Saturday, June 12, 2010

Political view

So I watched Raajneeti today. I'd been looking forward to it since I saw the trailer, and was particularly intrigued by the scene where Ranbir Kapoor was brooding and blowing smoke rings. I also wanted to see how Katrina would do in the Sonia Gandhi avatar. And I'd read that it was based on the Mahabharat, a story that has always fascinated me. (I own the full DVD set of B.R. Chopra's Mahabharata.)

Well... overall, it was okay. Not great but not too bad either. And if you like Ranbir and Rampal, it's an absolute visual treat.

Random thoughts from the movie (warning: spoilers galore):

  • I spent the first ten minutes of the movie just trying to get the family right. Wait, he's the chacha or the taya or the papa? Oh, so these two are brothers? Hey, why is this guy calling that guy nana? So she's his brother's wife? Wait, who is Katrina then?

  • The Mahabharata references were quite interesting and I had a fun time drawing parallels. (Even though it was a little disturbing to see the circumstances under which Kunti and Surya Devta created Karna, and dharmaraj Yudhisthir getting promptly seduced for an election ticket.)

  • Nana Patekar made an awesome Vidur (with shades of Krishna).

  • With all the shuttling of Katrina between Ranbir and Arjun, I half expected three more brothers to surface and share the Draupadi.

  • Viv said there were many references to the Godfather movies as well, but I couldn't tell because I've never been able to finish any of the Godfather movies. (*ducks to avoid chappalon-ki-baarish*)

  • If you've always dismissed Katrina as a bad actress, watch out for the scene where she appeals to the crowds not to vote for the guys who took her suhaag. In that particular scene, she's not bad. She's abysmal.

  • The movie is so full of grey characters, you do not know whom to root for. After a while, I gave up and decided to take the very objective approach of rooting for Arjun Rampal, my very objective reason being that he is so very hot.

  • And then they killed him, so I had to switch to Ranbir because not only is he very good-looking, he can act. And... and... and... just when you thought he couldn't get any hotter, they gave him glasses! *swoon*

  • I'm not sure if I'd have accepted the character of a guy doing his PhD in the US on 19th century poetic literature, coming back to India and taking to guns and politics like a fish to water, if it hadn't been played by Ranbir. I think I have reached the stage where I like Ranbir so much that he can play a dead body and I'd go "WOW, he sure pulled that off".

  • Okay, how good-looking is the Arjun-Katrina pair? It's blinding, all that beauty. I could imagine Prakash Jha screaming "My eyes! My eyes!" when they first stood together in front of the camera. No wonder they had to kill one of 'em.

  • What was with the phenomenal pregnancy strike rate in the movie? Strike one. Strike two. Strike three.

  • What the heck was that item song for?!

  • Did your audience burst into peals of laughter when Kunti went to bring Karna home? Mine did. We were literally falling off our chairs laughing, every time she uttered a sentence. Good comedy, that scene.

  • The movie may be full of diggaj actors, but it's the bacha of the lot Ranbir who walks away with all the acting accolades.

  • I LOVE the 'Mora piya mose bolat naahi' song. But I kept waiting for the original to play and it didn't. They played like four remixes (Trance mix, Twilight mix, New Moon mix and Harry Potter mix) in various parts of the movie but there was no sign of the original.

  • Naseeruddin Shah! Shame on you! Aapke yeh din aa gaye hain? How much did they pay you for that? Two-way auto-rickshaw fare?

  • Ever since he lost that vowel, Ajay Devgn seems to have put on weight on his face, no? Kjol, do something!

  • What was with the extreme hindi? Adaraniya karyakari mahasachiv? What the...?! I'm wondering if Katrina had any clue what was going on around her at all.

  • I read an interview somewhere where Katrina denied that her character was modelled after Sonia Gandhi. "It's modelled after Priyanka Gandhi actually," she said. Chup, Katrina. You played Sonia Gandhi, okay? Fine, maybe your hindi accent was marginally better.

  • I loved the ending. My nightmare ending scene would have been Ranbir shooting at Ajay, Nana Patekar flinging himself in the line of fire, uttering the words, "Nahinnnn, usko mat maaro, woh tumhara bhai hai!", as he lay dying in a shared lap belonging to Ranbir and Ajay, both brothers hugging each other, and eventually winning the election together.

    Yep, I'd have thrown my shoe at the screen.


Technofun said...


Its nice watch..ranbir is real treat..Manoj bajpay hold some of the talent is wasted ( I mean ajay, nana and nasrudeen)

Arun said...

Another 3 hours saved by one read here :)

Aishwarya Ananth said...

We watched it yesterday too and it was pretty decent. I liked it. The parallels to Mahabharat was pretty interestingly placed in the movie and I thought Nana Patekar played the role of Krishna?? Overall a pretty oood watch.

Jil Jil Ramamani said...

One of the soopar status messages on my gtalk friend list of late : "This space is dedicated to the super-fertile women of Rajneeti"

Sayesha said...

Yeah, Ranbir was awesome! :D

You owe me a large batch of pani puris, man! :)

//I thought Nana Patekar played the role of Krishna??

I thought he was more Vidur than Krishna, with his neeti talk and being "Dhritarashtra's" and subsequently "Pandu's" right hand man. In fact, I thought Ranbir was a mix of Arjuna and Krishna, with his love for his brother and his crafty ways. :)

#Jil Jil Ramamani,

ZB said...

My thoughts were similar too.

Unknown said...

Rampal was Yudhishthir?

He was Sonny out-and-out (plus shades of Rajiv Gandhi, in that he was blown to bits), Ranbir was Michael+Arjun, the SP was McClusky,Nana was more Krishna IMHO, coz Vidur could never have pulled off the "Mike Bandh kar do" trick, the foreign female was Kay+Apollonia, Katrina was Sonia Gandhi, Devgn was Karn, Manoj Bajpai was Duryodhan and the elders were Pandu and Dhritarashtra.

Have I covered everyone here or am I missing someone??? :-)

buddy said...

hilarious post
yes, katrina is abysmal

and i would think nana patekar was krishna not vidur, esp when he does the part about "do your duty and finish him off" to ranbir at the end.

in some shots katrina looks amazingly like priyanka gandhi, very crafty makeup and staging i was pleasantly shockled to see that resemblance

Arun said...

Re: "You owe me a large batch of pani puris, man! :)" -- while I acknowledge the debt, considering the practical difficulties involved, it might be easier to just go and see the movie :)

Stupidosaur said...

Oh Raajneeti is all this? I thought it is like Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu, Romeo-Juliet or Soni-Mahiwal. You know,with hero Raj and heroine Neeti ;)

Alice said...

Now it seems like I'll have to watch the movie. I'm drooling at the combo of 'arjun rampal' & 'hot' :P

Sayesha said...

Great minds think alike! :P

Yeah Viv also said there were Godfather bits in the movie. I still feel Nana was more Vidur than Krishna (though he was definitely a mix), not just because of the Dhritarashtra-Pandu-Kunti generation he was with, but also generally. The last part was the only Krishna-like behaviour he showed.

//Have I covered everyone here or am I missing someone??? :-)

Bharti was Kunti and Naseer was Suryadevta. :P

Thanks. :) I felt Nana was a mix of Vidur and Krishna, and Ranbir was a mix of Arjuna and Krishna. Basically, everyone had a bit of Krishna in them. But generally, Nana gave me the Vidur vibes more. :)

//in some shots katrina looks amazingly like priyanka gandhi

That's true... but I thought the cut-outs were sooo Sonia Gandhi! :O

Hmmmph! Okay fine! Go watch it! What all excuses people come up with to get out of a pani puri treat... hmmph! :/

*Thunk thunk thunk*

Sayesha said...

OMG he was HOT HOT HOT! No one has ever looked this hot as a politician!!! :O

Unknown said...

Yes, of course. Kunti and Suryadevta.

Also, Suraj's (pretty straight shout-out to Suryadevta being the poppa, and Dvgn being Krn)dad was a driver for the family, tying into Karna's dad being a charioteer. Also, if you look close enough, the scene where Dvgn enters the Mahal for the first time, has a shot of Bharti/Kunti looking at him and then cut to Dvgn/Krns face, where I felt that they lingered on for a moment more than necessary in order to show the ear-rings he was wearing, which of course is how Kunti recognises Karna in the original.

Besides that, Yes, every single member in the audience laughed during the Main Tumhari Maa Hoon scene. I half-expected Dvgn to say "Is yuddh ke ant mein tumhare 2 bete rahenge, one way or the other" then remembered Rampal was dead already.

Also, Rampal/Sonny sees the driver running away and deduces about the bomb. Similar to Michael seeing the driver run away and deducing Apollonia's car bomb.

One thing I really, really wanted: Michael/Arjun/Samar to kill the SP/McCluskey. Its one of the pivotal moments in the Godfather saga (the moment when he decides to kill him, not the actual killing itself) but well, you can't have everything.

Also, any parallel found for the Sitapur ki ticket wali female? I couldn't. (Is She An ORIGINAL Character???? Blimey!!)

vineet said...

Maybe it was Sanyal's tapasya that made him so potent at his age

If killing everyone was the solution, it cud hv been done in the first 30 mins of the movie, y stretch it??

Yes, the only time audience laughed at was in the " tum merey jyestha putra ho" scene

Taurus Girl said...

Gr8 post..astute observations i must say.. If Kat were Joey, she would be jumpin with joy as u called her abysmal.. :)
Lol @ kunti n suryadev.. Ya, the kunti-krn scene was the funniest, seriously they cud not ask for a better actress...

Taurus Girl said...

Gr8 post..astute observations i must say.. If Kat were Joey, she would be jumpin with joy as u called her abysmal.. :)
Lol @ kunti n suryadev.. Ya, the kunti-krn scene was the funniest, seriously they cud not ask for a better actress...

Anusha said...

My roommate said there was one particular scene in the second half where the entire audience burst into laughter. I guess we know now which scene that was. And the dialogue didn't help much. What a horrible, horrible way to write a mother!

I think the most important thing I took away from this was that Arjun Rampal is off-the-charts HOT. Not that I didn't already know that, but DAMN. This movie cemented it.

sagar said...

Yes the movie was poori filmy but with solid performances by the men.
Even I has a tough time decoding the family tree at the start of the film. Katrina was not at all cool in her neta avatar and the speech was plain stupid with her silly accent. And the scene where Kunti comes to get back Karna, yes, every1 in the audience roared with laughter. It was the best thing in the entire movie. :D

Baatein unkahi si said...

hilarious review !!
Even I was surprised to see Naseer coming for such a small role.
Ranveer was really hot hot hot !!
Specially those glasses, smoking rings and the cold look in his eyes, every time he made a move !
Loved the movie overall

Sudeep said...

Katrina ki burai ki hai phir bhi mujhe tumhare kuch comments pe hasi aayi isliye maaf kiya :P

I would have liked if Nana would have killed Ranbir & Katrina (got them killed I mean) later to become CM. Poly-ticks ka circle complete hota.

sunshine said...

On a different note, you have been tagged.

Anonymous said...


Nandini said...

Sayesha, this review is spot on, but I don't get why you don't think this movie is GOLD. Because it is. GOLD. All these years I thought I could only like gold that doesn't really look like gold - you know, white gold and that non-lustrous very "matte" looking sort of gold - but this movie has shown me the appeal of in-your-face yellow, shiny, flauntable GOLD.

...I'm boring everyone to death with metaphor. This is a sign that I should return to my own blog.

Angelsera said...

i swear I thought there was a post after this...i cant find it anymore? did u post some video n remove it? or was i jus day dreaming in office again? :)

Arun said...

Iron (atomic #26)!

Unknown said...

bhai, you are the only one who saw shades of Vidur in Nana, everybody is like Nana=Krishna ...
And seriously, what a pregnancy strike rate :P :P

Tejal said...

haha..ok i saw the movie today and so read your review after watchin it (i hate spoilers)..
i totally totally agree.. this is the FIRST time i actually liked arjun rampal.. not just liked i loved him!! he was wayyy hotter than ranbir.. and the scene where he starts singin "akhiyan milaun"..that was brillaint..
btw, great review of the movie.. exactly what i thought, plus i agree with Viv too about the Godfather parts! :)

Arun said...

The netas seem mostly to be getting in and out of cars.

Neha said...

The movie was very ok types for me...I was expecting way too much out of the movie...and there was just so much of hype around Katrina's looks! They dint even last for half n hr! ufff...