Aarakshan is a
movie that focuses on the caste based reservations in education system and job
opportunities in India. Without highlighting the pertinent
issues directly associated with the quota system, director wants us to believe
that coaching classes are an outcome of reservation.
PLOT OF THE
In 2008, Deepak Kumar(Saif) is at an interview
for the teacher’s post at an affluent school. The interviewers reject him when
they find out about his low caste roots. Deepak relates this incident to that
of his mentor Dr.Prabhakar Anand(Amitabh Bachchan).Dr.Anand who is the
Principal of a renowned college STM offers Deepak a teacher job. Deepak is
Comforted by his friend, Sushant (Prateik Babbar) who is an upper caste boy,and
his girlfriend Poorvi (Deepika) who is also Dr.Anand’s daughter.
The state minister,Baburam,wishes to join his
no-good nephew at STM,but Dr.Anand does not accept him.The minister who is
angry decides to install his own man,Mithilesh Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) on the
College board. Mithilesh who is cunning and greedy seeks to enrich himself. The
minister’s huge ambition is to build a multi-billion educational institution
and plans to use Mithilesh’s outside business a coaching class for it.
The Court grants
reservations for Other Backward Classes. A large crowd of students,celebrating the news,arrive
outside the gates of the college and start a ruckus. Sushant gathers a group of
upper caste boys and tries to drive off the ruckus creators.Dr.Anand hauls
Deepak and Sushant,but is shocked to find out that Deepak has turned on him.
Knowing this Poorvi confronts him and orders him to apologise to her father but
Deepak refuses. This leads to their break up.
The backward classes welcome reservations
because it provides more opportunities for education. The upper class are against reservations as
they believe that it is not going to be effective.These arguments are played
out between Sushant and Deepak. The moderate STM administrators are scared that
college-level reservations may create conflicts between the students. When
asked by a reporter, Dr. Anand shares his personal opinion – that some form of
reservation, free of politics and economics, is good for society. The next
day’s headlines scream that Dr. Anand favours reservations. The STM board is
angry; Dr. Anand is warned that Mithilesh will use this to remove him. Dr.
Anand resigns from STM, and Mithilesh is appointed as the new principal.
Sushant soon realizes that Dr. Anand’s intention is not bad and that he does
not have any caste feeling.
Dr. Anand is shocked to find out that his house
is being used for K.K coaching classes, which is linked to Mithilesh. Earlier
Dr. Anand signs an agreement that he will be the guarantee for the bank loan
taken by his friend, and allows his friend’s sons to stay in that house for 2
years but they use it to earn money by allowing K.K coaching classes inside the
house. Dr. Anand’s house lands in court case and no lawyer is prepared to go
against Mithilesh. Meanwhile Deepak who is in USA finds out that Dr. Anand has
resigned from the college, immediately comes to India. Deepak goes to that
house and takes law into his own hands by trying to pull out people related to
K.K coaching classes. Police arrest Deepak, but later he is released on bail by
Dr Anand resolves to take out Mithilesh with
the only weapon left: teaching. He approaches his friend, Shambhu the cowherd,
and takes shelter at the cowshed. He begins teaching small groups of needy
and backward students from the bastee (nearby neighbourhood), at the
cowshed. His first success is Muniya (Aanchal Munjal), Shambhu’s daughter who comes in first place at the board exam.
Muniya’s principal offers to send more students to Dr.
Anand’s cowshed school. Deepak and Sushant return to Dr. Anand and
join forces, teaching at the cowshed school. The cowshed
school students fare much better at the exams than their classmates.
The cowshed school’s reputation grows and begins to draw away
students at Mithilesh’s coaching class.
Mithilesh responds by obtaining a legal permit
to demolish the cowshed. The situation is diffused by the arrival of Shakuntala
Tai, the reclusive magnate who started the STM institutions. She calls the
chief minister, who promptly cancels the destruction of the cowshed. Mithilesh
is dismissed, and Dr. Anand is installed as the chief trustee of the STM and
lifelong principal of the newly created STM Remedial Center.
According to TOI Aarakshan touches its
core theme Reservation only in the first half of the film. The second half
narrates a completely unrelated story.The issue is seen through the
protagonist point of view rather than a broader perspective. Director Prakash
Jha wants us to understand that coaching classes are a reason of reservation
without focussing on the issues directly associated with quota system.People don’t expect any documentary on reservation system,nor there is
any mention of its origin.The film’s take on reservation seems to be only
one-sided as it completely disregards the resulting deprivation to the general
category merit students.The issues in the movie play out
through two sets of triangular relationships.
Director/co-writer Prakash Jha is one of a
handful of mainstream Indian filmmakers who regularly focus on political and
social issues, and has made movies about bonded labor (which turns lower-caste
workers into virtual slaves), the oppression of women, caste-based
discrimination, political corruption, and police officers whose loyalties lie
with crime lords rather than the people they’re supposed to be protecting. But
rather than alienating ordinary moviegoers, he sticks just close enough to
Bollywood conventions that his films aren’t relegated to inconsequential
art-house status.(FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL)
Scenes between Amitabh
Bachchan and Saif Ali Khan are greatly bought up by hard hitting and strong
dialogues along with great music.The first half focusses compltely on the issue
while the second half looses track.(ACCORDING TO BIRMINGHAM MAIL)
Aarakshan would serve to be a decent offering
made special by the presence of a stellar cast led by Amitabh Bachchan himself.
One would find it to be good enough to be considered as a case study on India’s
socio-political system. The critics will find it too absorbing to merely regard
it as a satire on the prevalent education system.(IMDB)
On conclusion, Aarakshan touches its theme
properly in the first half while it looses track in the second half.The actors
Amitabh and Saif do justice to their roles. Amitabh does justice as a
professor. Saif deviates from his lover boy role and concentrates more on his
serious role. Deepika plays a strong daughter role with ease. As a whole the
story looses track after the interval.The issue covered in the film is a
national issue and is showcased very well by the director.
FILMS BY PRAKASH
Jha (born 27 February 1952) is an Indian film producer, actor, director
and screenwriter, mostly known for his political and socio-political films such
as Damul (1984), Mrityudand (1997), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005), including multistarrer hit movies Raajneeti (2010), Chakravyuh (2012), and Satyagraha (2013).
(Bonded Until Death) highlights the ill effects of Bonded Labour System while
narrating the story of a bonded labour who is left with no choice but to steal
by his landlord.
Mrityudand (The Death Sentence) is an Indian Hindi drama film released
in 1997. It was directed and produced by Prakash
Jha and stars Madhuri
Dixit, Shabana Azmi, Ayub Khan, Mohan Agashe and Om Puri.
The film is a commentary on the social and the
gender injustice.3 As
in his other movies, filmmaker Prakash Jha has focussed on the social problems
that plague his native state of Bihar, India, and like his other movies this one straddles
the boundary between art film and commercial film. The film also boasted of
some semi-classical music, tuned by Anand-Milind and Raghunath
Seth and worded by Javed
Gangaajal (English: Ganges’
Waters or literally means “Holy Water”) is a 2003 Indian
Hindi crime film directed
Jha, starring Ajay Devgan, Gracy
Singh and Mukesh
Tiwari. The film also mentions the 1980
Bhagalpur blindings.3 Gangaajal was
a hit at the Indian box-office.Recently the film became very popular due to its
dialogue “Aankh dikhata hai madarjaat” becoming a meme
Raajneeti (English: Politics), is a 2010
thriller film co-written, directed and produced
Jha, with a screenplay by Anjum Rajabali and Prakash Jha, and
starring Ajay Devgn, Nana Patekar, Ranbir
Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun
Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee and Naseeruddin
Shah in the lead roles.4 It was
originally produced by Prakash Jha Productions and distributed by UTV
Motion Pictures and Walkwater Media. It was shot
in Bhopal. The title
translates literally as “Politics” and contextually as “Affairs
Satyagraha is a 2013 Indian Hindi-language political
drama film directed by Prakash
Jha starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Kareena
Kapoor, Amrita Rao, Arjun
Rampal, Manoj Bajpai, Mitalee Jagtap Varadkar, Jagat
Singh and Vipin
Sharma in the lead roles.
REVIEWS OF THE FILMS DONE BY PAKASH JHA
Prakash Jha is mostly known for his political and
socio political films. Most of his movies are based out in Bihar. The movie
Damul shows ill effects of bonded labour system.This
film is a masterpiece, not only from the point of view of direction,
performances and cinematography, but also because of the wideness of its plot
and its capacity to capture and present the reality, in its natural
wholeness(IMBD).Damul is for those who always love socially committed cinema.
Mrityudand is neither a complete art film nor a complete commercial film.The
film goes well till end,only the end gets disappointing.Gangaajal is one of the
rare good cop bad cop movie which is shown extremely well.Rajneeti is a mere
continuation of the long chain of over hyped run-of-the- mill movies, which
lack both originality and substance. The ever meticulous and uncanny Prakash
Jha fails to leave any mark on the movie, which is a mere mishmash of weak
dialogues, trite sub-slots, incongruities, and incompetency in editing and to
some extent in direction. Jha fallibly blends the epic tale of the Mahabharata
with that of the Godfather in Rajneeti. Jha missed yet another trick by failing
to acknowledge and avow to the fact that Rajneeti was meant to be an adaptation
of the Mahabharata.
A vague attempt to exploit a
recent national issue, which is again made in Jha’s same old set pattern, with
no impressive solution for the problem.
REVIEWS OF FILMS OF THE SIMILAR GENRE
SHOR IN THE CITY
The whole movie takes place in a
chaotic scenario during the Ganapathi Mahotsav in Mumbai. It is told in a multi
linear narrative as there are 3 stories happening at the sme time but they
don’t confuse or interwine with each other. All the characters are very well
written and potrayed. A mentioned in IMDB it is a mind blowing chaos.
Starts off as
Propitious Romantic Melodrama and Ends up as Long Fashion Show!
This is only kind of such movie made
in Indian cinema.The efforts put by director/writer Tigmanshu Dhulia can’t be
measured by just few awards. A lot of research (or say no research was required
because every scene looks so natural) has been done behind each and every scene
in the movie. Most of the actors in the movie are stage performers and they
have given their best shots in the movie.
True depiction of youth’s mind Today’s
youth is matured but confused, helping but selfish for themselves and above all
sentimental yet insensitive. As per direction, Mani Ratman’s movie is always
special for its visual feat and that is also true for this movie. And above all
AR Rehman Music is true to the story.
AESTHETICS OF THE MOVIE
Aarakshan is one kind of a movie that demands a
fair balance between the subject and the art of film making. The
performances,characterizations,narration,timing need to be in perfect sync
failing which the very purpose of the movie is lost. In the movie despite strong
potential for high drama,factual errors weighed down by a consistency
challenged storyline steals away the integrity of the subject.
The characterization is very strong and neat as
each of the characters carry forward their roles without any doubt. Amitabh
Bachchan carries his role as a professor perfectly.Saif deviates from his
character slightly later.All the performances need to be highly mentioned.
The narration of the story is done perfectly
till the first half. During the second half the narration is not proper as the
story gets off the track.
The camera angles used in the movie are simple
techniques used generally in any drama films.This is because a drama film needs
to have simple camera angles and not any complicated or complex angles.
The music in the film plays a major role and
adds as a plus point to the narration and the story.