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Critics' review: watch Satyagraha for performances

Prakash Jha has picked a rather radical subject for his latest movie Satyagraha. A starcast comprising of actors like Big B, Ajay Devgn and Manoj Bajpai is the icing on the cake. But has the film lived up to the expectations? Read on.

bollywood Updated: Aug 30, 2013 16:30 IST
Sweta Kaushal
Sweta Kaushal
SATYAGRAHA,amitabh bachchan,manoj bajpai

Satyagraha hits the theatres today. The film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Amrita Rao and Manoj Bajpai is a dialogue with the youth of today, Prakash Jha said at most of his promotional events.

The director picked a rather new (as compared to last week's critically acclaimed political thriller Madras Cafe) subject for Satyagraha.

Although the director claimed that his movie is not based on the Anna Hazare movement, most reports suggested otherwise. With a topic like that, Prakash Jha helming the project and actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and Manoj Bajpai - the expectations were sky-high. Prakash Jha, however, could not live up to the expectations, at least for most critics.

Saibal Chatterjee writes for NDTV, "Prakash Jha's Satyagraha is a political film that, for all its well-meaning bluster, neither stings nor scalds. It fails to hit the core of the truth that it seeks," and further elaborates, "Unfortunately, Satyagraha barely skims the surface of a complex theme, leaving many a crucial question unanswered. As a result, it can hardly be expected to shake a vast nation and its somnolent rulers out of their torpor."

Saurabh Dwivedi writes for India Today, "The movie is replete with the old tried-and-tested formulae - including item numbers - which also helps explains why the movie lost ground."

Saibal Chatterjee writes, "A problem that has beset Jha's recent films is back to haunt Satyagraha as well. The principal characters do not converse like you and me. They make speeches from a rostrum. When they are not letting out hot air from a pedestal, they deliver grand statements of intent to each other and everyone within earshot. It is an approach that is better suited to street theatre than to the big screen."

Sarit Tanwar writes for DNA, "You can't make a film about what is wrong with the system, while surrendering to the system. It is a cop-out. Satyagraha could have been so much more had it taken the Madras Cafe route and made an honest, hard-hitting film. The bollywood-isation of the film is what ruins it."

The actors have, interestingly, impressed the critics with performances.

Saurabh Dwivedi writes, "When it comes to cinema, its truth is equally divided amongst the three monkeys - story, acting and direction. What the movie lost out in story and direction, it made up for with acting. The movie's saving grace was Amitabh Bachchan, Manjoj Bajpai and somehow managing to secure the third spot on this list, Ajay Devgn."

Srijana Mitra Das writes for Times Of India, "Devgn is Satyagraha's strong body while Amitabh - gaunt in grief, moving in fortitude - is its soul. And Bajpai is its glittering, malevolent cloak, delivering a satiny performance hair-raising in its perfection. Bachchan voices the movie's philosophy - "Janta sarkaar ki malik hai. Malik nirdesh deta hai. Maang nahin karta."

Sarit Tanwar sums up, "There is enough anger/frustration amongst people, if Satyagraha's purpose was to remind us that nothing changed even after the movement, the rallies and the noise on the social network, it succeeds."

Film critic Mayank Shekhar (W14) agrees, "At some point, you hear yourself go, "Ab bas bahut ho gaya yar. Bandh karo bak bak." We get a lot of this on TV anyway, and at least we know what’s going on there."


@SRKsGurl: Just read NDTV reveiw if #Satyagraha now regretting why did take the ticket in advance.. I wilk have to watch #ChennaiExpress this weekend:)

@reachrummana: There are no easy solutions in a country like India and #Satyagraha brings to fore the many issues

@VikasAgarwalll: Issuing Fatwa to all AB, Ajay, Arjun, Manoj, Kareena fans & AAP workers to watch #Satyagraha this weekend ! :P

@nishantshekhar1: Satyagrah just mocks Team Anna movement..poor direction...worst climax..and bad it only for Manoj Bajpayee.

Have you watched the movie? Share your views in the comment box below.

First Published: Aug 30, 2013 16:00 IST