Aarakshan - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Aarakshan Reviews

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½ October 3, 2011
Overall I like the movie although it lost the plot at the end.
½ October 1, 2011
The movie does show both sides of the issue, but in such a too-dramatic, unreal and boring way, that it made me think what if they would have made it in Bhopali instead of pure hindi :).
And eventually, it lost the plot and became another heroism of BigB.
On top of that, it's 3 hours. Sheer torture :(.
September 30, 2011
it started with a good concept. However a lot of sequences were too "filmy" and hard to digest. The songs were totally unnecessary and seemed out of place. Past the 1hr, the movie's core concept was lost somewhere. The director seems confused. The message given at the end of this movie is quite wrong IMO. Why not improve the quality of education in the classroom, rather than taking coaching classes.
A plus point of this movie is the use of good Hindi. and of course good acting by Mr. Bachchan. negative point is the length of movie. It needs a lot of editing.
September 29, 2011
'education is all about business' ..this film portrays it very well.
September 24, 2011
Before drowning into "Chammak Challo", please watch this movie - recommendable for a class entertainment and also for developing true thoughts for our own [Bangladeshi] education system and corruption!

Comparable with "3 Idiots", but this one more serious and political. Four stars - one less for the same old Indian melodramatic plots in the story, which could have been avoided.
½ September 12, 2011
Prakash Jha's films are a social media themselves. With a grave look at each of society's controversial attributes, we understand the ethical and moral implications through a dedicated vision that Jha has so meticulously brought to life. Occasionally, he sets the bar so high, that it is difficult even for him to fulfill the audience's quest for enlightenment.
In pursuit of modernization and development, the Indian Government passed many bills. Among the most debated and relevant was the one that allocated higher reservations for backward castes and tribes for admission into colleges. Jha's take on the Aarakshan scenario deals with the fundamental gain for backward classes, the challenges for the rest of society, the impact on the educational system and the dilemma for an idealist principal of a renowned college in choosing sides. You are either for Aarakshan, or you are against it.

The idealist Principal behind the most renowned college, Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) has established order with strict codes that nurture students through dedicated professors while maintaining high disciplinary standards. Eager minutes pass by till we witness the typical intensity of a Prakash Jha film when the Supreme Court declares the higher reservation standards for backward castes in educational institutions. Clear lines are drawn between those who support it and those who see it as a threat to the system. The principal's apprentice, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan), is a dalit, who takes a stand to speak out against those who humiliate backward castes over the subject of Aarakshan. Confronted by Professor Mithilesh Singh (Manoj Bajpai) and his own friend Sushant (Prateik Babbar), Deepak finds few supporters who see his viewpoint. He parts ways with his girlfriend Poorvi (Deepika Padukone) and his Principal to seek other opportunities.
This is the point where Jha's Aarakshan deviates from the subject and takes an altogether new course; that of commercial coaching classes that adversely affect the conventional education system.
Much of the story thereafter revolves around Prabhakar Anand's fight to survival against Mithilesh Singh's coaching academy through free communal teaching. The criticality of Aarakshan as the subject is now on the back-burner and through much of the film's second half, it's the battle between the two educational spheres and their mentors.

The film's strongest points remain with the subject of Aarakshan itself. The confrontations involving Saif Khan, Manoj Bajpai and Amitabh Bachchan are not only intense but thought provoking as well. This is when the three actors emerge in their best forms with realistic arguments and stand-points over the topic.
As Prabhakar Anand dedicates long hours to his free tutoring sessions, we begin to understand the relevance of supportive education and its wicked sister, the commercialized coaching classes. The theme promoted in the previews is 'India v/s India' but the two sides here are those who support Prabhakar Anand and those who support Mithilesh Singh. The controversial quotas are already forgotten....

Deepika Padukone is a complete waste if she isn't dancing to Dum Maaro Dum. She simply cannot act. Year after year of good opportunities have yet to unravel an actress in her but we might never see that come true. Prateik Babbar's future looks grey.... his voice might just be his bane apart from the look of helplessness that's his trademark. Saif Ali Khan has done a very good job in a shorter than expected role but that's because Manoj Bajpai and Amitabh Bachchan fight it out through most of the second half of the film themselves. Bajpai has truly enjoyed playing the negative character which he does so exceedingly well. Amitabh Bachchan carries the burden of a weak screenplay upon his shoulders and provides the sincerity, determination and patience that we see in Prabhakar Anand's character.

Shankar Ehsaan Loy's music is forgettable with just 'Achcha lagta hai' and 'Roshni' being the top picks in the album. The dialogues are nowhere near the standards set in 'Raajneeti' but they do stir emotions during the confrontational scenes. Background music, art direction and cinematography seem a little below par for a Prakash Jha film but what you do take back, are the performances.

Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Bajpai and Saif Ali Khan make this film watchable. After 'Gangajal', 'Apaharan' and 'Raajneeti', Prakash Jha's take on reservations promoting social equality leaves more to be desired. Aarakshan doesn't take sides, doesn't indulge in portraying the fallacies or benefits of the reservation system, nor does it provide a pragmatic alternative. One cannot spend 20 hours a day in providing free tutoring when they have a household to take care of. It is a desirable idea but far too unreal and too good to be practical.
There is a lingering disbelief of Aarakshan being a true Prakash Jha film. It tries to be one, but the inconsistencies and deviations spur whatever disappointment one might experience or perhaps, the bar was set too high the last time we witnessed a political gameplay.

7.761 on a scale of 1-10.
½ September 11, 2011
This movie could as well have been named "General Theory of Relativity" or "Autobiography of Idi Amin" or "Health Benefits of Yoga" or anything one may think of, because this movie has as much to do with the issue of reservation in India as with any of the titles I have, at random, mentioned. This film is, in no way whatsoever, different from the usual Bollywood fare, except for the fact that the bad guys do not try to rape Poorvi. Beyond that, it has all the ingredients of Bollywood: song-and-dance sequences, fighting, over-the-top villains, saintly central character, big preachy speeches, happy ending.
September 7, 2011
Too idealistic. typical good guy bad guy movie.
September 1, 2011
So I saw this a few days after it released in theaters. Really, it had a good concept with some great performances, but it went horribly wrong somewhere. I think they tried to take a small issue and turn it into something that was supposedly tearing the country apart. Over-dramatic. Plus, there were a ton of over-the-top sequences which inwardly made you cringe.....one of them being the "Mauka" song! Saif Ali Khan, Deepika, Pradeep, Amitabh, all gave very endearing performances. I especially want to commend Deepika, because people have been giving her a hard time about her wooden expressions and voice modulation - well, she got it right here. She was incredibly natural. Saif was also very good. AGAIN, worth a one-time watch, but please don't spend $10 to watch it in theaters.
August 29, 2011
What a waste of time
½ August 28, 2011
This movie doesn't follows the meaning of its title "AARAKSHAN" which means reservation. Instead it feeds you with the little little introductions on the subjects like effects and ill-effects of reservation systems in india, corruption link in colleges, educational style of India, etc...The movie's poster shows many taglines like FAMILY, LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, AND GREED, same does the movie offers to the audiences, although known to be based on "AARAKSHAN".

I tell you in a nut-shell, what happens in this movie :- A Honest and Idealistic Professor and a University Principal (Amitabh Bachhan) Anand's Life turns Problematic when he comments on the new Law actioned by the Supreme Court on the reservations of Backward Class in India for Government Colleges. His job and home are replaced by a Notorious Professor (Manoj Bajpai) Mithilesh who even steals the home of the that Principal and starts a coaching Institute there.

Anand believing in the true meaning of Education, starts teaching in the Cow-Shelter just Opposite to the Coaching Centre of Mithilesh. This Cow-Home-Tutor gets Famed as time passes due to the honest Efforts of Anand and his Collegues unlike Mithilesh's Center, this sets Mithilesh on fire, forcing him to use his connections to bring down Anand's Tutor. Finally the movie ends with Anand's Ex - lover (Hema Malini) who is some Superior Government Person, setting all matters. Mercy Mithilesh is not shown arrested or beaten or being killed.

And when The movie Ends you feel that the Movie was not on the subject of 'Reservations in India' , But on the Education Pattern in India, which also it fails to show clearly.

I think it would have been better if the movie was made and titled on the Character of Amitabh Bachhan. It would be a nice Fictional Biopic on the life of a Teacher named Prabhakar Anand. But since it isn't so, what it is, is that a same old BHELPURI of Genre's has been presented, with the ingredients churned Unevenly by Prakash Jha.

Of the Performances, Saif Ali Khan and Manoj Bajpayee maintain their acting in 3 or 4 scenes, Amitabh Bachhan Of course only needs his bold Eyes and Heavy Voice to do the Job, the most upset one was Prateik Babbar - which I felt was reciting a school play and not speaking for a movie. And Also, watching Rajeev Verma and Sourabh Sukla, I felt watching a Bollywood movie form 80s and 90s.

The only one person, who looks great while delivering her Dialogues is Tanvi Azmi, as the wife of Anand, though she has very less attention among the crowded starcast, she still meets the standards.
August 26, 2011
An interesting story based around the reservation system for education opportunities for the lower castes in India. The Big B has once again donned his beard and glasses and stolen the show.
It definitely comes a distant second to Rajneeti (which is made by the same director), but its still worth seeing, and definitely instigates a lot of discussion.
August 24, 2011
excellent story...high quality movie.
½ August 24, 2011
Great performance from all lead actors/actress. How ever I don't agree with some points told by AB in this film
August 23, 2011
Day: Tuesday
Date: 23 Aug 2011.
Amt: $ 6.99
Time: 5.30 pm
Over at: 8.10 pm
With: Runal
Seats: Free Seating
Theatre: Empire Studio, Mississauga
August 23, 2011
Great job by all actors in their characters but quite lengthy.
½ August 22, 2011
powerful movie with essential message!
½ August 22, 2011
The title subject lost its debate midway through the film. Anyways a decent execution !
August 22, 2011
Revolving around the highly controversial issue of affirmative action for backward caste's in India's universities, the film extracts great performances from its cast. Amitabh is fantastic as always. Deepika is great too. Saif is miscast and doesn't look convincing. Manoj is good. There are some striking dialogs and scenes, while some parts are a bit filmi.
August 21, 2011
Too long, but good story line
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