Raajneeti a political epic directed by Prakash Jha explores the dirty, ruthless world of Indian politics. With a huge ensemble star cast comprising of the best talents in the industry, Jha has based this political drama on India's most popular mythology, the Mahabharata.
The story is about Veerendra Pratap Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) and Prithvi Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal), the heirs of a powerful political party. All hell breaks loose when Prithvi is elected the leader of the party. Revenge is on Veerendra's mind as he joins hand with a small time leader Sooraj (Ajay Devgan) and eventually the two evict Prithvi from the party.
Prithvi's brother Samar (Ranbir Kapoor) who is settled abroad leading a comfortable life, returns to India and unwillingly joins the political mess. They form a new party. The rest of the battle is on the election grounds against Veerendra.
Raajneeti starts off slow and it takes a while before you connect with the film and its characters. But once you do, Rajneeti makes for a compelling watch. And while it suffers from being very predictable, due to the fact that it's been based on the epic characters of Mahabharata, the director keeps you involved with a complex plot and his very effective way of storytelling. Just when you being to connect with the characters and feel their pain, the movie does tend to get a little over-the-top with back to back murders and cheesy masala moments.
The other problem with the movie was its runtime which is around 175 min. However, the intact and dexterous direction wins back your attention and keeps you hooked on to the movie till the end. Background score is top notch and it gives you the real feel of the situation and the genre its dealing with. The cinematography (Sachin Kumar Krishnan) is excellent. The dialogues enhance the impact of the film. Coming to the music, the 'Mora Piya' track is good.
Ranbir Kapoor is the star of Raajneeti without doubt. He sinks completely into the grayish character of Samar and emerges with a fabulous performance. Arjun Rampal known to be wooden with his expressions comes up with a powerful performance. Ajay Devgan is in form but has little to do in the post interval portions. Manoj Bajpai is at his negative best. Katrina Kaif does well in few scenes, very plastic in others. Nana Patekar is effective. Naseeruddin Shah is wasted.
To sum up, Rajneeti has a story to tell unlike last week's release Kites which was all about glitz and glamour. The film is well-directed and has powerful performances. Do watch it.
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