This is not a film review, this is basically a rant. If you want to read a review of this film, try New York Times. Yes, Bollywood now gets reviewed by New York Times.
I should start this non review with the declaration that I only watched Satyagrah for Arjun Rampal.
I don’t watch a lot of Hindi cinema, heck, I don’t even watch all Arjun Rampal films but I wanted to watch this one. There is no doubt that Arjun Rampal is the best desi eye candy out there, but a kurta clad bhaiyya accented Arjun Rampal (a la Raajneeti) is positively lethal and the best thing since the advent of soft round chapattis. Sadly, he was barely seen in the film, I mean the director had the temerity to plaster his pretty face on the poster but he only had three and a half dialogues and four close up shots and fans like me were left wondering how can anyone who is not visually impaired give more screen time to Ajay Devgan or Amitabh Bachchan or his behen ji type daughter-in-law when they had the oh so glorious Arjun Rampal at their disposal.
Ajay Devgan looked too old and too fat and far too plebeian to pull off the ameer naujawan role, the most tragic part of the film was that he actually used the phrase “Hum naujawan” (Us youth). I mean who uses the world naujawan after leaving university anyways? What added insult to the abuse of the term youth was a dialogue in the penultimate scene, where a 45 year old Ajay Devgan asked a 41 year old muhalla leader Arjun Rampal to form a political party of youth which will bring about the desired change. The Indian youth should totally sue the writer/director for that transgression, especially in case of Ajay Devgan who is sporting a paunch in this film and looks closer to pension eligibility. Thank God Arjun Rampal kept quiet and did not utter a single naujawani related dialogue because that would have surely dampened my decade long infatuation.
The Ajay Devgan romance with Kareena Kapoor’s journalist character was also forced. Perhaps the writer/director wanted to present yet another interfaith romance – Ajay Devgan was a Manav and the journalist lady was a certain Ms Ahmed – which resulted in a series of yawns. They first met in a party, then had chai at a dhaba during a dharna (extremely romantic setting), next thing you know, Ajay Devgan is calling her to some tiny town in UP/Bihar to cover some small time protest and she leaves a trip to Japan with the prime minister to go and cover that. As a former TV journalist, I know it for a fact that NO ONE will ever pull off that stunt, and especially not for Ajay Devgan. Then he went missing and turned up two days later, she screamed at him for not informing her about his whereabouts and how worried she was, he silenced her with a kiss and before you can blink an eye, off they go to a bedroom in someone else’s house (it was Amitabh’s house where he lived with his behen ji vidvah bahu) and boom, they sleep together. As if that was not awkward enough, the copy I caught on Jadu Tv had Shahid Afridi’s name printed below an amorous Kareena Kapoor and Ajay Devgan. (Jadu TV is like Desi Netflix in North America, I have a feeling that most of the content on that is not really legal but I digress).
The saddest part of the film was that Ajay Devgan lived, despite receiving bullets in his body. For a minute I thought that they may go in that direction where they take risks and hero dies but it did not happen. Even though he got shot thrice in his torso, he miraculously sported a plastered left arm afterwards. I hate when film makers give such super human powers to any character played by Ajay Devgan. I think it is just plain cruel.
Despite his miniscule role, Arjun Rampal with Bhojpuri/bhaiyya accent, his orange Kurta, chador, jeans, joggers with brightly colored socks (yes, I notice everything about Arjun Rampal – how can you not) was the only thing to watch in an otherwise very mediocre film.
There was no story, no plot and no narration in the film, watch it if you are a masochist or an Ajay Devgan fan which is synonymous in my opinion.
For Arjun Rampal fans, I recommend that they should wait, a gentle soul will soon upload all his 3 ½ dialogues in a Youtube video which we can later watch, minus Ajay Devgan of course.