Monday, August 22, 2011

Film Review: AARAKSHAN

What went wrong, Mr. Prakash Jha? Did you lose interest towards the end or what?

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Tanvi Azmi, Prateik, Manoj Bajpai, Darshan Zaveri, Hema Malini
Director: Prakash Jha

THE STORY: Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) is the son of a widow who earns a living by ironing clothes. He has worked hard through school and has gained entrance into college all thanks to Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), the principal of the most popular educational institution in Bhopal. Deepak is on his way to do his PhD in the USA. Anand’s daughter Poorbi (Deepika Padukone) is also studying in the same college and she and Deepak are in love. Their best friend is Sushant (Prateik), the son of one of the trustees of the college.

Prabhakar Anand believes that education should be made available to one and all. That’s the very reason his college is the most popular in the district since 35 years. Trouble begins when a minister’s nephew, with just 52.07% in Std. XII, is adamant about getting a seat at the college. Everything snowballs out of control when the minister approaches Mithilesh Singh (Manoj Bajpai), a lecturer whose main source of income is from his private coaching classes.

Things get from bad to worse when Anand resigns from his post as principal and later finds that he has lost his home too. Unfazed, he goes on to prove to everyone that his way of educating everyone is the only way to be. Watch the film to see how he manages to do that with his family’s support.

MY PERCEPTION: Amitabh Bachchan gets better and better at acting, if such a thing were possible. He has given a stupendous performance as Principal Prabhakar Anand. Tanvi Azmi – have missed the actor since her last performance as Anupam Kher’s wife in Darr. She is a very good actress and I am surprised that we never saw her in any film all these years.

Deepika Padukone has come a long way and has given a good performance. Congrats Deepika!

Saif Ali Khan was excellent. Kudos! Prateik was good in his role even though it was quite brief.

Manoj Bajpai – why do we see so less of this actor? I simply hated his character and the meanest of the mean look in his eyes. Isn’t that how a villain should be? He was too good and was the perfect villain to Amitabh’s protagonist. The other producers and directors need to wake up and realize what they are missing.

The subject was great and the problem and solution perfectly created. All that said, the film was just tooooooo looooooooong. Where was the editor? Gone to sleep midway or what? And then he suddenly woke up and chopped off a huge slice of the film at the end – yeah, the end was too abrupt.

The movie ran for about 2 hrs and 45 minutes. It should have been just 2 hrs and maybe another 15 minutes at the most. The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy was good but just did not fit in. They could have done without it. Every scene was prolonged and dragged out. Then, suddenly, in the end, just when the bulldozers were about to strike, Hemamalini walks in and a few seconds later, everything’s hunky dory. What went wrong, Mr. Prakash Jha? Did you lose interest towards the end or what?

VERDICT: You can see it, I suppose

RATING: **1/2 (Better than shaky, less than smart)

* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super

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