Rajneeti- a new kind of Bollywood film

I went to watch Rajneeti. Normally you’d have to pull my teeth to make me go watch a film and a Bollywood one at that but I’d promised a friend and didn’t want to cancel.

I was pleasantly surprised, after L.S.D this is the second Bollywood movie I have really liked this year- completely different from the normal formula and the ensemble cast really worked.

A great movie, especially by typical Bollywood brain-dead standards. The script is about power and what people do to gain power or to prevent being powerless- socially or politically.  The scenarios are a bit over the top and dramatized but the psychology of the characters is really compelling.

Ranbir Kapoor is inspiring; he’s proven he can really act. The wonder of wonders is that apart from being a pretty face the director has somehow managed to get Arjun Rampal to act too. If you’ve ever seen his stoned performance in The Last Lear it comes as a complete but pleasant shock. Devgan is handsome La Masculine, Nana impeccable and Manoj Bajpayee would just never let us down. The best part about the film I’d say is Katrina Kaif. I have no illusions as to whether she can act but that girl has the most attractive upbeat persona and she is delectable.

I was complaining to my friend Anand before about how the cast was 8 guys to one woman; but it didn’t matter. Once she’s on screen you can’t think of or look at anything else- that girl is mesmerizing. I don’t think this film would work without Katrina having been cast, cannot see anyone else pulling off that role.  One wants to swim saat samundar for her however filmi it seems.

I don’t think it’s a phenomenal movie or that it will attain ‘classic’ status but significant because it’s indicative of a different stream of thinking in desi films.  For example, this movie had one song in it or atleast only one song and dance sequence and that too was part of the story (Ranbir and Katrina are at a night club), which I think, is pretty revolutionary when it comes to Hindi films that are usually one song & dance after another. Plus the characters weren’t as stereotypically good or bad the way it usually is; anyone who’s watched a Hindi movie will know what I’m talking about.

The first half is definitely better, the second half seems like the director was in a rush to tie up loose ends- I feel it could’ve been paced better.

I heard after that the fact that it was “loosely based” on the Mahabharata. I didn’t see that apart from the lost son angle and perhaps Nana’s character as the wily Mama; if that’s the claim it ‘s a very loose one indeed- so not Mahabharata not in my eyes. To me the film was about power.

All in all definitely worth a watch especially if you go in with the least expectations.

Also add me to the list of boys & girls who eagerly wait for commercial breaks so that we can watch luscious Katrina in her mango Slice ad.

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