I am not a film critic but definitely a film buff, which is why I enjoyed the contemporary Mahabharath version churned out by Prakash Jha in the movie, Raajneeti. Not only was the theater packed with families, everyone seemed so excited and expectant about this movie. The buzz was clear: people want pacy movies that are real and not typically love candy types where the hero is Rahul/Raj and the heroine is dressed to kill in designer wear.
What I liked most was to watch some of the best artists doing justice to their roles in a political movie like this one. That itself is so rewarding for the viewers. However, I felt that Naseeruddin Shah had very little screen space and nothing spectacular came out of that role itsef because it was so clipped and sort of meant to be killed off before the character could establish any real connection. It felt sad to see such a fine artist being sidelined in a movie as grand as this. Nana, in the role of Krishna, was awesome. His expressions, body movements and sense of timing seemed to blend in so well with his character. Manoj Bajpai gave a powerful expression to the character of Duryodhan. Though I feel that this has been Arjun Rampal's most meaningful role in a movie, I also felt that he didn't do justice to the role of Yudhishtir as his actions seemed very rash and in some instances, illogical. He seemed passive though his dialogues were fiery. Ajay Devgan put up a stunning performance as a young, angry Dalit leader. His performance as Karna was convincing and powerful. However, it is Ranbir Kapoor, whose performance I think was the best.
Katrina's performance came as a real dampener. She was playing herself and not the character in the movie. Acting skills really needed a brush up for this movie. I have no idea why a director like Prakash Jha was unable to bring the actress to the forefront with the rest of the stellar performances.
The only thing that I would have liked not to see was the predictability of the script. There could have been some twist to bring in an element of surprise for the viewers. I mean, I knew exactly what would happen after each scene and nearly every time I was right. For a viewer, that spells no fun when watching a political thriller like this movie, right?
Still, I would say that this movie is worth watching so don't miss it!