides good support to both Bachchan and Saif.

Despite Big B stealing the scene, Manoj Bajpai manages to impress in an out-an-out negative character. His evilness wins you over. Although Prateik Babbar does well, he appears as a miscast mostly because of his weird voice. A more heroic and manly actor would have been a better choice.

Overall, the strong post-interval sequences not only save Aarakshan but also manage to make you smile. Of course, you need to ignore the title. Thanks to the controversy and hype, the film will manage good collections at the box-office.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by SANKALPA OJHA on August 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Do you mean that the movie do not give any insight into the problem of reservation? Or it does not provide any clear understanding about the advantage or disadvantage of reservation?


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