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The movie should’ve been titled as- A war against Private coaching classes… Where was Aarakshan in all this?

'Jab bhi samaaj mein badlaav aata hai toh uski kimat toh chukani hi padti hai' (whenever there is some change in the society, someone has to pay the price). A dialogue as powerful as that one will definitely be welcomed with claps and cheers. 'Aarakshan' has such sensational, often controversial dialogues; but a couple of dialogues here and there cannot assure an entire movie to be good.

 

Is the movie for aarakshan (reservation)? Or is it against it? What controversial dialogues are there in the movie? Why is it being banned? Such and many more questions are bound to heighten our curiosity with the amount of publicity the movie received but neither does the movie stand-up to these expectations nor does it do justice to the actors in the movie.

 

A father, an ideal citizen and more than anything, an ideal Principal…a guru (reminds me of Sooryavansham or Mohabbatein) is all set to fight the world with his ideals and principles. Dr. Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) is the principal of the great institute founded by a great lady played by Hema Malini. While Prabhakar is busy running his institute his way, politics has already started playing its games. He supports the idea of equality but he suggests equality minus politics is only beneficial. Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) is the former student of the institute and now a junior lecturer there. He is the ideal student but with a temper. The great professor has a daughter Poorbi (Deepika Padukone) and Deepak Kumar and Poorbi are obviously in love (I almost thought that the movie is now taking the Mohabbatein turn, but thankfully it doesn’t). Prateik Babbar as Sushant is just here and there, don’t know how or why, but he is there.

 

Now after this entire introduction somewhere, the historic Supreme Court decision of a 27% quota for the OBCs along with the already existing quota for the SCs and the STs comes along. Initially, it doesn’t look like the decision will affect the institution or Principal Prabhakar; but in no time this Principal turns into an ex-Principal and his family has to come on to the roads. Suddenly the movie loses its reservation issue and starts touching many different issues like the journalists turning stories to their benefit, corruption and politicians, property disputes (I mean, seriously? Property disputes?), admission problems, clashing of ideals and principals and last but the most interesting one- a war against coaching classes!

 

The movie just moves on from one topic to another, from one issue to another… In fact after a point, it feels as if the “Aarakshan” theme is taken only to attract a larger audience and get media attention.

 

Amitabh Bachchan's charachter is almost on the same lines to that in 'Sooryavansham', 'Mohabbatein', 'Virudh', etc… He is the same adamant guy who says “Keh diya na, toh bass, keh diya” (I said, then that’s it) to everyone he meets in 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum'… I am personally tired of this principal. Prateik Babbar shows no improvement whatsoever from his 'Dhobi Ghat' style and his boyish style of acting, which attracted many, is disappearing gradually. Saif Ali Khan had an absolutely tiny role but he was still okay, I guess. Deepika Padukone was not required, she is pretty but she still cannot talk…her dialogue delivery is bad. The only entertaining person was Manoj Bajpayee as the bad guy. The music is not that good either. Except probably one song, all the other songs ("Mauka!" "Chance"...or something like that...) are just noise.

 

The movie has the glam factor, there is loads of drama, a superb cast, a very strong and intense subject but the movie falls flat. Praksah Jha has givenn some very good movies till now which also dealt with highly sensitive issues or cases. Gangaajal, Apaharan and Rajneeti were a few of the best movies in Bollywood; but he has simply lost his charm in this movie. It deviates from it's subject and loses the main topic somewhere in the chaos caused by the "Private coaching classes".

 

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