Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Prateik Babbar
Director: Prakash Jha
Length: 2.40 hours approximately
Mr.Jha known for picking issue based films, strikes yet again. This time with an topic of reservations in education system. The dramatic moments which he depicts in his films makes them more engrossing. Well disappointingly, AARAKSHAN has very few of drama in it. Instead, the melodrama raises a bar above. AARAKSHAN tries to be a competent drama, but it loses its focus right from the second half of it. The problem with AARAKSHAN is that, Mr.Jha never stresses on the issue and contrarily he puts light on the conflict between Manoj Bajpayee and Amitabh Bachchan. The whole second half speaks on the difference between these two opposites. And that’s where the film lacks to gear up.
The film starts interestingly with an excellent first scene where you have Saif explaining his culture and his sacrifices. That start puts so much of bulk on your expectations that you want something magical drama happening. But there on it takes a steep dip in its pace. The song “Acha Lagta Hai” has a decent rhythm to enjoy but it’s quite an invalid song and its interruption from beginning itself. Like as in RAAJNEETI, even here Jha loses the anthem in its second half. The second gets very tad and it slides repetitive. The film picks the pace in that climax which is riveting but your excitement to come up to a climax is almost dead.
AARAKSHAN is not completely unwatchable for some amazing scenes. The first scene of-course also after the reservation quota is declared, the film picks the pace dramatically. It has an absorbing first half with several nail-biting moments in it. But it’s the dragging second hour that tests your endurance. The length of 2.45 hours is the biggest blemish to the film. The film should have been easily trimmed by 30 minutes.
Also are the dialogues which disappoints in AARAKSHAN. One definitely misses those staggering dialogues in this film. The cinematography has no scope because the premise is entirely kept under 4-5 monuments. The music doesn’t make any sense with the film. One particular song in the first half is really irritating which comes when the relations are broken.
AARAKSHAN entirely goes to three superb performers, Amitabh, Saif and Deepika. Amitabh Bachchan is a fantastic performer when it comes to such stringent roles. He brings a depth in every dialogue he yells. Saif Ali Khan gets very limited scope. In-fact it could be termed as an extended cameo as well. But whenever he comes up on screen, he gives his great shot. His every move in this film is really appreciable. Even in the most mediocre character, he puts a chain of Gold. Now, surprising is Deepika’s stunning act. She remains in the sync of her performance and lends an excellent act to this moderate drama.
But, Manoj Bajpayee disappoints this time. One expects so much from this talented actor especially after a rollicking act in RAAJNEETI. But this time he lacks the menace in his take. And so is Prateik Babbar who hardly shows anything as an act in his role. He does well in that confrontation scene with Saif, but he lacks overall.
The script is decently penned, but Jha’s execution goes wrong way. Also the film hardly stamps about its major topic, because most of the concentration is served to the uninteresting conflict between Manoj Bajpaayee and Amitabh Bachchan.
AARAKSHAN is not a bad film, but it’s not a good one as well. There are few amazing scenes which are smartly shot. But those are all crowded in the first half, where as nothing is left post-intermission. I won’t recommend this film, but even though if it’s a must, then give it a go.