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RAAJNEETI - Movie Review : One of the best political thrillers made in Bollywood. (Review By Bobby Sing)
04 Jun, 2010 | Movie Reviews / 2010 Releases

Almost 30 years ago, Shyam Benegal came with a brilliant and modern adaptation of the Hindu Mythological Epic, Mahabharata in his “Kalyug” released in the year 1981. And now after 3 decades Prakash Jha brings back the magic of all those gigantic characters on screen in his own unique, ethnic and explosive style along with a mammoth star-cast ranging from the veteran Nana Patekar to the current heart-throb Ranbir Kapoor.

There were several controversies associated with the movie related to its hard hitting suggestive dialogues and acute resemblances of its characters with many famous political figures. But in reality, the experience provided by the film is much bigger than these small unimportant references to the real life. Yet for appreciating it, you must be a die-hard lover of the genre dealing with political thrillers and conspiracy movies, since “Raajneeti” only has Politics and Mind Games written all over it and has got nothing in the name of song, dance or romance.
To start with, Prakash Jha simply doesn’t wait to make an impact in his initial reels. The movie straight away comes to the point and starts impressing the viewer from its first scene itself featuring Naseeruddin Shah as the revolting leader against the ruling party. From there on, you are taken into the future where all the younger minds of the family are ready to lead the party in their own different ways. The conflict between their political visions further leads to the inner division of the party and they fast become the rivals fighting each other in the coming general elections.
Following the well-known guidelines of the Mahabharata, “Raajneeti” is a roller coaster ride before the intermission revolving mainly around Manoj Bajpayee, Arjun Rampal, Ajay Devgan and Nana Patekar. But the story takes a major shift when Ranbir enters the scene and simply changes the whole scenario playing his own mind-games with the people around. Before its concluding hour, the film moves at a jet speed with all the key characters changing overnight and surprising the viewers with their new unexpected outlooks. Further there are more shocks in store for the audience as Katrina Kaif comes into the picture and adds more spice to the conspiracies being planned around her.
But the last hour of the film, tends to be a bit slow as compared to its first half. Particularly, the scenes dealing with the illegitimate son revelations tone down the pace of the movie for a while and also add up to it’s over length. But Jha, again picks up fast as Katrina stands up to fight for his family towards the end. Both the director and the actress simply excel in this small part of the film, which was in-fact the most talked about feature of “Raajneeti”. And though it all becomes very predictable in the climax, still the director manages well to finish it off with grace and signs off on a positive note declaring Ranbir Kapoor as the winner of all.
The main assets of "Raajneeti" remain its fast paced script and fiery dialogues, which keep you engrossed and also provide a shock treatment kind of entertainment to its viewers at regular intervals. Prakash Jha’s realistic and rustic treatment of the script is the second merit of the movie which never allows you to leave the theater for anything. And then there are two shining performances by Nana Patekar and Ranbir Kapoor who make everything look so believable with an elegant ease. After watching it, I am sure you will not be able to imagine any other actor doing more justice to his role than Nana Patekar as the Krishna of "Raajneeti". Interestingly his smiling character shows glimpses of both Krishna & Bheeshma Pitahma in his various scenes throughout the movie and he is truly outstanding in it. I simply loved his hidden nods and half smiles standing at the back in most of his sequences.
Ranbir Kapoor once again proves that he is one of the most talented actors from the current younger brigade of Bollywood. He speaks with his silence and delivers a polished act with shades of both grey and white. Just watch him in the sequence of his scuffle with the Police Officer at the hospital. Manoj Bajpayee is worth watching as usual as the rival brother but Arjun Rampal is just ok as the elder brother of the family. Naseeruddin Shah is brilliant in his few scenes and equally good are all the other major actors in the supporting star-cast.
However there are few disappointments in the casting too, which surely demanded a little more attention from the director as per the expectations. Surprisingly both Ajay Devgan & Katrina Kaif don’t have bigger roles in the movie as anticipated. In fact Ajay Devgan looks like neglected in the script and doesn’t get enough good scenes to make an impact. Still he looks tough and mean as per the demand of his role and performs well. But all the fans who were expecting a great Sonia Gandhi act from Katrina Kaif are going to be disappointed a lot. Unfortunately all those scenes you have already seen in the promos showcasing Katrina fighting for the elections are the only ones you would be seeing in the movie too. The over famous Katrina-Sonia act is just there in the film for few minutes and that’s it. No doubt Katrina acts well in her difficult role of a one sided lover, still I found her stressing more on her political appearance scenes than the other ones.
Musically the film has no place for songs and therefore the few tracks are well used in bits and parts running in the background. Out of all “Mora Piya” is worth listening as an individual song too. Cinematography needs a special mention here as it’s not an easy task to shoot such a subject involving thousands of people in one frame along with almost all the major stars featuring in the film. Both the director and his cinematographer deserve all the praises for managing such huge frames where they have the entire starcast standing on a stage in front of thousands of people in the outdoors. Even if computer graphics may have been used to multiply the crowd shown on screen, still it’s undeniably a herculean task to shoot such elaborate frames.
Another worth mentioning point of “Raajneeti” is the importance given to each individual in the script which eventually makes you remember every single person in the film while moving out of the theater. Only keeping Ajay Devgan’s character apart (which I feel could have been more powerful), all the other characters in the script are able to leave a solid impact on the viewer only because of a balanced script and direction.
But before watching this Prakash Jha’s modern-day epic, you must get prepared for its rough, dry and cunning treatment of the subject which truly justifies its title called “Raajneeti”. The movie greets you with some steeply sharp twists & turns, coming every five minutes in the storyline which may be cruel, bloody and inhuman. There are spies, murders, explosions and betrayals coming one after another on the screen, making you realize the real power lying in the term of “POLITICS”.
Yes, there are many flaws in the several crimes happening on the screen, as they seem to be too easy to commit and get away with. And yes the script may have certain negligible loop holes to talk about. But the gripping narration of "Raajneeti" doesn’t give you even a single moment to think about them (especially in the first half) and the characters just grab you into their world and start impressing you right from the first reel.
In short, I would only like to say that whatever you may have imagined about “Raajneeti”, looking at its promos and promotional stills, it is much more than that. The film may meet with mixed responses from both critics and the viewers, but for a common man it’s simply worth watching as it is entertaining, enlightening and shocking all together.
(Though the movie has its visible inspirations from “The Godfather” and has also got some loose scenes in its second half, still I would strongly like to recommend it, mainly because of its brilliant script, competent performances and intelligent handling both from its director and cinematographer. Especially for its Cinematography as here the camera is not just capturing some breath-taking beautiful locations with only the lead pair dancing around. But here the DOP is dealing with more than 5 Big Bollywood stars in one frame alone, along with thousands of people standing in the rough, hot, outdoor locations of Bhopal. Certainly one of the best shot and directed movies dealing with huge crowds and a big starcast.)
Rating : 4 / 5

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04 Jun 2010 / Comments ( 12 )

Posting this on IMDB anytime soon?

Bobby Sing

Ya sure, today only....Cheers!

Sunny Boy

Nice review.
Very Nice movie.

Bobby Sing

Thanks Sunny, I am glad you enjoyed it too.

Sanchit Goyal

There are many people who write reviews but only some whose review matches with your viewpoint. I visit this blog often as I have noticed that your reviews are generally very good and correct.

I watched this movie today and agree with most parts of your review. There are 2-3 points on which I feel the other way but thats bound to happen. But on a larger note the movie was interesting and very well executed.

I would give it a 9.5/10. Deducting 0.5 marks for the unnecessary and poor scene where Bharti goes to tell Ajay Devgn the truth.

Bobby Sing

You very rightly pointed out, probably the only weak scene of the movie.
And thanks for appreciating my efforts.....

Looking forward for more comments from your side.......

Keep Visiting ......Cheers! 


Still could not get chance to watch Rrajneeti, will do it soon. Yes waiting for Ravan......very curious to see what Mani Sir has portrayed this time in this subject.

Bobby Sing

Hope you get time to watch it soon......and please post your views about the same after you have seen it.

Waiting for your comments!

Raja Shah

Hello Bobby
I am surprised at 4 star rating. The movie is a kind of lift off from Godfather in many scenes. ( car bomb, arjun's sex scene with shruti sheth, babulal's scene with ranbir and many more! ).The crime committed by ministers and wanna be ministers are so simply shown as if it is a daily affair! Nana Patekar as Krisha does not deliver any dialogues or message worth applauding! Ranbir's Arjun is following a "Sonny Corleone" inspired "Yudhisthir" with no delibration and succeeds right from the word go! Rape charges are levied and forgotten at such ease that even the woman who levied it is roaming alone in market to be abducted in broadl day light! The climax is so simple on the result of an election day!!The only impressive sequences are the Hijack of Propogonda platfrom by Ranbir and the opening sequences of intorduction of some of the characters. Not happy!!!

Bobby Sing

Hi Raja,
As you may have judged by now, I would like to reveal here that I never watch a movie with the yardstick of a Critics or Reviewer. I always watch a movie as a normal film buff spending both my time and money on it and demanding something out of it in the name of entertainment or excellence in return.

So as mentioned at the end of my review.....though RAJNEETI is inspired, though the crimes get committed easily and though there are many flaws in it script but the thing which matters the most is that it entertains the viewer hugely. It keeps you engrossed for more than two hours, gives your the desired return for your money and you come out of the theater largely satisfied. Those are the reasons why I gave it 4 stars.

Moreover "Godfather" and "Scarface" are two movies which have inspired numerous Hindi movies which are masterpieces in their own. Like you cant call "Agneepath" a waste of time though it has exactly simlar sequences of both these movies.

In support of my review the audience response has proved it all right. Interestingly two recent movies have strengthened my movie watching and writing process in general. And they are KITES & RAJNEETI.

The last movie with which I was proved wrong was "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani" which was a poor movie for me but audience made it a Hit, may be thats Movie-Mania and the uncertainity associated with it.

Anyway differnce in opinion has to be there for a healthy discussion, So Keep Visiting and Writing in.....Cheers!


Even though i don't agree with ur KITES review i agree with this one.This is a hell of a thriller. i didn't get up from my seat untill the end
But i have to say this is not a great movie. also i don't think Masses didn't get the right massage from this movie.
This is a dark movie. It tells u that politics is nothing else "it's just power and family". NOTHING ELSE (At least in south asia)
People went to this movie to watch rahul, soniya gandhi and In the theater they got a fun ride. thats it.
This movies screenplay is very good.Tight, pacy and justifiable. as someone said poor scene where Bharti goes to tell Ajay Devgn the truth is not good and that scene should have been at where ranbir kills ajay because it's melodramatic.

Also this is one of the rare hindi movies that antagonist ( yeah, ranbir) doesn't die and movie does well in the box office.Normally bad men have to die in the end even though they are stars in hindi movies. (fanna, vaastav, satya, deewar and even ang de basanthi)

To get the real idea of this movie u have to watch this after watching Rang De Basanthi or Yuva. I think the better political movie is RAJNEETI.

As i said this not a great movie but i suggest this movie wil win filmfare best picture because these kind of movies are their favourites.

Bobby Sing

Thanks Dinuth87 for giving your vote for the review...

Hoping to see more comments from you, so Keep Visiting ....Cheers!

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