Okay, just to be clear, this is no review of the film. I can’t be a good film critic simply because I am biased and more often than not, I would have decided how the film is going to be based on the cast, the production team, promos, posters, endorsements or the Yash Raj banner (which repels me). But then, who isn’t. Honestly, the promo wasn’t that impressive. But the cast included the likes of Ajay Devgan, Nana Pathekar and Manoj Vajpayee, actors who I feel are grossly underestimated. Especially Ajay Devgan. Besides I was hoping for some bad-ass Ganges Valley slang being exchanged. The appetite courtesy movies like Ishqiya and Omkara.
Apart from the minor confusion in the seating, the theatre was fine. 80 bucks for the pavilion on the first day at a theatre which didn’t reek of the urinal was a pretty good deal. So basically,
Rajneeti = 50% of crappified version of “The Godfather” + 25% of crappy double and triple crossing + more crap
The first half of the movie was total blade (blade: boring for the Tamil/Malayalam illiterate) and an obvious rip off of “The Godfather” plus some clichéd dialogues in Hindi cinema. Here’s the template
“Yeh “<movie name>” hai, yahan blah.. blah …..hota hai/karna padega”
The plot is such that neither Ajay Devgan or Nana Pathekar gets to change their facial expression for the entire first half (pissed off/ confused face and the i’m-the-wise-guy smiling face respectively). Any person who reads the newspaper at least once in a fortnight would know that such things happen in politics. Almost every character who appeared to be aged must have said the “yeh rajneeti hai…..” dialogue at least once. This is not to say that the acting was poor. Actually, it did manage to sustain an iota of interest among the audience. Randhir was reasonably good and Arjun Rampal did manage to look like a neta. Katrina however, was bad as usual although she too managed to look and talk a lot like a female politician whose good looks and accent could attract ridicule from male-chauvinistic-(supposed) nationalists. (The accent would have been a cakewalk for her.)
The second half of the film was ridiculous to say the least. The elections came and Randhir Kapoor’s camp resorts to tactics (read: blackmailing, rigging votes and the ever so silly bomb-attached-to-car-with-cell-phone-remote contraption) which would shock even the mafia. Okay I agree that our “system-and-politicians are corrupt” but come on! Plus the extremely unlucky illegitimate lost son sentiment which everybody from Maharshi Vysya to Mani Ratnam loved returns. At this point a part of the audience actually laughed their guts out. This was by far the most entertaining part of the movie. Eventually, Ajay Devgan’s camp gets kela/aapu left, right and centre and everyone dies. By this time, the Harvard educated and supposedly clever and manipulative Randhir was actually thrashing bad guys in a warehouse and shooting guys with a piston in broad daylight. Okay thats enough laughs for the day.
In-spite of all this, Rajneeti was a welcome break from the usual overdose of Punjabi, foreign extras and silly item numbers. (The pub-song in the movie was cut short for good.) This could even do well at the box office not because its a good movie, but because it could be the least horrible of the lot.