Satyagraha Movie Review: Good Movies are More Than Social Messages. Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Amrita Rao could have been utilised Better.
Satyagraha means “insistence on truth” (satya ‘truth’; agraha ‘insistence’). The Concept of Satyagraha is made popular by Mahatma Gandhi. Satyagraha is a non-violent method of protest.
The movie I watched this week is Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha.
Satyagraha has a tall star cast – Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal and Kareena kapoor Khan.
Prakash Jha, the film-maker known for making meaningful commercial cinema hitting corrupt bureaucratic system and corrupt political system & practices, has rolled out yet another movie quite similar to his previous movies such as Aarakshan, Rajneeti etc.
The main protagonist of Satyagraha movie is DADU, played by Amitabh Bachchan. Dadu is a retired school principal, who stands against the corruption in Indian democratic setup. You guessed it right, the character is largely inspired by real life Anna Hazare. The only perceivable difference is the ‘Bachchanism’ — the Dialog Delivery.
Manav Raghavendra, a rough businessman and telecommunication Czar (played by Ajay Devgun), is DADU’s right hand man. Raghavendra donates everything for the cause.
Yasmin (played by Kareena Kapoor) is an idealistic and sometimes opportunistic reporter.
Arjun (played by Arjun Rampal) a bahubali and a wannabe politician, sees an opportunity in Dadu’s Satyagraha. Arjun joins Dadu’s Jan Satyagraha Andolan and starts fighting corruption in the Assembly Constituency called Ambikapur.
Manoj Bajpai is playing the character of a corrupt Home Minister of a State. He is MLA from Ambikapur, who can go to any lengths to crush any disagreeing voices, including that of Jan Satyagraha Andolan.
The Plot Execution
To make the movie plot more realistic, Director Prakash Jha & writer Anjum Rajabali have knitted some recent real incidents, which rattled the country’s collective consciousness, in the plot. Hence one sees the killing of an Honest Civil Engineer (son of Dadu). This seems inspired by the killing of Satyendra dubey, an Engineer with NHAI (National Highway Authority of India). Another incident is a Lathi charge on BABA RAMDEV’s supporters. Some other inclusions are the lynching of police officers by people in bihar etc.
The movie disappoints. If one looks at the movie from the Social message point of view, then some of the major weaknesses can be ignored. But if we judge the movie from the huge star cast and what the movie managed to achieve with that star cast, then sadly the movie appears really shallow.
The movie has multi plots and tries to address & convince almost every corrupt issue in Indian Political establishment. This results in a movie, where in one witnesses everything from Raghupati Ragahav songs to Janta rocks, with least impact. Overall the movie works and touches the audience’s psyche in parts, but fails to stand in its entirety.
The only saving grace for the movie are the performances by Mr. Bachchan, Ajay Devgun and Manoj Bajpayi.
Kareena is not utilised effectively. Same can be said for Arjun Rampal and Amrita Rao.
The Satyagraha movie has some dialogues which give the audience an opportunity to hoot, clap, shout and Whistle. But these moments are too few.
The Director has taken the entire first half establishing the characters and the real story begins only in the second part. The movie’s ending is also weak.
The movie is too preaching and tries to make everyone Happy.
My Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars