Aarakshan (2011)



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Movie Info

Aarakshan is the story of Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), the legendary idealistic principal of a college that he has single-handedly turned into the state's best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) who will do anything for his Sir. Of Deepak's love for Prabhakar's daughter, Poorbi (Deepika Padukone), of his friendship with Sushant (Prateik). It is the story of their love, their lively friendship, their zest for life, and of their dreams for the future. … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Prakash Jha, Anjum Rajabali
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 9, 2014
Reliance Big Pictures - Official Site



as Prabhakar Anand

as Deepak Kumar

as Poorbi Anand

as Mithilesh Singh

as Sushant

as Mithilesh Singh

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Critic Reviews for Aarakshan

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (3)

While its questions of affirmative action and charter schools could theoretically resonate with American auds, the pic's corny theatrics, talky, preachy approach and taxing 164-minute running time will not translate.

Full Review… | August 12, 2011
Top Critic

Subtle it ain't and subtle it needn't be. It is, though, mostly involving (if Bollywood long, at 2 hours 45 minutes) and even occasionally stirring.

Full Review… | August 11, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | December 30, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Bachchan is at his usual excellent best after years of experience in Hindi cinema.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
Birmingham Mail

...focuses more on issues than the spectacular musical sequences for which Bollywood movies are famous.

Full Review… | August 11, 2011
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Aarakshan

The flight takes off to land at the pre-destined location, but lands you somewhere else. The director is a shrewd wolf wearing the skin of the sheep. Saying that the subject needs attention, he cruelly shapes the sensitive issue to his ends. Some states banned it saying that it's vulnerable to riots, but the director fought against it in the court. All in the name of the promotion. As expected, it did create some disturbance in certain regions. All might have been justified had the movie served its said-to-be-purpose. But the movie rises no more than the same old good v/s evil game. A man with principles faces a corrupted man, loses his valuables, but his morals and family, then the movie descends to the predictable theatrical route and ultimately he emerges as a winner. The discussions pertaining to "Aarakshan" does come somewhere in between, but its not the primary issue here. The focus is more on free education and the significance of educational institutions. And that all too seemed to be presented before us just because they needed to preach something after all (and fill the runtime). Big names like Amitabh, Saif, Deepika and Manoj were enough to lure in audiences who would expect an interesting movie on a serious issue. The actors played their part well, but the movie failed to. Obviously, JMO. 0.5/10.

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Super Reviewer

Reservation is a very sensitive topic. So, how to make a movie on it? Well, don't make a movie on it, just name the film aarakshan. Prakash Jha plays it safe by degrading the film from a high tension social drama to a run-of-the-mill anti-establishment flick. The movie started off so well with high voltage exchanges between pro and anti reservation camps. But then, they just stopped talking about it. As simple as that. Still, it takes some guts to attempt on volatile subjects like these. The actors did well, except for Deepika of course. She just hams it up, just like Katrina did in Rajneeti. I wonder why sensible directors like Jha keep on miscasting in important roles, opting for popular stars instead of resourceful actors. I loved Saif's casting as a Dalit, btw, not only because he did well, but also because he belongs to the highest classes in the country: his father is a Nawab and his mother is a Brahmin. Talk about irony :)

Anoop KN
Anoop KN

Super Reviewer

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