Story: ‘Aarakshan’ is the story of Dr. Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), who's been running one of the best colleges in India, since 30 long years, based on his idealistic principles and disciplines. His comments on the law of reservation land him in trouble and even render him homeless. The story takes you through Prabhakar’s idealistic principles, his ultimate decisions, viewpoints on reservation and how he finally reclaims his lost glory and respect.
Review: ‘Aarakshan’ deals with the controversial and sensitive issue of ‘reservation,’ but doesn’t aim to give any permanent solution to the issue; instead it leaves the platform open for discussion and interpretation. The first half is quite gripping, but the narrative loses its grips by the end of the story. Had the editing been crispier, it would've allowed the message to be delivered briefly with an immediate effect, nevertheless the story takes you through a roller coaster ride with a high dose of drama. Some moments have been created marvelously, including- Dr Prabhakar’s last glance towards his College and the hunger that seems so visible in his eyes. The first scene, where Saif storms off from the interview room, due to some insulting remarks on his caste, also creates an impact.
Star Cast: Amitabh Bachchan as Dr. Prabhakar Anand, delivers an outstanding performance as an idealistic Principal, who believes in merit as well as, giving chance to the deserving students, who belong to the lower strata of the society. Saif’s portrayal is realistic and Deepika is quite good as a supporting lead. Manoj Bajpai plays his negative character to perfection, which makes him pretty realistic and believable. The character sketches are strong and emotions that are exuded are hard-hitting and real.
Direction: Director Prakash Jha’s direction is flawed to some extent, as the film does not provide any solution to the sensitive issue of ‘Aarakshan,’ but it might as well provide an alternative to the debate of reservation. He shows the conflicts between the characters quite convincingly, but fails to create an impact with the climax, as he takes too much time to convey the message. He tries to give this socio-political film, a blend of conflict and drama, but the climax becomes too good to be true.
Diologues/Cinematography/Music- Dialogues are quite impactful and hard hitting and present the conflict between the characters quite brilliantly. Cinematography by Sachin Kumar Krishnan is nothing great, but thankfully the camera work complements the storyline, especially the mass congregation scenes and the locales of Bhopal. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is nothing great, with only one song, ‘Seedhe point pe aoo na’ being worth a mention.
Ups and Downs: Watch it for the conflicts between the characters and an outstanding performance by Amitabh Bachchan.
On the flipside, if you expect drama and finesse that you witnessed in Prakash Jha’s last release ‘Rajneeti’, you will be disappointed.