Rajneeti: The Modern Day Mahabharata

Anurima Chanda

Rajneet Movie Poster

Even before the film hit the theatres, a whole controversy was brewed up regarding the apparent likeliness of its characters with one of the legendary political families of India. But whatever might have these rumours done to the viewer’s expectation, I was totally not prepared for what unraveled in front of me, the day I watched this movie. Beginning in a plunging motion that thrusts one into the direct action of the movie without any unnecessary flagellations, an unnamed lady on a river ghat stems up a conversation between two beggars who crowd the place along with others, from where in a flashback sequence one is acquainted with the woman’s past where she had borne an illegitimate son conceived in a moment of unprecedented premarital sex. As soon as the child had been born, he had been abandoned on the very same river ghat and left floating in a small basket.

Bharati, this lady, then is wedded to the brother of a leading politician of the Rastravaadi Party, from wherein begins a whole channel of political intrigues maintained well through a trajectory of inter-marriages, bribes, jealousy, murder, sex and rape. But despite the modern allusions that the plot builds up upon, there is the unmistakable echo of one of our oldest ‘political’ treatises(!) our evergreen epic Mahabharata. Bharati, as the name suggests becomes the female counterpart of Bharat, but as per the requirement of the plot is the Kunti of Rajneeti, as Ajay Devgan, her eldest illegitimate son, emerges as Karna. The two brothers (the younger of which is wedded to Bharati) preside over the leading party of the area. Their respective sons, Biru (Manoj Bajpai) and Prithviraj (Arjum Rampal) are aides to their fathers. The younger son of Bharati, Samar (Ranbir) is doing his PhD from a university abroad, and comes to India to celebrate his tauji’s birthday, only to get involved in the political drama in a manner of Godfatherian twist. Just like Michael in the book/movie is forced to take upon himself the much despised family business in a moment of crisis, Samar becomes the mastermind who avenges his family’s loss from his enemies.

The rest of it is shrouded in endless murders, election blues, marriages for political gains so on and so forth, to give away which would be to give away the entire plot. I will leave it for you all to find out on your own, but what I can guarantee is that, watch the movie for its brilliant editing, tight scripting without any scope for a loose thread, excellent acting by everyone and the use of the music in a brilliant sequential fashion. Despite being a multi starrer, this is one film that has given equal weightage to each of its characters and it is almost impossible to blame the director for any partiality in scripting. Also watch out for the oh-so-sexy Arjun Rampal, who looks yummy and Ranbir Kapoor who amazes with his mature acting. All in all, a bold attempt in Indian Cinema, in a no-nonsense dealing of a very mature topic; a must watch for everyone who is in the mood to experiment with a little seriousness amidst the Badmash Companies and the Housefulls.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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"Rajneeti: The Modern Day Mahabharata" by @bongbuzz