My eyelids gave way to the morning sun rays and they squinted in response. Ahaa!!! What a fine sunny Sunday morning, my little poor brain said. The same little poor brain groaned with excruciating pain at the same time. Ouchhh!!!
I had slept early last night. Quite early for a usual Saturday night. Reason? A campaign to re-negotiate democracy gave me more headache than it must have to the government. No, no. I wasn't at India gate or Qutub Minar on any aamaran annashan or shouting my lungs out for a social cause. I, with my herd of innocent friends, had by mistake, lost way and landed in a single screen theater that was to showcase Satyagraha, Prakash Jha’s latest offering.
Prakash jha, the captain of ships like Damul(1984), Mrityudand (1997), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005), multistarrer hit movie Raajneeti (2010), Aarakshan (2011) Chakravyuh (2012),is known for making films, which deliver a strong message and as far as that goes, Satyagraha doesn't leave any room for complaints. However, the film seems to try too hard at times to make its point. Very preachy throughout.
Briefing you quickly on the story plot, Dwarka Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) is a retired school principal, who doesn't hesitate to fight against corruption in the system. Manav Raghvendra (Ajay Devgn) is an ambitious businessman, who believes only in self-progress at any costs whereas Yasmin Ahmed (Kareena Kapoor) is a journalist, who wants truth to prevail at any cost.
When the population of small-town Ambikapur gets frustrated with the corrupt system, these unlikely heroes come together to join forces with local leader Arjun (Arjun Rampal) to take on the system and the corrupt leader Balram Singh (Manoj Bajpayee).
Sparing some attention to the rich star cast, one can easily visualize the eldest and the most respected of the lot, Mr. Bachchan arriving on a huge golden chariot with Jha holding on to the horses reigns and the rest actors by his side. Amitabh Bachchan is like an old lion, whose roar is still respected and the veteran delivers a masterful performance as the dignified and incorruptible Dwarka Anand. He is flawless and consistent in his small but important role. He forms the backbone of the film. His emotional scenes with bahu Amrita Rao can make you cry. Rao, as the ideal bahu, has little scope for performance and survives with little or no dialogues crying unstoppable till the end. Actually, her dialogues die with her husband.
Ajay Devgn, a favorite of Prakash Jha, is reliable as always when it comes to delivering an intense performance. Devgn's transformation from an unscrupulous businessman to a social activist happens too fast to seem convincing whereas Rampal has decent but short roles. A sheer waste of talent is Rampal.
Okay, now whose left, whose left? Urrrghhhh!!! How can one forget this unavoidable element if you have tolerated her without caring to go to sleep? Kareena Kapoor Khan, a big miscast. And before you can say ‘Kareena Kapoor Khan', she pledges her support to the movement and becomes a fellow activist! In an unnecessary scene, Kareena's character castigates a colleague for suggesting that they carry news about some prominent figure involved in a MMS scandal. Yasmin Ahmed, the rising star of the communication sector. That was one of her opening dialogues in the movie. WTF!!! Her ‘holier than thou' act gets on your nerves at times. At times? No,no,no!!! EVERYTIME. Eveytime she jumps into the frame, you feel like stabbing yourself with the next sharp thing you can see around. I survived because the theater was purposely made dark to avoid any causalities. Theater anna!!! I owe you this one. Thank you! *kisses.
|A poster of the film. Photo courtesy: Internet|
The love track between Devgn and Kapoor too is highly unnecessary and takes away focus from the main plot. For these two lovers, I had to give them a standing ovation and clap slowly. How considerate they are! Amidst, the poor old retired school principal’s son’s sad demise and all the hullabaloo that follows, they make sure to find time for some sex, not to mention the strange foreplay they carry out in the middle of a dark night on the house’s terrace, wearing bright white clothes. That was the last thing I expected from the movie.
Saving the best for the last has always been my funda of life. Hence, let’s talk about that one guy which makes Satyagrah worth watching, Manoj Bajpayee, who as the sly Balram Singh, Bajpayee simply dominates every scene that he is a part of and elicits the maximum whistles and claps with his ‘comic baddie' act. Manoj has always been a delight to watch in Jha’s films, ornamented with power-packed, mind-boggling dialogues. Here, are those dialogues that will make you hoot for him.
|Manoj Bajpayee at the first look|
launch of the film. Photo courtesy: Internet
Bachpan me kabhi aapke father thapadiyaye nahi the kya, bas mamla theek kijiye aur forget and forgive kariye.
Kya samajh rakha hai humko baraati ka dhol ki aap bajate rahenge aur hum dance karte rahenge.
Thode time ke liye humko bhi yakeen ho gaya tha ki koi na koi rasta nikalega ye Delhi ka businessman lekin iska toh computer hi chori ka nikla.
Salim-Sulaiman have done a decent job with the music. Aiyo ji, is an exceptionally brilliant track featuring Nathalia Kaur( remember, the foreign find of RGV?). Raghupati Raghav, the evergreen Gandhi bhajan has been used very smartly to prick all your heart’s sensitive chords. They have clearly done a clean job to give the lack-lustrous film the mood it requires.
As it approaches climax, all random sequences fall in place in front of your eyes that can easily connect the dots and you can see the Anna Hazare campaign being re-played.
There is no doubt that Jha set out with noble intentions, while making the film, but with better execution, the film could have been more successful in connecting with the audience.
On a final note, if you have nothing to do this weekend, then go for Satyagraha or visit a morgue, sit there and re-watch the Anna Hazare's campaign footages. It’s almost the same. It's a film for those who can tolerate political drama non-stop.
I was more engrossed in passing chips and popcorn from one corner to another, a self devised time pass to ward off boredom and sleep. For, the ones who are still concerned about my headache, kindly drop in contact details of good hair spa outlets at firstname.lastname@example.org as I go grab a cup of coffee. ;)