Home Reviews Movie Review: Satyagraha Reviews Movie Review: Satyagraha By Dumboo - Sep 4, 2013 408 0 SHARE Facebook Twitter Director: Prakash Jha Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor, Manoj Bajpayee and Amrita Rao A film unofficially inspired by the Anna Hazare movement ends in a cop-out. The movie speaks of the right messages and highlights the relevant problems. But it takes an inglorious middle-path. It loses both its real grit and entertainment value. You can’t be advocating Gandhian ideologies in one scene and then cheekily sneaking in item numbers with exotic European models. There’s too much dichotomy over there. And that’s what politicians call hara-kiri. The story itself starts when an irate father Daduji (Amitabh Bachchan) slaps a corrupt government official because the latter is denying him compensation for his dead son. Dadu’s Gandhian ideology lets him see glory in being jailed after that. But then that sparks a socio-political revolution demanding public rights. Personal grudges are not exactly the right motive to start a political war. But then this was a movie. So the revolution catches fire and is fuelled by the industrious spirit of a young entrepreneur Manav (Ajay Devgn). He’s the brain behind the show, the one who knows how to counter politicians because that is exactly what he does for a living. The logic over here is near flawless. In fact, when the dirty politicians decide to malign Manav he liquidates his 6000 crore telecom empire to become the true revolutionary. Instead of cashing in on this robust development of chivalrous heroics, the narrative veers into a dramatisation of the Anna Hazare versus Arvind Kejriwal story. To the movie’s credit it highlights the right political issues. The endless pending files in government offices, the rampant bribes being taken and received, the common man being the ultimate loser in the irony. It’s all on display in black and white. So while the cause is flawless, the effect is riddled with inconsistencies. Almost every character in Satyagraha functions on a base sentimentality. Bachchan’s Daduji decides to go on an amaran anshan (hunger strike unto death) because a lady complains that her claim in the collectorate is indefinitely on hold because of the revolution and that has left her children hungry. It’s a naive reaction from a man who’s previously shown great dexterity in his revolutionary moves. Nonetheless that’s the proverbial Achilles’ heel. Also it all ends in a shootout where Amitabh Bachchan is shot multiple times and then still has enough steam to dole out an inspiring monologue. The same man who hasn’t eaten for days now. If Satyagraha has a saving face, it’s the cast. Even though the characters and their actions aren’t requisitely fleshed out, the actors give it their all. Arjun Rampal is a feisty political leader hungry for justice and he lives up to the supporting role. Amitabh Bachchan proves talent is ageless. He rises above a limited character to lend the movie dramatic steam. But the anchors of the show here are Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor. Ajay shows you why he’s considered a great actor. Here you have a club 100-crore member quietly doing justice to his character in a middle-of-the-road movie. We need more lead heroes like this. Kareena too brings intensity and charm to her role. She’s a feisty journalist and Kareena has the right livewire energy. Pity then that director Prakash Jha sends them into an embarrassing romantic ballad in the middle of serious drama. Manoj Bajpayee as the conniving politician is phenomenally effortless. His bad man act is a text book performance. In all fairness, Prakash Jha has attempted a brave film. It takes guts to point fingers at the government and showcase all that’s wrong with the system. But then every film also needs to engage its audience in the right kind of way. But Satyagraha does nothing of the sort.