Jun 9, 2010 - Uncategorized    32 Comments

This is NOT a film review

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I saw Rajneeti last night and while the film was arrite, there are a couple of things that I must point out.

For starters, it always comes in handy to have two studs in a political family. You want a super rich dude to finance your election campaign; you offer one of them to marry his daughter, if he does like the one you offer, there is always the other stud who will step in.

The film has some of the most fertile female characters ever presented on celluloid. They could be from different generations, different races and countries but they all conceive at the drop of a hat. There are three female characters in the film and they all got pregnant before you can actually say the word. Be it the mother who sleeps with her geriatric guru ji, Ranbir Kapoor’s character and his firangi girl friend and the married couple of Arjun Rampal and Katrina Kaif, they are all reproductively blessed beyond measure. No single character, not even the PhD from New York and his American girl friend thought about using protection. No wonder South Asia still has one of the highest birth rates in the world.

Whosoever designed Manoj Bajpai’s hairpiece should be shot dead. I mean there is fake hair piece and there is a fake hairpiece that screams ……..FAKE!!!!!!!!!!! As if that hair was not distracting enough, he was made to wear silk waistcoats that go with kurta pajama/shalwar kameez. The irony was that he was made to wear them with trousers and shirts making him look like a total moron. The audience had to root for the sartorially sophisticated combo of Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor, poor Bajpai had no chance.

I am glad that Ajay Devgan’s role was small. Tolerating him is an ordeal in any case, tolerating him in a longer role would have been a bigger ordeal. Thank God I, and millions of other viewers were spared that.

The parallels with Godfather are inevitable. 

Arjun Rampal is drool worthy no matter what he wears (or not wear), but Arjun Rampal in a kurta pajama trying to speak in Bihari accented Hindi is super drool worthy. If you are a woman with a pulse and can understand Urdu/Hindi, please do watch the film to admire super desi studliness (yes, I just invented that word) of Arjun Rampal, you won’t regret it.

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32 Comments

  • the only reason i got sad when arjun rampal and the firangi were killed was because there would be nothing left to look at in the movie anymore

  • heheh exactly my reaction while watching the movie – why are all the women folk shown to be stupid, meek and ready to get impregnated 😛

  • Not just this movie, but the whole Indian media (including the soaps) have left no stone unturned in making the audience to believe that there is no harm in getting pregnant before marriage.

  • also some part of story is taken from mahabharat (an indian epic) where the first one to get pregnant finds his son in the form of Ajay Devgun and says – “tum mere jyeshth putra ho”, same as in mahabharat kunti said this to karna.

    but overall movie was good, superb acting by manoj bajpai and nana patekar role was cute….as usual arjun rampal is stud….ranvir was fine….

  • Haha, I am so watching rajneeti now. Thanks for this post. Arjun Rampal IS the saax

  • Nothing abut Katrina’s acting? How can that be! Is she good? Convincing?

  • It had lot of parallel excerpts from mahabharat (as varun says)…. mixed with Godfather… of saving the doomed empire…

    Like,

    Manoj bajpai – as duryodhan
    Ajay – Karan
    Kat – Draupadi
    Ranbir – Arjun
    Nana Patekar – Krishna… (but has bit darker shade to the character

  • Now I am going to watch it…

  • House full in Pindi 🙁 will try next weekend. Apart from the obvious droolworthiness of Arjun the Rampal, super excited about watching Nana and Naseeruddin Shah Sahab! both looked great on the poster!

  • A good movie, and the actors were all very competent. Despite having so many characters, they were well sketched. And as has been pointed out earlier, heavily inspired by the Mahabharat, the brothers’ equation very similar to Godfather and some resemblance to the Gandhi family too.

  • Rachna, Neeku and Varun,

    I went to watch it precisely because of the Mahabharata reference. I find the character of Draupati extremely interesting but that angle (polyandry) was not explored.

    Do you guys know that it is said that Draupati and her 5 pandavs are originally from a place near Taxilla which is near Islamabad in Pakistan.

  • Tazeen
    Prakash Jha is one of finest indian directors when it comes to directing a political criminal saga at a grass root level. He is the bihar ‘expert’ and his previous efforts like Gangajal apaharan were superlative movies
    Raajneeti potentially a good movie turns into a complete disaster in the last one hr or so.
    I will quickly hightlight two points although there are numerous flaws, some you have already highlighted effectively
    1. This was Prakash Jha’s first movie to be released outside hence the inclusion of relatively bankable names Ranbir and Katrina especially with the desi audiences abroad. Katrina is a pretty much a disaster anyway and ranbir despite being naturally gifted couldnt pull off the michael corleone thingy:)he still needs age maturity(if you notice there were numerous tributes to the original Godfather)
    2ndly assembling a cast of many famous actors always does injustice to any movie. There was a main plot and many sub plots.
    And unfortunately Mr Jha couldnt do justice to any of them and eventually lost the script completely.
    Although full mark to the look of the movie:)

  • LMAO @ Whosoever designed Manoj Bajpai’s hairpiece should be shot dead. I mean there is fake hair piece and there is a fake hairpiece that screams ……..FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for that non-review-review post. Enjoyed it. People are raving the movie will try and watch it.

  • well agreed in most cases and disagreed in some too. one thing which irritates me is in the span of days right before the election this mush violence and this much killing and that too of the candidates of the main parties did not affect the country not even the elections???? and yes Arjun is and was the most handsome dude of bollywood, he never got what he deserve but of-course not ajay is a fantastic actor and looked good in his role in this movie too, in fact to me this movie belongs to first arjun and then ajay.

  • I dont know why Ajay devgan has accepted this role, he deserve lot better role.

    Story is too boring in second half.

  • Like you I also don’t like Ajay Devgan in any movie n so I didn’t watch it all 🙂

  • Tazeen,

    Draupadi, also known as Panchali, was the daughter of Panchal naresh, a region corresponds to modern day Uttarakhand. Interestingly, polyandry is still practiced in some part of Tibet, that i think was a part of Panchal in those days. I think you are confusing Gandhari(mom of Duryodhan etc) with Draupadi. Gandhari was the daughter of king of Gandhar (modern day Kandhar), that might include Taxila and neighbouring region in those days, just a guess.

    Although Prakash Jha has hit the jackpot with this movie, but it is the worst film that he has done.

  • Arjun Rampal: Who knew utter depravity with a touch of insanity could be so damn sexy? 😛

  • You make the movie sound so different! Sharing this post!

  • ok, i finally have 2 reasons to watch the film – Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor… 😉 thank you!

  • Draupadi was from Panchala.That is likely to be punjab(panch rivers).She is also called Krishna because she had dark complexion(like God Krishna).

    Gandhari was from Gandhara(Kandhahar, afghanistan).She was mother of Kauravas(Duryodhana etc)

  • haven’t seen it yet but i do have disagrement. ajay devgan was quite bearable, rather good, in company.

  • Sami,

    I agree, he was quite agreeable in ‘Company’ but that was an exception rather than a rule.

    My Indian friends,

    I read Ramdas’ ‘Return of Aryans’ where he argued that Draupadi is from present day Taxilla which is in Punjab.

  • Draupadi is known as Panchali.Hence she is definitely from Punjab.

    But the Pandavs do not belong to Punjab.They are probably central India like Hastinapura,Indraprastha(both near modern Delhi).Most of the cities are situated in the banks of Ganga and its tributaries.Dwarka,where Krishna went and built a new city because of constant war from Jarasandha is supposed to be in modern day Gujarat

    Sindh is mentioned in mahabharatha when after the war, arjuna captures Sindh.

    Afghan people fought for Kauravas.They were supposed to be fierce warriors and good horsemen.

  • Ha! Ha! A nice read… with a dash of humour.

    This one was supposed to be a ‘modern take’ on the great epic… the “Mahabharat”. Actually contemporary “Mahabharat” meeting “The Godfather”… or so it was billed…

    But… most reviewers have missed out the meaning of ‘Rajneeti’ and equated it with ‘politics’. While ‘Rajneeti’ actually means the ‘principles/ideals followed by a just ruler/King’ or the guiding principles to ruling (‘Raj’ = Ruler/King/One who rules and ‘Neeti’ = principles/ideals)

    We also know the fate of the other much awaited movie… billed as the ‘modern day’ take on the “Ramayana”.

    The ‘Mahabharat’ is the greatest of all epics. Echos of the ‘Mahabharata’ (as well as the ‘Ramayana’) can be found in the great epics of the western world…

    As for the ‘contemporizing the Mahabharat’ bit… let us first try to understand/interpret our great epics rightly (and that includes the ‘Ramayana’ as well). They are timeless. What is found in the ‘Mahabharat’… can be found elsewhere throughout the ages… but what is not there… will not be found anywhere.

    Wonder why the history of our country or those of the ‘extinct’ civilizations are usually written by folks… belonging to nations whose own history is but a few hundred years!

    … Despite enough proofs to the contrary… our great epics are dubbed as ‘mythology’. Wonder why though…

    ‘Raajneeti’ does not do justice to the hype that surrounded it. And it has successfully dumbed down one of the most fascinating and complex characters of all times… ‘Draupadi’… supposedly played by Kat!

    Much is made of Mark Antony’s speech after Caesar’s death… yet the speech made by Draupadi after the game of dice (lost by Yudhisthira) is way ahead…

    Have you noticed how a cold-blooded, premeditated murder is dubbed as ‘honour killing’… ???
    Our mythology, epics, etc are full of innumerable love stories.

    Look at Kunti, Mandodari, Draupadi… et al. And they are 3 of the 5 ‘kanyas’ our scriptures ask us to emulate.

    We all know the story of Karna and the other Pandavas. None of the Pandavas were Pandu’s sons. Infact… the epitome of piety/principles… the ‘Dharmaputra’ Yudhistir is very likely Kunti and Vidur’s son. Not Kunti and Dharmaraj/Yama’s son. Since Vidur was the human manifestation of the Dharmaraj on earth.

    Similarly… Sita is thought to be Mandodari’s (Ravan’s main Queen) daughter… in a story akin to Karna and Kunti. They looked so alike… that even Hanuman was confused!

  • Ha! Ha! A nice read… with a dash of humour.

    This one was supposed to be a ‘modern take’ on the great epic… the “Mahabharat”. Actually contemporary “Mahabharat” meeting “The Godfather”… or so it was billed…

    But… most reviewers have missed out the meaning of ‘Rajneeti’ and equated it with ‘politics’. While ‘Rajneeti’ actually means the ‘principles/ideals followed by a just ruler/King’ or the guiding principles to ruling (‘Raj’ = Ruler/King/One who rules and ‘Neeti’ = principles/ideals)

    We also know the fate of the other much awaited movie… billed as the ‘modern day’ take on the “Ramayana”.

    The ‘Mahabharat’ is the greatest of all epics. Echos of the ‘Mahabharata’ (as well as the ‘Ramayana’) can be found in the great epics of the western world…

    As for the ‘contemporizing the Mahabharat’ bit… let us first try to understand/interpret our great epics rightly (and that includes the ‘Ramayana’ as well). They are timeless. What is found in the ‘Mahabharat’… can be found elsewhere throughout the ages… but what is not there… will not be found anywhere.

    Wonder why the history of our country or those of the ‘extinct’ civilizations are usually written by folks… belonging to nations whose own history is but a few hundred years!

    … Despite enough proofs to the contrary… our great epics are dubbed as ‘mythology’. Wonder why though…

    ‘Raajneeti’ does not do justice to the hype that surrounded it. And it has successfully dumbed down one of the most fascinating and complex characters of all times… ‘Draupadi’… supposedly played by Kat!

    Much is made of Mark Antony’s speech after Caesar’s death… yet the speech made by Draupadi after the game of dice (lost by Yudhisthira) is way ahead…

    Have you noticed how a cold-blooded, premeditated murder is dubbed as ‘honour killing’… ???
    Our mythology, epics, etc are full of innumerable love stories.

    Look at Kunti, Mandodari, Draupadi… et al. And they are 3 of the 5 ‘kanyas’ our scriptures ask us to emulate.

    We all know the story of Karna and the other Pandavas. None of the Pandavas were Pandu’s sons. Infact… the epitome of piety/principles… the ‘Dharmaputra’ Yudhistir is very likely Kunti and Vidur’s son. Not Kunti and Dharmaraj/Yama’s son. Since Vidur was the human manifestation of the Dharmaraj on earth.

    Similarly… Sita is thought to be Mandodari’s (Ravan’s main Queen) daughter… in a story akin to Karna and Kunti. They looked so alike… that even Hanuman was confused!

  • Ha! Ha! A nice read… with a dash of humour.

    This one was supposed to be a ‘modern take’ on the great epic… the “Mahabharat”. Actually contemporary “Mahabharat” meeting “The Godfather”… or so it was billed…

    But… most reviewers have missed out the meaning of ‘Rajneeti’ and equated it with ‘politics’. While ‘Rajneeti’ actually means the ‘principles/ideals followed by a just ruler/King’ or the guiding principles to ruling (‘Raj’ = Ruler/King/One who rules and ‘Neeti’ = principles/ideals)

    We also know the fate of the other much awaited movie… billed as the ‘modern day’ take on the “Ramayana”.

    The ‘Mahabharat’ is the greatest of all epics. Echos of the ‘Mahabharata’ (as well as the ‘Ramayana’) can be found in the great epics of the western world…

    As for the ‘contemporizing the Mahabharat’ bit… let us first try to understand/interpret our great epics rightly (and that includes the ‘Ramayana’ as well). They are timeless. What is found in the ‘Mahabharat’… can be found elsewhere throughout the ages… but what is not there… will not be found anywhere.

    Wonder why the history of our country or those of the ‘extinct’ civilizations are usually written by folks… belonging to nations whose own history is but a few hundred years!

    … Despite enough proofs to the contrary… our great epics are dubbed as ‘mythology’. Wonder why though…

    ‘Raajneeti’ does not do justice to the hype that surrounded it. And it has successfully dumbed down one of the most fascinating and complex characters of all times… ‘Draupadi’… supposedly played by Kat!

    Much is made of Mark Antony’s speech after Caesar’s death… yet the speech made by Draupadi after the game of dice (lost by Yudhisthira) is way ahead…

    Have you noticed how a cold-blooded, premeditated murder is dubbed as ‘honour killing’… ???
    Our mythology, epics, etc are full of innumerable love stories.

    Look at Kunti, Mandodari, Draupadi… et al. And they are 3 of the 5 ‘kanyas’ our scriptures ask us to emulate.

    We all know the story of Karna and the other Pandavas. None of the Pandavas were Pandu’s sons. Infact… the epitome of piety/principles… the ‘Dharmaputra’ Yudhistir is very likely Kunti and Vidur’s son. Not Kunti and Dharmaraj/Yama’s son. Since Vidur was the human manifestation of the Dharmaraj on earth.

    Similarly… Sita is thought to be Mandodari’s (Ravan’s main Queen) daughter… in a story akin to Karna and Kunti. They looked so alike… that even Hanuman was confused!

  • Ha! Ha! A nice read… with a dash of humour.

    This one was supposed to be a ‘modern take’ on the great epic… the “Mahabharat”. Actually contemporary

    “Mahabharat” meeting “The Godfather”… or so it was
    billed…

    But… most reviewers have missed out the meaning of
    ‘Rajneeti’ and equated it with ‘politics’. While
    ‘Rajneeti’ actually means the ‘principles/ideals
    followed by a just ruler/King’ or the guiding principles to ruling (‘Raj’ = Ruler/King/One who rules and ‘Neeti’
    = principles/ideals)

    We also know the fate of the other much awaited movie… billed as the ‘modern day’ take on the “Ramayana”.

    The ‘Mahabharat’ is the greatest of all epics. Echos of the ‘Mahabharata’ (as well as the ‘Ramayana’) can be
    found in the great epics of the western world…

    As for the ‘contemporizing the Mahabharat’ bit… let us first try to understand/interpret our great epics rightly (and that includes the ‘Ramayana’ as well). They are timeless. What is found in the ‘Mahabharat’… can
    be found elsewhere throughout the ages… but what is not there… will not be found anywhere.

    Wonder why the history of our country or those of the ‘extinct’ civilizations are usually written by folks…
    belonging to nations whose own history is but a few
    hundred years!

    … Despite enough proofs to the contrary… our great epics are dubbed as ‘mythology’. Wonder why though…

    ‘Raajneeti’ does not do justice to the hype that
    surrounded it. And it has successfully dumbed down one of the most fascinating and complex characters of all
    times… ‘Draupadi’… supposedly played by Kat!

    Much is made of Mark Antony’s speech after Caesar’s death… yet the speech made by Draupadi after the game of dice (lost by Yudhisthira) is way ahead…

    Have you noticed how a cold-blooded, premeditated murder is dubbed as ‘honour killing’… ???
    Our mythology, epics, etc are full of innumerable love stories.

    Look at Kunti, Mandodari, Draupadi… et al. And they are 3 of the 5 ‘kanyas’ our scriptures ask us to emulate.

    We all know the story of Karna and the other Pandavas. None of the Pandavas were Pandu’s sons. Infact… the
    epitome of piety/principles… the ‘Dharmaputra’ Yudhistir is very likely Kunti and Vidur’s son. Not Kunti and Dharmaraj/Yama’s son. Since Vidur was the human manifestation of the Dharmaraj on earth.

    Similarly… Sita is thought to be Mandodari’s (Ravan’s
    main Queen) daughter… in a story akin to Karna and
    Kunti. They looked so alike… that even Hanuman was confused!

  • Ha! Ha! A nice read… with a dash of humour.

    This one was supposed to be a ‘modern take’ on the great epic… the “Mahabharat”. Actually contemporary

    “Mahabharat” meeting “The Godfather”… or so it was
    billed…

    But… most reviewers have missed out the meaning of
    ‘Rajneeti’ and equated it with ‘politics’. While
    ‘Rajneeti’ actually means the ‘principles/ideals
    followed by a just ruler/King’ or the guiding principles to ruling (‘Raj’ = Ruler/King/One who rules and ‘Neeti’
    = principles/ideals)

    We also know the fate of the other much awaited movie… billed as the ‘modern day’ take on the “Ramayana”.

    The ‘Mahabharat’ is the greatest of all epics. Echos of the ‘Mahabharata’ (as well as the ‘Ramayana’) can be
    found in the great epics of the western world…

    As for the ‘contemporizing the Mahabharat’ bit… let us first try to understand/interpret our great epics rightly (and that includes the ‘Ramayana’ as well). They are timeless. What is found in the ‘Mahabharat’… can
    be found elsewhere throughout the ages… but what is not there… will not be found anywhere.

    Wonder why the history of our country or those of the ‘extinct’ civilizations are usually written by folks…
    belonging to nations whose own history is but a few
    hundred years!

    … Despite enough proofs to the contrary… our great epics are dubbed as ‘mythology’. Wonder why though…

    ‘Raajneeti’ does not do justice to the hype that
    surrounded it. And it has successfully dumbed down one of the most fascinating and complex characters of all
    times… ‘Draupadi’… supposedly played by Kat!

    Much is made of Mark Antony’s speech after Caesar’s death… yet the speech made by Draupadi after the game of dice (lost by Yudhisthira) is way ahead…

  • Have you noticed how a cold-blooded, premeditated murder is dubbed as ‘honour killing’… ???
    Our mythology, epics, etc are full of innumerable love stories.

    Look at Kunti, Mandodari, Draupadi… et al. And they are 3 of the 5 ‘kanyas’ our scriptures ask us to emulate.

    We all know the story of Karna and the other Pandavas. None of the Pandavas were Pandu’s sons. Infact… the
    epitome of piety/principles… the ‘Dharmaputra’ Yudhistir is very likely Kunti and Vidur’s son. Not Kunti and Dharmaraj/Yama’s son. Since Vidur was the human manifestation of the Dharmaraj on earth.

    Similarly… Sita is thought to be Mandodari’s (Ravan’s
    main Queen) daughter… in a story akin to Karna and
    Kunti. They looked so alike… that even Hanuman was confused!

    An event described in the “Mahabharat”…”Draupadi’s vastraharan” (the disrobing of Draupadi)… is an event… perhaps. It is also an example or even a metaphor. On the “decadence” of society, on the norms of
    culture and the decline of “dharma”. “Dharma” is not “religion” as we understand today. It is
    “rightousness”… or “the path to rightousness”.
    If people deviate from “dharma”… what eventually happens… what their failing to uphold or perform their “dharma” leads to… is shown very well through this one
    event/metaphor.

    As Lord Krishna too mentions… in the “Bhagavad Gita”.

    A society which stood by silently and simply watched, did not react nor protested… on such a shameful event… the “vastrahaaran” (disrobing) of Draupadi…
    on the “apamaan” (dishonour) of the Queen of Hastinapur, the daughter of King Drupad, the wife of the Pandavas… an extraordinary woman, a major and important
    personality in her own right. What will such a society do when ordinary people… the weak and the defenceless, including ordinary women are subjected to ill treatment, injustice and torture… ???

    It will shatter a society and give rise to all kinds of ills.

    Therefore, Lord Krishna advises Arjun and through him to all of us… to do our “duty”… to uphold “dharma”…
    without thinking or worrying about the “result”, “consequences” or the “aftermath”…. failing which we
    are doomed forever. He implores and advises us to fight the forces which are evil and are anti-social. We should not blame “external” factors for the failure or the
    decadence of society/values and/or law and order… it happens due to our actions… only.

    Unfortunately… his words are being echoed in the
    society today. No wonder we are in the thick of ‘Kal Yug’… (The age of decadence)

  • Have you noticed how a cold-blooded, premeditated murder is dubbed as ‘honour killing’… ???
    Our mythology, epics, etc are full of innumerable love stories.

    Look at Kunti, Mandodari, Draupadi… et al. And they are 3 of the 5 ‘kanyas’ our scriptures ask us to emulate.

    We all know the story of Karna and the other Pandavas. None of the Pandavas were Pandu’s sons. Infact… the
    epitome of piety/principles… the ‘Dharmaputra’ Yudhistir is very likely Kunti and Vidur’s son. Not Kunti and Dharmaraj/Yama’s son. Since Vidur was the human manifestation of the Dharmaraj on earth.

    Similarly… Sita is thought to be Mandodari’s (Ravan’s
    main Queen) daughter… in a story akin to Karna and
    Kunti. They looked so alike… that even Hanuman was confused!

    An event described in the “Mahabharat”…”Draupadi’s vastraharan” (the disrobing of Draupadi)… is an event… perhaps. It is also an example or even a metaphor. On the “decadence” of society, on the norms of
    culture and the decline of “dharma”. “Dharma” is not “religion” as we understand today. It is
    “rightousness”… or “the path to rightousness”.
    If people deviate from “dharma”… what eventually happens… what their failing to uphold or perform their “dharma” leads to… is shown very well through this one
    event/metaphor.

  • As Lord Krishna too mentions… in the “Bhagavad Gita”.

    A society which stood by silently and simply watched, did not react nor protested… on such a shameful event… the “vastrahaaran” (disrobing) of Draupadi…
    on the “apamaan” (dishonour) of the Queen of Hastinapur, the daughter of King Drupad, the wife of the Pandavas… an extraordinary woman, a major and important
    personality in her own right. What will such a society do when ordinary people… the weak and the defenceless, including ordinary women are subjected to ill treatment, injustice and torture… ???

    It will shatter a society and give rise to all kinds of ills.

    Therefore, Lord Krishna advises Arjun and through him to all of us… to do our “duty”… to uphold “dharma”…
    without thinking or worrying about the “result”, “consequences” or the “aftermath”…. failing which we
    are doomed forever. He implores and advises us to fight the forces which are evil and are anti-social. We should not blame “external” factors for the failure or the
    decadence of society/values and/or law and order… it happens due to our actions… only.

    Unfortunately… his words are being echoed in the
    society today. No wonder we are in the thick of ‘Kal Yug’… (The age of decadence)

    Nana Patekar’s role was supposedly inspired by that of Sri Krishna!

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