Saturday, August 31, 2013

Satyagraha important movie but flawed

Directed by Prakash Jha
Produced by Prakash Jha & UTV
Music by Salim-Suleiman, Aadesh Srivastav, Indian Ocean, Meet Bros.
Lyrics by Prasoon Joshi
Amitabh Bachan, Ajay Devgan. Manoj Bajpai, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal & Amrita Rao

The culmination of almost all the previous Prakash Jha movies. It is a bit of Gangajal, a bit of Raajneeti, some Aarakshan and overall a typical Jha product. It inherits the merits as well as the drawbacks and does not defy expectations in either space of being this socio-political film-maker's work. Extremely high quality performances, some good dialogues, powerful music and yet...flawed writing make the movie a perfect example of a movie that manages to be just good despite having the potential of being an excellent cinematic experience! 

An ensemble cast, but more importantly, this movie is a rich canvass of supreme talent with each performance being brighter and better than the other. 

Amitabh Bhachan as Dwarka Anand. Not sure if I wanted Amitabh Bachan to have a meatier role because it was a mismatch of my expectations or because each frame he is in is so amazing that you can't ever have enough! His eyes, his expressions, his body would be wrong even if I try to describe the perfection of this legend's acting. Its a pleasure.
Kareena Kapoor as Yasmin Ahmed. Perfectly restrained and mature performance. Her character may be poorly written and might raise lots of questions in your mind about how can a star reporter have nothing better to do than this...but as far as the performance goes....there is no one who could have looked more appropriate or done a better job than Kareena. She looks gorgeous and yet never glamorous.
Arjun Rampal as Arjun. A confusing character - maybe a bit more of black in this gray, but nevertheless, Arjun Rampal does a good job at portraying the role expected of him. He has been much better in some of his more recent movies though. 
Amrita Rao as Sumitra. She makes it obvious that she is out of practice and is having difficulties acting. However she suits the part she plays, if only she wasn't asked to deliver any dialogues! 

and then there is....

Manoj Bajpai as Balram Singh. I went into the movie thinking, " know what..its enough now. I have seen Manoj in enough of such roles." But boy...does this man know how to act. Its extremely difficult for an actor to play a predictable baddie role and yet exceed the expectations of his audience! He is mean, he is bad and he is wicked....but he is amazing! Makes you believe in how selfish and evil the politicians are and single handedly represents all the corruption in the system! Kudos!

Ajay Devgan as Manav. Wow! I say, "Ajay please dont do any more Rohith Shetty movies. Every time you do that, you take away a wonderful opportunity from us of seeing you in a serious role like this one." Despite the whole ensemble cast, it is on Ajay Devgan's shoulder that the entire execution of this movie lies. He pulls it all together from start to finish and perfectly expresses his suppressed internal and, when required, external anger. Full marks to Ajay!
The scope of songs in a movie like Satyagraha obviously is limited. The track "Aiyo Balam" is a very nice fusion track and of course the title track which is an adaptation of Raghupati Raghav is extremely powerful! The background score is very inspiring and definitely plays an important factor in expressing the emotions of the situations. 

The movie arouses the right emotions in your heart. It angers you and inspires you to get up and do something... Bohot Ho Chuka hai Vishraam, Raghu Pati Raghav Raja Ram! 
The plot attempts to get as real as it can and in the process over-indulges itself in incorporating every complication and every debate of what is right and wrong into the 150 minutes. The end result...we get a movie that entangles itself into all the right issues, but loses track due to this and never is able to disentangle itself from anything at all. It is a must watch, but be ready to come out of it with a feeling of wanting more! 
I rate it 3 out of 5. Brilliant performance, some very important and relevant issues, great dialogues and a script that is very realistic in places and too immature in some others...makes this movie good...but prevents it from being how great it could've been. A movie that cannot and must not be skipped, but maybe a little delay in watching might not hurt.

1 comment:

  1. i completely agree. i too felt that the dialogues could have been meatier keeping in mind the content and issues the film tackles with. a better script n saucier dialogues would have been easily carried out by the extremely remarkable cast of the film who could have held each scene better with more to say than what they did through out. we know of corruption in our country ... what more could have been offered??? looking at the ugly face of y country for two an a hour hours with some resolution or brighter aspect would have made me feel a bit better tahn just seeing what i already know....