‘Politics rests upon a marshy land, once you step over it, minimal resistance is the only key to survival.’ This is what RAJNEETI – politics is. The mind games and the gravity with which it pulls down is hard to escape. Mr. Prakash Jha has definitely given the viewers a lot to mull over with him film.
Bharti (Nikhila Tirkha) marries Chandra Pratap (Chetan Pandit) under the influence of her brother Brijmohan (Nana Patekar). And this marriage secures the state’s political scene with Ramnath Rai, Bharti’s father, running coalition government with Chandra Pratap and his brother Bhanu Pratap (Khan Jahangir Khan). Samar (Ranbir Kapoor) and Prithvi (Arjun Rampal) are sons to Chandra Pratap while Bhanu Pratap fathers Veerendra (Manoj Bajpai). Samar, the youngest, is far from the political drama and has returned to India for a couple of days, and that is when a chain of events start binding him to his home. Doom strikes with the paralysis of Bhanu Pratap. His younger brother is made the party leader with Prithvi positioned at his right hand, leaving Veerendra fuming. Hence, begins the journey of power, revenge, jealousy, and above all fear. Tiffs amongst brothers result in murders and betrayals. And all this culminates into a powerful but predictable climax.
RAJNEETI has every character skillfully written and finds impactful representation on-screen. Where the first half witnesses the aggressive rise of Suraj (Ajay Devgan), the second half rests in the glinting eyes of Ranbir Kapoor. Manoj Bajpai reminds everyone of his class once again and lives upto the revengeful character of Veerendra. Talking of class, the composed and ingenious character of Brijmohan (meaning Lord Krishna) finds home in the veteran actor Nana Patekar. The smirk he wears throughout and the spark in his eyes do complete justice to this modern ‘Krishna’. Indu thrives in Katrina Kaif, a woman torn between worlds, compromising, searching for life in the world of politics. She gets married to Prithvi Pratap, a ruthless politician but eventually she learns to love him. Marvelous is the brilliance with which Mr. Jha has crafted the characters. With Nana Patekar as the hub of the wheel and every other character a firm spoke, linking it to the rim, he rides it so that it moves smoothly leaving a mark behind.
The tight storyline despite its predictability keeps the viewer glued to his seat. This one is for those who have some substance above their shoulders. Rest will only leave the theatre scratching their heads. A movie with substance, apart from depicting the present Indian political arena, it reminds one of the MAHABHARATA. The character sketches of Brijmohan, Samar Pratap, Bhanu Pratap amongst others pose a striking resemblance to Krishna, Arjun and Dhritarashtra. If one has been a witness to the 90’s MAHABHARATA or has read it, then he can find a glimpse of it within certain scenes of the movie. But in the end, it’s all about perspective, modern political drama or the MAHABHARATA portrayal..The screenplay by Mr. Prakash Jha and Mr. Anjum Rajabali makes one ‘think’ and appreciate the character even more.
The movie projects various aspects of modern politics which are accepted as its integral part without any consideration. The desperation for power and the adversities it brings with it, the burning vengeance under the plastered surface and the changing face of relationships under the pull of the swamp – this is the RAJNEETI Mr. Jha presents and forces one to consider those casually accepted aspects. Another striking feature is the role of women – the way their feelings are trampled upon by men and the compromises they make. Of the four lead women characters in the movie, the character of Indu reflects the face of woman in present Indian politics. Despite being used, she gathers herself and rises above all to take centre stage.
Politics is a masquerade where each performer carries so many masks that he loses his own self beneath them. Mr. Jha with his craftsmanship has presented this masquerade on the silver screen and decently managed to uncover a few of many faces successfully.
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