Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal, Naseeruddin Shah and Sarah Thompson Kane
This one is for the masses and Prakash Jha has once again gone beyond the gloss to the grime and crime. He does not scratch the surface, but digs deep. And what you get in RAAJNEETI is entertaining fare. It has drama, political action, and ruthless ambition and most importantly, it plays on your emotions.
The dialogues are crisp, the acting above par and the technical brilliance up with the very best. Having said that, once you, as a viewer, scratch the surface and get over the brilliance of every performer and start looking deep into the plot, you find that there is nothing. I mean elections on a national level are not fought within just one family that has broken the 30-year-old party into two because the cousins are warring.
So here you have two brothers with the elder ruling the party having one son while the younger has two. Elder brother suffers a stroke and is incapacitated. Son Veerendra Pratap (Manoj Bajpayee) is hoping the reins will come in his hands. But the younger brother gets the vote of confidence. His kids, Prithviraj Pratap (Arjun Rampal), who nurses political ambitions and Samar Pratap (Ranbir Kapoor), who has returned from the US are in sync with the decision. Veerendra sees red and here is where revenge and vendetta assume dangerous proportions. In the centre of this all is Sooraj Kumar (Ajay Devgn), who unknown even to himself is actually the brother of Prithiviraj and Samar. He teams up with Veerendra to fight for the Dalits, where he comes from.
Samar, who is on his way back to the US is pulled into the vortex of the family feud and emerges as the king player. How he steals a march over his cousin over every bend is what RAAJNEETI is all about. But the price he has to pay is something that even he had not bargained for.
Jha has done brilliantly with screenplay and dialogues. The ambience is perfect. Body language of each and every performer is 'politically correct'. There is ambition, drive and a burning desire in each of the characters to be one up on the other. But in the sidelines is Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar) who is actually the decision maker in the warring family. He holds the remote control.
There's one item number thrown in, which rocks the boat. I mean, here you have everything moving crisply like in a 20-20 match and suddenly this item number breaks the momentum. It's like Geofrrey Boycott coming in to bat after being treated to the pyrotechnics of Yusuf Pathan. Mercifully, the number is cut short in its prime.
An interesting portrayal of political ambitions. Keeps you engrossed.