Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Arjun Rampal, Amrita Rao
Directed By: Prakash Jha
Music composed by: Salim-Sulaiman, Indian Ocean, Meet Bros Anjjan, Aadesh Shrivastava
Producers: Prakash Jha, Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur
“Satyagraha” conveys the uncontrollable anger and energy of a nation on the brink. For telling it like it is and for creating a compelling film out of the raw material of present-day corruption, the film deserves a standing ovation.
Dwarka Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) is a retired teacher, who is also an idealist whose engineer son Akhilesh dies in a road mishap.. Minister Balram Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) announces compensation of 25 Lakhs, which Akhilesh’s now widowed wife Sumitra (Amrita Rao) struggles to get inspite of knocking the doors of government officials quite a few times. Angry at the way in which the corrupt Netas operate, Dwarka slaps a high-ranking official and gets imprisoned. This is when the late engineer’s closest buddy Manav Raghvendra (Ajay Devgn) – a self-made money man – comes to Dwarka’s rescue.
A local wannabe politician Arjun (Arjun Rampal) and a dynamic reporter Yasmin Ahmed (Kareena Kapoor) join the fray. Together the team uses the power of social media to spur a political movement that soon snowballs into a corruption hatao aandolan. But the path to a clean and corruption-free state is straddled with many challenges, dirty politics and blood-bath. Can peace processes and talks alone bring about the much-needed change in the system? Or do non-violent protests, rebellion and revolutionary ideas go hand-in-hand to bring about the change?
Prakash Jha furthers his prevalent problem and he still shies away from making a notoriously compelling point. From a confident filmmaker like him, who ventures into risky terrains of bold cinema that are social commentaries, his characters have become stereotypical – an upright man of values, a young counterview of the same (a consumerist in this case) and a turbulent scheme of things! Still the philosophical dilemma is gripping in parts, mostly in the film’s second half. The impact of the powerful moments are rather ephemeral and a very few scenes manage to touch you. The scene where Dwarkanath breaks down at the spot where his son died is pristinely shot, but sadly Jha gives us these overwhelming tinges in rarity this time. The screenplay is shackled and the editing is shadily done as the film treads at a tedious 150 minutes plus show. The music is mediocre and nothing except ‘Raghupati Raghav’ will give you goosebumps.
The performance of all the actors is worth mentioning! Such a big starcast is quite a thing to handle. Talking about individual performances, Amitabh Bachchan left no stone unturned to get into the character, also i dont think anyone else could carry off the role as well as he did! Then comes Ajay Devagan, Ajay Devgn is adequate in his role, but fails to render the required dramatic punch to it. Kareena Kapoor plays a role of News Reporter who always wanted to create a impact. Her role required her to go De-Glam a bit, but she handled it just about right! Arjun Rampal, I feel Jha could not efficiently bring out the impulsive side that he intended to evoke from him ala Raajneeti. Manoj Bajpai is a bellowing, scheming, sly politician – a role he has mastered after regularly playing it in Jha’s stints. He is near perfect in his portrayal but the wickedness of the character remains unjustified!
Though the movie doesn’t seem to connect with the audience as much as we would have liked, that doesn’t take away much from the movie. The movie has a strong message behind it which should definitely be spread across the nation! If not a two time, it’s definetly a one time watch!