Posts Tagged ‘ Amrita Rao ’

Satyagraha

Satyagraha_Poster Satyagraha
Release date: August 30, 2013
Directed by: Prakash Jha
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Indraneil Sengupta, Ajay Devgn, Amrita Rao, Kareena Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal, Vipin Sharma, Vinay Apte

Satyagraha, Prakash Jha’s take on corruption and its deep roots in our administration, has a lot to offer. Star power, acting prowess and a country background to evoke sympathy for a topic that is consistently in the headlines are the things already working in its favor.

Manav Raghavendra (Ajay Devgn) is an ambitious youngster with a capitalistic mindset, who is ironically best friends with a socially benevolent bureaucrat in the making Akhilesh Anand (Indraneil Sengupta) whose father is an upright system-bashing retired school teacher Dwarka Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) Quoting cliches and going out on a limb against Manav’s existence, Dwarka drives him out of their home and poor Manav can’t even attend Akhilesh and Sumitra’s (Amrita Rao) wedding. Flash forward a few years down the line and both Akhilesh and Manav are in their desired positions.

Tragedy soon strikes and the Anand family faces the ignominy of paying up bribes for their deserved rights and payments. This is where the premise of an impending revolution is laid, as the promises made by the partisan leader Balram Singh (Manoj Bajpai) turn out to be void. In the absence of a second-in-command for the awakening, a small time baahubali Arjun (Arjun Rampal) and the returning tycoon Manav offer support. Incorporating the Satyendra Dubey case and the inception and the eventual falling out of the Jan Lokpal committee,

Satyagraha has less to offer on the shock factor, but the focus at how the decisions and the internal conflicts of the members of the committee develops an interesting story. The individual characters’ dilemmas show how possibly the actual Jan Lokpal could have possibly disintegrated. As much as all other of Jha’s recent films are laced with an antagonist with an underlying dumb sense of humor, Balram and his lackeys possess the same traits.

The screenplay is testing at times, the drama starts gripping you around the halfway mark. The best part about Satyagraha though is that all the characters have shades of gray, they commit mistakes and they realize (of course it’s the good guys I’m talking about) there is character growth and a graph which is clearly visible. And as for the actors, they put in great effort to play their parts right. But there’s a certain level of phony air surrounding the film which simply doesn’t let go till the end. Like Bachchan is emaciated right until the climax, but suddenly cuts a different figure at the end. The sound quality of the dialogue is suddenly very low. The extras appear clueless.

Consequently, Satyagraha is a good drama with some usual staple typecasting and unimaginative lines. Not the best film about the concerned topic, surely competitive.

My rating: **1/2 (2.5 out of 5)

Jolly LLB

jolly-llb-poster
Jolly LLB
Release date: March 15, 2013
Directed by: Subhash Kapoor
Cast: Amrita Rao, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurab Shukla, Manoj Pahwa, Mohan Kapoor

Jagdish Tyagi Jolly (Arshad Warsi) is a lawyer in a small district court of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. His career is floundering  and he’s looking for ways to make it big. Soon he encounters another small time colleague getting mainstream media coverage for filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

A hit and run case accused is let off and Advocate Rajpal (Boman Irani) is the savior for the typical rich boy. Jolly moves to Delhi for bigger prospects and explores the same PIL alternative for a chance at fame. Rajpal is an accomplished and snobbish bigshot who wears exemplary suits and sips whiskey while discussing cases.

Presented with a moral dilemma, catalyzed by a few plot devices, Jolly has to now make a decision if he’s going to fight for justice or for his earlier goal of attaining a formidable status. Amrita Rao plays the protagonist’s cute and supporting love interest, Sandhya. She’s a teacher in middle-school (that’s what I am guessing) and not hesitant to correct him.

Jolly LLB employs a great satirical theme which keeps you consistently entertained with its lines and quirky characters. Saurabh Shukla does his crony shtick finely with his burps and farts. The sequence where he finally takes a strong stance and asks Rajpal to “shut up” is specially hilarious. The two conventional song-and-dance numbers are short but not too relevant, perhaps placed to legitimize the film as a completely commercial venture.

The strengths of Jolly LLB are the realistic depiction of a court and the shady fake witness nexus with a much sophisticated connection, and the apathy of the law-holders and caretakers. The said apathy transcends into a few fairly ludicrous scenes, like where the judge asks the lying driver to get down on his knees in the court. Also the collective applauds at the end of Rajpal and Jolly’s ‘speeches’ inside the courtroom nullify the said realism.

Arshad Warsi does well in his underdog portrayal and Boman Irani is just the exact amount of smug and pompous for his character. But it’s not the monologues at the end that I object to, it is the placement of a fun-filled flashy promotional music video where all the actors do a red carpet dance juxtaposing the end credits that I feel is patchy and dampening to the mood of the climax. It’s almost as “Hey,  that was only a movie and now stop thinking about what we just delivered ‘cos we’re simply entertainers.”

Again, it is not the makers’ message that I have a beef with, it’s just the suddenly serious and similarly sudden laidback approach that I find not fitting. Jolly LLB is a good film with its own flaws, but it has a heart and you simply can’t resist being all smiles where the film flaunts its charm.

My rating: *** (3 stars out of 5)

%d bloggers like this: