A dear friend who is All Talk and No Action came up with this review of Raajneeti, explaining why she thought it was a disappointment. I disagreed with it on so many levels that I decided to blog about it… My comments inline in red

It’s a little late in the day for a review.

I spent a lot of  time trying to find people who held views similar to mine. Sadly, those who did, either didn’t understand Bollywood or held childish views on politics.

Anyway, I share with you why Raajneeti was an absolute disappointment for me.

  • Indian Politics and Mahabharat are both rich subjects, requiring deft treatment. Jha failed in this department. Why he mixed both, fails me. – I thought it was a brilliant idea to mix both.. After all, being the intense story Mahabharat is, it has all that can be referred to as a political drama! Actually the mix seemed very logical to me…
  • Life, including Politics, is mostly gray. Jha showcases Politics as uni-dimensional. “Everyone out there is a scoundrel” is what the message appeared to be. Really, it is a very damaging view to hold. Saner and more realistic movies to have come out on politics are Satta by Madhur Bhandarkar and Gulaal by Anurag Kashyap. – Raajneeti was anything but uni-dimensional… Not a single character in the movie can be pinned down as being white or black. They were all shades of gray. Some grayer than the rest…
  • The movie had awful character development. Katrina’s new age woman, who is raring to go after the man of her dreams, giving in meekly to the demands of the men in her life, was such a no-brainer! Her character is treated like cattle – auctioned from one party to another. You may say that this is how it is for women from political families. Then, I say, don’t show a street smart belle. Someone timid would seem more authentic. Or, at least show a decent fight being put up by the character. Pouts don’t count! Yeah well yes she did give in rather quickly… but m glad Jha did not waste screen time in that… Wud have unnecessarily stretched the movie and diverted from the original plot… Similarly, Ranbir’s “Arjun” was beyond me. I laughed out when, during the climax, he loathes politics, stating how it brings out the animal in him. Really?? No external force can ever bring out the animal in you, unless you already have one residing within. Actually, I completely disagree with you… Firstly, every person has a good side and a bad side to them.. which is why they say, some people bring out your side while others bring out your worst… So, all of us have an animal residing inside of us. Our actions and sometimes circumstances bring it out… The most evil of people have a good side too… Its just that their bad side overshadows the good one… Same was the case with Ranbir… He had it in him but stayed away. He had grown up in that environment and he knew how the game was played by watching his father and elder brother…  Ranbir’s transformation from an international student of Victorian Poetry to a blood thirsty, scheming mastermind was an assault on my senses. For all the drama about his conscience, there was not a single scene depicting agony or internal debate within him. The agony and the internal battle was there throughout, though not in an obvious way… It was subtle… I hold similar views on all other characters in this opus. Bollywood movie makers really need to work on creating believable characters.
  • At a subconscious level, the movie seemed to promote the idea that children of political families are born with political acumen. How else do you explain Ranbir’s character? It seemed as if the guy had been writing poetry, always secretly wishing to manage a national election campaign. Duh ! See, the movie does not promote that… Ranbir’s character was kind of inspired by the character of Michael Corleone (of The Godfather), who is forced to become a gangster by the circumstances… Sometimes circumstances and situations bring out the animal in us and that is what the poetry writing Ranbir is put through!
  • The quintessential rain sequence – The scene between Nikhila Trikha and Naseeruddin Shah gave the impression that all one requires to unleash stupidity in people is monsoon! Hahahahah looks like the Mumbai rains are getting to you 😉
  • The only good thing to have come out of the movie is the “Jesth Putra” scene between Trikha and Devgan. It is my official recommendation for the most hilarious scene of the year. Yes, that scene was uncalled for… Actually the only point where I agree with you 🙂 But then again, they had to show the confrontation… without that, this would have been incomplete!
  • It would be unfair to say that I found no good in the movie. Arjun Rampal was quite an unexpected delight. So was Shruti Sheth. But that’s that. Arjun Rampal was a revelation, yes, but Shruti Sheth’s performance was over-rated. Yes, she managed to make us all cringe in our seats, with her not-so-flaterring presentation of a conniving and manipulative who*e, but the character was way too disgusting!

So, what do you guys think? 🙂