Movie Review: Aarakshan (2011)

Users Rating: [ratings] ★★★☆☆
Box Office: Flop

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


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
4.0 “AARAKSHAN communicates an engaging story with very relatable characters.It’s a movie that is truly inspiring and thought-provoking, but at the same time, its running time [almost 2.45 hours] is a deterrent.”
Bollywood Hungama
4.0 “A well-crafted film on the need for education”
3.0 ‘Aarakshan’ deals with the controversial and sensitive issue of ‘reservation,’ but doesn’t aim to give any permanent solution to the issue
Daily Bhaskar
3.0 Serious cinema meant for serious cinema buffs who like issue-based films.
Times Of India
3.0 Compelling drama that cops-out in the end!
Average Reviews
2.5 “You won’t miss much if you don’t ‘reserve’ a seat for AARAKSHAN. “
2.5 “Words, words, and more words… but no clear pronouncements! So don’t expect any answers from Aarakshan.”
NDTV Movies
2.5 “Jha’s Disappointing Reservations.”
2.5 “While Jha has succeeded in garnering enough attention for Aarakshan as a result, he has failed to give this sensitive issue its due.”
2.5 “Seems like two different films.”
Negative Reviews
2.0 “Aarakshan has all the right intentions but it is a tad confusing in its stance.”
2.0 “Aarakshan is disappointing.”
2.0 “Aarakshan is just an average affair. Could’ve been shorter and better.”
2.0 “Aarakshan is a confused attempt.”
DNA India
2.0 “Aarakshan is a deathly boring slog”
IBN Live
2.0 “Aarakshan could have been a well-marshalled case of caste-and-conscience, but it turns out to be more light-weight cash-and-carry.”
2.0 “arakshan is painfully pointless, boring and not a wee bit enlightening. One would rather go fly a kite than to reserve a seat for this movie.”
2.0 “An interesting concept goes waste!”
1.5 “Aarakshan lacks focus.”
1.5 “Aarakshan doesn’t deserve the hype.”

Tagged , , ,

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *