Prakash Jha rose to fame with his political and issue-based movies like Apaharan and Gangajal.These two were good examples of honest story-telling with a grip on the execution. Come Raajneeti, Aarakshan and Chakrvyuh, one might observe that a sense of superficiality has been growing gradually in his movies, like a fungal growth. With ‘Satyagraha’, the phase has come where the superficiality has completely grown on all sides and the content absolutely poisonous
Satyagraha begins with showing the injustice by the corrupt government. An incident triggers a retired school teacher, his widowed daughter-in-law, son’s entrepreneur friend, a journalist and local wannabe youth leader together to start a movement against it. The script seems like an outcome of watching the ‘Anna Hazaare’ fasting footage repeatedly, and noting down some proceedings which have good scope to be an interesting drama. Not to forget, add a background chorus of ‘Raghupati Raghava Rajaram’ to force the patriotism. Right from the beginning, Satyagraha tries to be desperate in conveying something enlightening. Unfortunately, the story-telling is so artificial and bores you to death that you actually fall asleep than being awakened by the proceedings.
Satyagraha, definitely has big names in the ensemble cast. But, casting is just half of the job. The rest of it is designing the characters. Amitabh Bachhan has a crucial role, which could hardly leave any impact. All credits to the writer for wasting huge talent. Similar is the case with other characters too. Ajay Devgn proclaims himself as the ‘naujawaan’, but with a double chin and aging chubby cheeks. Kareena Kapoor plays the journalist with a ‘look-at-me-Iamso-hot-diva-in-kurthas-too’ appearance and attitude. Arjun Rampal seems like a dude-turnedleader, whose role was to intercept the movie frame every twenty minutes by doing/shouting something interesting. Amritha Rao’s role’s sole aim was to generate sympathy through her white-colored costumes. Manoj Bajpayee is the only relief where you will enjoy his screen presence. Though his role is also badly written, he compensates with his flawless performance.
The term ‘Satyagraha’ is a very pious term in the history of our Independence. The writing and the direction team leave no stone unturned in damaging the term and making ‘A Satyagraha’ an ‘Asatyagraha’ i.e a movement with abundance of fakeness.
Beware: After the watching, you might slap yourself much tighter than the one Mr.Bachhan gives to a collector, in a scene.
By Rag Mayur