MOVIE REVIEW: Rajneeti: 2 Parellels – Gandhi and Mahabharata

Rajneeti Poster
Rajneeti is no short of an epic – the twists and turns that can take place in a long epic have been capsuled into just-under-3-hours of high-voltage drama. Star-studded, and justifiably so, Rajneeti stands on a few key scenes of brilliance – the rest of the scenes being fairly mechanical. Basically there are so MANY key characters (and all roles being played by show-stoppers), that it is hard to notice which point in the movie is a ‘high-point.’ Every scene is a proverbial ‘turning point.’
I haven’t really seen too many Prakash Jha movies – but from what I’ve heard, this movie follows his trademark style – brash, open, sarcastic and a slap on the face of those it is targeted at. As far as the performances are concerned – Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar and Manoj Bajpai – are brilliant. But like I said, in a movie with so much drama and so many good actors, it is hard to notice the artistic brilliance of an actor – it all gets clouded and what youget is khichri and mashed potatoes. It all tastes the same and they all look the same.
Here are 2 parallels that I would like to bring to the attention of the casual observer. Although, I must add a disclaimer: the film-makers would not have consciously intended to portray any of them and they might merely be an outcome of my imagination.
Katrina Kaif in Rajneeti1. The Gandhi Family: Although the movie starts boldly with “resemblance to any person living or dead is merely coincidental”, there are traces of the Gandhi family. Agreed, there possibly wasn’t as much bloodshed and intra-family violence in the Gandhi Family as there is in the “Pratap” family of Rajneeti, but family structures are similar – albeit applicable in a “State” election context rather then “Central” elections. Also a couple of other nagging similarities:
  • Ranbir Kapoor’s similarity to Rahul Gandhi
  • Katrina Kaif’s uncanny resemblance to Sonia Gandhi – In fact, now that I think of it, was it a concious decision to star Katrina Kaif in that particular role? – Given her “foriegn” connections?
2. Mahabharata: Certain inferences that my mother drew out of the movie that had flavours of the Great Indian Epic:
  • Ajay Devgan’s character (“Suraj”) being originally born to Bharti – Just like Karan was born to Kunti but was actually fighting for the Kauravas – against his own brethern, the Pandavas.
  • Nana Patekar’s (“mama”s) character – essentially a fusion of “Shakuni Mama” (the conniving, clever srategist) and Lord Krishna (the Director and the one to always tell you what is “Right”, what is “Wrong” and explain why sometimes it is OK to commit unwarranted deeds for a larger cause or “The Greater Good.”)
The movie is a one-time watch – it lacks originality to an extent, but is otherwise executed well. Prakash Jha put together a fabulous cast – with the right people for the right roles – but I wish he was able to bring out the individual brilliance of the actors more strongly – to justify a cast that looks a dream on paper. In short, a much-awaited movie that does not disappoint – but fails to impress you as much as you might want it to.
RATING: 3.5 / 5.0
Recommendation: Should-watch!

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8 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW: Rajneeti: 2 Parellels – Gandhi and Mahabharata

  1. “Mahabharat connections” is not something unique that you have written about… Every1 knows of it & it is very very apparent to the so called casual observer.

  2. The music and tracks in the film are phenomenal. Each track worth humming, my favourite being “Mora Piya Mose Bolat Naahi”, a soulful ballad. Unfortunately, what the movie achieved in 2 hours, the last half hour destroyed. The climax of the film seemed to stretch forever and ended up making the film seem amateurish. I truly wish they had just chopped off the last reel, I would have left the hall a happier person!

  3. Hey there,
    I think the review was well-written.
    Could you please expand on the second bullet point and find more parallels between the movie and Mahabharata?
    Thanks!

  4. Hi Anika – Thanks for your comment. Certainly a point to ponder over – and perhaps a subject of another blog post. Let me think over and get back, since the post was written quite some time ago!

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