Sunday, June 13, 2010

Raajneeti: After-thoughts

If you are an engineer, you would know what is meant by research paper. For the others, here are the steps to write a paper:

1. Select a subject. More often than not, this is a topic on which one has some past experience and, preferably, in which one has burn his finger.
2. Select a few pioneering papers and refer to some current industry work.
3. Take bits and pieces of information from all these sources and compile them

The above three steps are for writing ordinary papers which will help you get a good job or an admission to a US grad program. However, to get into a top rung university/job, you need to be a little creative and follow the below step.

4. Do some transformation on the information gathered from the research papers and then compile it. For example, if there are two variables in an equation, combine them and make it a third variable. Transpose a variable from one side of the equation to the other side. Add two or more independent equations and make a consolidated compiled equation which, in essence, doesn't carry any new information.

And woila! We have an Ivy League paper!

Prakash Jha's Rajneeti can be considered analogous to a research paper. It takes bits and pieces from Mahabharat, God Father, Shiv Sena, Congress, (Priyadarshan's movie) Virasat among other sources.

Mahabharat is a timeless epic and any political saga could somehow be seen as inspired from Mahabharat. Raajneeti, doesn't have this subtlety. It overtly draws-in from Mahabharat. So - there is a ruling family. Bharati Rai (Kunti) abandon's her son, Suraj (Karna/AjayDevgan). She get married to the ruling family - she has two children and her brother-in-law has one (as apposed to 100!) The ruling party's president is taken to bed and there is a war of succession. His son Veer Pratap (Duryodhan) wants to be the president while his cousin Prithviraj Pratap (ArjunRampal/Pandav) claims that post. Veer Pratap (Duryodhan) befriends Suraj (Karna), a complete outsider to politics. There is Mama Shakuni, played by Nana Patekar - who (as per step 4) is on the Pandav's side! The conversation between Bharati and Suraj where she tells Suraj that she is her biological mother and that he should leave the opposition and join their side is lifted up from the Kunti-Karna conversation directly. The terms used - like "jesht putra" - shouted out loud that this is lifted form Mahabharat.

If you thought this was neat, Prakash Jha, intricately weaves, the Mahabharat tale with God Father's. Hence enters Samar (RanbirKapoor/Pandav/Michael Corleone). Though he is dis-interested in politics and is doing his PhD in the US, stays back when his father is murdered. (A sequence similar to Anil Kapoor's staying back in Virasat). He then, like Michael Corleone, takes charge of the Family and chalks out strategies. The sequence of car-blasting while the driver goes for a leak, the blood flooded dead on the bed, the peace treaty between the Families are some of the sequences directly picked up from God Father.

Considering the movie in its face value alone, it was a good attempt. The pace of the movie was fast enough to keep you seated. The whole screenplay was brilliant. The dialogues were very ordinary - a few however were absurd. Like:

Bharati's Father: Tum us do takey ke aadmi se pyar karti ho? (or something like that)
Bharati: Aapke liye toh takey hi sub kuchh hai na.

Katrina Kaif overtakes Ranbir's car.

Ranbir: Tumhare paas license hai? (or something like that)
Katrina: Kiska, gadi chalene ka ya tumhe kiss karne ka

The music was apt. Especially, Mora Piya song is good. The "disco" song was not needed - however, not being a full-length bollywood song, it didn't hurt. All the actors gave great performances. Nana Patekar does a good job by not mimicking himself. Naseerudding Shah is brilliant in his less-than-4-minutes role. However, Ranbir Kapoor steals the show. Brilliant acting by the newest offerings from The Kapoor Family. A special acknowledgment to the dress-designer. The long dupatta/stole worn by the politicians was cool and a little different from the mundane white kurta pajama.

However, if there were one thing i could change in the movie - it would be the ending. A party's president is taken-to-bed. Its second in command is killed. A major part of the party spins off. Still, that spun off party wins. I would have made a third party winning. Dividing a party divides the vote base - and it's more "real" that a third party wins. We have seen this in case of MNS being spun off from Shiv Sena.

Overall, it was a good movie with a lot things happening in three hours - Mahabharat and God Father. Despite drawing heavily from the two, it keeps you seated till the end. Not a great movie or a movie you would want to watch again and again - but worth watching it once, preferably, in single-screen theater.


Angel :) June 13, 2010 at 6:23 AM  

Good review, mate. Yes. The dialogues given to Ranbeer and Katrina were pretty ordinary. The movie on the whole was worth watching. Isn't it?

sweeliee June 13, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

yday i saw this movie... thought in the same lines as yours while watching!!! its okay watching it once

Surbhi Jain June 13, 2010 at 3:30 PM  

Very nice review! I watched the movie and loved it, Didn't like katrina and ranbir though!

Biswajit Biswas June 13, 2010 at 5:05 PM  

Good review, although seen the movie in bits and peices ( thanks to our cablewala), but the comparisions seem to be correct.
Good work both by you and Prakash Jha.

Prashant Mehta June 13, 2010 at 7:13 PM  

Angel :) ji

Yeah, It was a good movie. Can be watched one time.

sweeliee ji
ahaa.. like minded people!

Surbhi Jain ji
Thanks! I liked Ranbir's acting, though. He reminded me of Rahul Gandhi :)

Biswajit Biswas ji
Thanks! Lot of characters. Would be difficult of keeping track if watched in bits an pieces.

malihamariyam June 13, 2010 at 11:40 PM  

spoiler alert :-p

Aritra Das June 13, 2010 at 11:41 PM  

Nice review again, dude... just one thing - I think Nana Patekar's character was more like that of Krishna than that of Sakuni and ranbir Kapoor was the Arjun...

As one of my friends rightly put it - "if u dunno abt the mahabharat and haven't seen the godfather, this movie is definitely worth a watch"... Would have done better with a little lesser resemblance though... anyway, I don't think Vyas Dev would have had any copyright violation issues in case the story was mahabharat was twisted a little.... :P

abhishek June 14, 2010 at 1:41 PM  

Nice Review Mate....

The part whre ajay devgan is killed by Ranbir Kapoor after Nana Patekar tells him to do so is exactly similar to Mahabharat.The wheels of karan's chariot gets stuck in the ground.Arjun kills him after Krishna tells him to do so.

PRATIK June 14, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

Sorry Prashany, this is the first time i have not enjoyed ur review or ur analysis in rahneeti, since u have not watched movie properly...first of all Nana patekar was not mama shakuni, he was playing the role of Lord krishna with only a difference that he was not paandav's freind but their mama...Remember his name-Brij Gopal, secondly, the movie was solely based on mahabharata in todays poltical world and hence some reference were taken from shiv sena nd Godfather, but from no where it was copied from virasat... In virasat it was different, the brother stays back marries tabu and takes care of his father's position while in rajneeti, ranbir stays back to revive his brothers political career, does not marries Katrina and at the end goes back to US to complete his PHD, while in former, Anil Kapoor goes to Jail...Again Katrina Plays Draupadi nd even her role as well as every character is well etched...I wud say after so long some logical nd substantial movie has come after 3 Idiots...

sinthia June 14, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

The review is good..i am surprised at ur concentration of watching any someone can memorize all the dialogues spoken in the movie:)
but u did a mistake..Bharati told suraj that he was her "jyeshtha putra" not "bhrata" you know "bhrata" means brother and obviously suraj can not be her brother;)
anyways..this was a nice review of the movie..hope to see the review of "Raavan" soon:)

Prashant Mehta June 14, 2010 at 3:25 PM  

malihamariyam ji
It's not a spoiler. It's good. Not great. Not bad. Not a spoiler, for sure

Aritra Das ji

I think Krishna's character was divided between Nana's and Ranbir's. Both of them are into planning. No where did Nana "preach" a troubled Ranbir. I would call Nana's character as an amalgamation of Krishna's and positive Shakuni's. And Ranbir's as Krishna's and Arjun's.

Well - that's the beauty about epics - No Copyright violations. In fact, the come with a copy left, right and center license!

abhishek ji

Oh yeah. One more evidence for Nana as Krishna and Ranbir as Arjun! Looks like the scale is more towards Nana as Krishna!

I agree with your points. The name thing is a good observation! Well, i brought in the Virasat thing for the fact that there was some family feud and the foreign return son stays back. Here, of course, he is shown to go back at the end.

Draupadi's character is also a good observation. Here, Katrina is shown to love Ranbir, marry Arjun Rampal! Here also, Ranbir uses her in the "gamble" but in this case wins! So, in that case, Ranbir is like Yudhishtir. In fact, his name - Samar (which means War/Battle) - indicates his character's similarity with Yudhishtir's

Sinthia ji

Thanks for catching the mistake. Corrected it :)

Thoughts.. June 14, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

Rajneeti... didn't seem to be prakash Jha film, I was tempted to think that its Abbas Mastan's movie.
There were no strong characters in the movie which would have be instrumental in putting the movie ahead and this made the movie very slow paced.
Ranbir kapoor, with his boy next door looks, didn't gave me the feel that I imagined.
Arjun Rampal, unimaginably expressionless,was the only silver lining.
Epics like Mahabharata have had many strong characters which are difficult to replicate.
On the whole movie was ordinary. Can be watched atleast once. (To forget the horrors of Kites..)

Prashant Mehta June 21, 2010 at 1:28 AM  

Thoughts.. ji

I have made no comparisons between Mahabharat and Raajneeti. All i said is that like many other movies and work of art - from paintings to short stories, Raajneeti draws in from Mahabhart. That doesn't make it comparable to Mahabharat.

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