The doubly inspired ‘Rajneeti’

 Rajneeti…—an intense course in ancient Hindi. If d film is a bouncer just remember Godfather and put things in perspective…

I received this text message from my friend Shalini, who watched the film the day it released.

Source: Wikipedia

The Godfather angle was a new one, as all reviews and speculations about Rajneeti was that it was based on the Mahabharata.

Now I had to see this doubly inspired film. So off I went to see Rajneeti.



The first half was well-paced, had some strong  characterisation, and kept me hooked. All this of course changed in the second half. It was downhill all the way, particularly the dialogues.

In fact, I would say that the dialogues are the biggest drawback of the film. I did not have a problem with ‘ancient hindi’, as Shalini had, as it fitted in well with the geographical area that the film is based in. My problem was that the dialogues did not match the character who spoke them. For example, Katrina Kaif’s character suddenly changes from speaking ‘regular Hindi’ to ‘ancient Hindi’.

As for the double inspiration, the Mahabharata definitely scores over the Godfather. Some of the characters are easily identifiable—Karna (Ajay Devgan), Duryodhana (Manoj Bajpai), Dhritirashtra (can’t remember who played this role), and Kunti (Nikhila Trikha).

As for the other characters, though Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor were supposed to have played the roles of Bhima and Arjuna, respectively, I did not find this to be so. I felt that their characters were inspired by Godfather. As for Nana Patekar as Krishna? Perhaps.

The performances ranged from excellent (Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpai) to good (Ajay Devgan), to bad (Katrina Kaif) to downright horrible (Nikhila Trikha). Arjun Rampal was a pleasant surprise–he proved that he just might be able to act.

I chanced upon this fantastic, tongue-in-cheek review of Rajneeti by Dhananjay Mhatre here. Do read it.

On the whole I liked the film and I’m glad I saw it. 🙂

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