Movie Review: Aarakshan (2011)
A Prakash Jha film is talked about for more reasons than one. It provides food for thought. It sets you thinking. Be it DAMUL, MRITYUDAND, GANGAAJAL, APAHARAN or RAAJNEETI, there was enough fodder in each of those films. Besides, each of those films left an indelible impression on the minds of the viewer. So, quite naturally, the expectations from his new release AARAKSHAN are enormous. This one also tackles a rather serious social issue — caste-based reservation. However, AARAKSHAN not only talks about reservation, but also about the commercialization of educational institutions.
Not many storytellers have repeatedly succeeded in creating pragmatic films on societal matters, but Jha holds the distinction of doing so in film after film. Be it DAMUL [on bonded labor], MRITYUDAND [on gender inequity], GANGAAJAL [also about the contentious blinding episode at Bhagalpur], APAHARAN [on the abduction situation in Bihar] or RAAJNEETI [on the political state of affairs], Jha’s cinema has always illustrated harsh realism in a transfixing and riveting manner.
Aarakshan is the story of Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), the legendary idealistic principal of a college that he has single-handedly turned into the state’s best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) who will do anything for his Sir. Of Deepak’s love for Prabhakar’s daughter, Poorbi (Deepika Padukone), of his friendship with Sushant (Prateik). It is the story of their love, their lively friendship, their zest for life, and of their dreams for the future.
Centered on one of the most controversial issues of recent years, with the Supreme Court’s order on reservations, the story suddenly becomes a rollercoaster ride of high drama, conflict, and rebellion, which tests their love and friendship for one another, and their loyalty to Prabhakar Anand.
Making of Aarakshan