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Nov 12, 2011

Aarakshan

The triumph of the little guy is often irresistible movie material. In this film the little guy is the tall old man(used to be the angry young man) of Indian cinema – Amitabh Bachchan.  The issue it has tried to tackle, I’d say boldly, because not many movies attempt it in this age of the rising, economically empowered Indian middle class who are not overpowered by the ‘glamor’ of government jobs. And therefore caste-based reservation, which decided the availability or non-availability of a government job to a person belonging to a particular caste is not a hot topic as it used to be. 

Much like the reservation becoming a non issue in the real world, the story of the film also switches its priorities midway. Yeah, it keeps the title the same through out the movie (Aarakshan = Reservation), but the focus shifts towards private coaching classes or tuition centers. The lead characters also go through a confused and stunted growth period in between. When we had just started thinking Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone will be the focus of the story, Saif is torn away from fighting for his burning cause and sent abroad.

With Saif off the scene and Deepika fading into the background, it is Bachchan all the way. The talented and experienced actor that he is, he handles the movie with right amount of restraint and starts a free coaching class for poor students when he is fired from his job, which turns out to be the right thing to do.  Manoj Bajpai gets to play the scheming professor and Tanvi Azmi is the loving and dutiful mother and wife. 

It is an interesting movie to watch movie about social issues and you’d rather watch something Indian than say, Erin Brockovich.

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