Music : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Cinematography : Sachin Krishn
Editing : Santosh Mandal
Director :Prakash Jha
Producer : Prakash Jha,Firoz A. Nadiadwala
Screenplay : Anjum Rajabali,Prakash Jha
Studio: Prakash Jha Productions
Distributed by: Base Industries Groups
Release date: August 12, 2011 (2011-08-12)
Running time : 164 minutes
Rating: 2.75 / 5
Saif ali Khan and Amitab Bachan new Hindi Film Aarakshan Movie Review:
At an event Prakash Jha confessed that it is important to blend an art film with commercialisation for better reach among the masses. That’s what the filmmaker has been trying ever since he made Mrityudand. Once again he attempts tackling a social evil through his film multi-starrer Aarakshan and has managed to stir up the hornet’s nest with the mooted topic of Reservation. There have been multiple ban requests from Political houses so much so that many a political hoodlums also carried out protests against the release of the film. It leaves us all to wonder whether this film really comes out that strong or not.
Story And Movie Analysis:
Set in Bhopal Aarakshan is the story of Prabhakar Anand’s (Amitabh Bachchan) fight against the law system as well as the education system of India. He is the legendary idealistic principal of a private college that he has single-handedly turned into the state’s best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) who will do anything for his Sir. Deepak’s in love with Poorbi (Deepika Padukone) Prabhakar’s daughter. Centred on one of the most controversial issues of recent years, with the Supreme Court’s order on reservations, the story suddenly becomes a rollercoaster ride of high drama, conflict, and rebellion, which tests their love and friendship for one another, and their loyalty to Prabhakar Anand.
Throughout the film Prakash Jha seems to be consciously aware of the topic at hand and that’s just why he deals with it like a Parliament issue making each character voice an opinion. While the first half deals with reservation of seats the second half takes a turn towards the commercialization of education. And the conclusion of it all is so simple that the entire fracas in the nation could be solved so very easily.
The Principal’s role is tailor-made for Amitabh Bachchan. Though the actor has portrayed an unsympathetic Principal of an educational institution in MOHABBATEIN earlier, his role is different this time around. In MOHABBATEIN, a delicate episode toughened his character. In AARAKSHAN, his persona begins to suffer when Manoj Bajpayee and the coterie begin to show aggression and debase him. He doesn’t strike back initially, but retaliates later, when he starts teaching all over again. The actor gives a completely new dimension to this character.
It requires great courage to cast Saif Ali Khan in the role, but he comes across as very persuasive. In fact, the film offers him several difficult sequences, which the actor carries off with flourish. His diction, while delivering shudh Hindi, is perfect. This role must have been a challenge for Deepika Padukone as well and she surprises you with a confident portrayal. In fact, she has an equally challenging part to play in the story and it must be said that she handles her scenes, even when she’s pitted against experienced actors, with complete understanding.
Manoj Bajpayee was remarkable in RAAJNEETI; he played a devious and manipulative politician with gusto. In AARAKSHAN, his character is negative as well; he treats education as a business. And Manoj is incredible this time as well. Prateik is impassive in a few scenes. Also, he needs to loosen up a bit.
Tanvi Azmi is first-rate. Mukesh Tiwari is, as always, top notch. Yashpal Sharma is exceptional. Darshan Jariwala is very good. Saurabh Shukla is wonderful. Chetan Pandit is adequate. Vinay Apte is perfect. Anita Kanwar and S.M. Zaheer are alright. Hema Malini appears towards the end of the film.
Technical and Other Departments:
Yes, at a stage in the film one might start relating to a couple of points being put across. A lot of people may have even succumbed to the quota system widely prevalent in India. However, the superficial approach towards it makes Jha miss the impact. A lot of it can be blamed on the setting, characters, narrative and the length. The initial 30 minutes of the film are a complete let down. With almost two songs breaking on the screen within 15 minutes one starts getting a little edgy and impatient. The setting of a mohalla and local area of Bhopal is all awry. Jha’s editing tools may definitely be rusted for him to not have used them at all. Characters like Prateik Babbar work against the film even more. He not only appears expressionless but also has a very accentuated dialogue delivery.Sachin Krishn’s cinematography is top class. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Music Was good.
Finally, Aarakshan is just an average affair. Could’ve been shorter and better.