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Raajneeti (transl. Politics), is a 2010 Indian political thriller film co-written, directed and produced by Prakash Jha, with a screenplay by Anjum Rajabali and Prakash Jha, and starring Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee and Naseeruddin Shah in the lead roles.[4] It was originally produced by Prakash Jha Productions and distributed by UTV Motion Pictures and Walkwater Media. It was shot in Bhopal. The title translates literally as "Politics" and contextually as "Affairs of State."[5] The story draws parallels to the epic Mahabharata where shades of Karna (Ajay Devgan), Krishna (Nana Patekar), Arjuna (Ranbir Kapoor), Bhima (Arjun Rampal), Duryodhana (Manoj Bajpai), and Draupadi (Katrina Kaif) can be seen in the characters portrayed.

Raajneeti poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPrakash Jha
Produced byPrakash Jha
Written byPrakash Jha
Screenplay byAnjum Rajabali
Prakash Jha
Story byPrakash Jha
Music byWayne Sharp
Aadesh Shrivastava
Shantanu Moitra
CinematographySachin Kumar Krishnan
Edited bySantosh Mandal
Prakash Jha Productions
Walkwater Media Ltd
Distributed byUTV Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 4 June 2010 (2010-06-04)
Running time
170 minutes[1]
Budget60 crore[2]
Box office145.5 crore[3]

Raajneeti was released in theatres worldwide on 4 June 2010, after some controversies regarding similarities between real-life people and the characters in the film, as well as issues about the national anthem. The film was declared a 'Blockbuster' by Box Office India. A sequel of Rajneeti has been confirmed by Prakash Jha.[6]


The film begins with the life of Bharti Rai, the daughter of chief minister Ramnath Rai. Influenced by leftist ideology, she rebels against her father and joins the rival party of leftist leader Bhaskar Sanyal (Naseeruddin Shah). Bharti develops an illicit relationship with Bhaskar on a rainy night, who, guilt-ridden over taking advantage of a young woman, leaves for parts unknown, having unwittingly gotten Bharti pregnant. Upon the child's birth, he is abandoned in a boat by Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar), Bharti's 'rakhi' brother and a loyal well-wisher of the Rai and Pratap family. This leaves her devastated. Bharti is later married to Chandra Pratap, the younger brother of Bhanu Pratap. Bhanu leads the Rashtrawadi political party.

The story takes a turn, when the state government collapses and Bhanu suffers a stroke. In the hospital, he hands over power to his brother Chandra. Chandra's son, Prithviraj Pratap (Arjun Rampal) tries to take advantage of his father's power and starts to impose his own decisions on the party, which results in a clash with his cousin, Veerendra Pratap (Manoj Bajpayee) who is already miffed by his father's decision of not handing over the power to him. Chandra also takes his son's side in a matter where Prithvi's suggestion is more promising, making Veerendra feel he's being sidelined. Prithvi rejects the nomination of a local leader Sooraj Kumar (Ajay Devgan), who is chosen by the common people, but Sooraj gets Veerendra's support. Unknown to all, Sooraj is Bharti's abandoned son, who was found and brought up by Pratap family's driver, Ram Charittra as his own son.

The younger son of Chandra, Samar Pratap (Ranbir Kapoor), returns from America and meets his childhood friend Indu (Katrina Kaif). Indu is in love with Samar and thinks he loves her too. When Chandra and Prithvi try to kick Veerendra out of his father's party, due to his growing insolence, he asks Sooraj for help. Sooraj ends up assassinating Chandra in his car, while he is returning from the airport after seeing off Samar who was returning to America. In an ensuing drama, Prithvi is arrested by police under the influence of Veerendra and put on trial for raping a party worker. Samar comes to the rescue and tricks Veerendra into dropping all charges upon his brother, promising that his brother will resign and that he will move with his family to the U.S. However, Samar does not keep his promise and he, with Prithvi, begins rallying public support. After that, Bhanu officially expels Prithvi, the latter splits from the Rashtrawadi party and contests elections under "Jana Shakti party", a new party with Gopal as his mentor and Samar as the executive. Meanwhile, Samar's American girlfriend Sarah (Sarah Thompson) arrives in India to meet him. To raise funds for the new party, Samar shrewdly ensures Prithvi's marriage to Indu. Though Indu had always loved Samar, Samar only thought of Indu as a friend and loved Sarah.

The circumstances gets murkier with both sides trying every trick to ensure their victory in upcoming elections. Allegations and counter-allegations are made. Subsequently, Samar uncovers that the real murderers of his father are Sooraj and Veerendra, and decides to take revenge. On the other hand, Prithvi executes the former police officer, who had arrested him, and the woman worker at a farmhouse. Meanwhile, Indu slowly falls in love with Prithvi who has been a nice and respectful towards her, and Prithvi too admits his feelings. Sarah informs Samar that her reason for coming was to let him know of her pregnancy and they decide to return to America. Veerendra and Sooraj make a plan to assassinate Samar, on finding out that Samar was behind all the tricks. A bomb is planted in Samar's car. Prithvi goes to save Samar and Sarah, who were to be dropped off to the airport in that car. He manages to save Samar but is killed in the process with Sarah. Devastated by the loss of his brother and girlfriend, Samar decides to retaliate. He suggests Indu to take the reins of the party and arranges the election campaign single-handedly.

Meanwhile, Sooraj is revealed to be the first child of Bharti, who implores him to join his younger brother Samar. Sooraj refuses to part ways with Veerendra who supported him in his time of need and has been a true friend(even if for personal motives) despite him being in lower caste family and asks his mother to leave. Exit polls predict a victory for Indu's party. On the counting day, Samar lures Veerendra and Sooraj to an unused factory by spreading a rumour about electronic voting machines being hacked. They fall in the trap, and Veerendra gets shot by Samar and his men. Sooraj has an open opportunity to shoot Samar, but can't bring himself to do it since he knows Samar is his brother. Sooraj requests Samar to leave him and Veerendra till they reach the hospital, but Veerendra dies on the way. Gopal prompts Samar to shoot Sooraj who questions the morality of the act, but Gopal convinces him to take revenge for the destruction of his family. Samar, who isn't aware of his relationship to Sooraj, shoots him..

The election results are declared, and Indu emerges with majority and becomes the CM. Samar is seen asking for forgiveness and attempting reconciliation with Indu. Indu accepts Samar's apology and the two reconcile. Explaining his decision to return to America, he reflects that he always wanted to stay away from politics as politics is a game that brings out the "inner devil". Indu is revealed to be pregnant with Prithvi's child, while Samar leaves India to look after Sarah's mother and promises Indu that he will return to meet his nephew.


Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif and Prakash Jha at the press meet of Rajneeti, at Lucknow in 2010.
  • Ajay Devgn as Sooraj Kumar/Karna as a Local Leader and son of Bharti Pratap.
  • Ranbir Kapoor as Samar Pratap/Arjuna the younger son of Chandra Pratap and the Executive of the Jana Shakti Party.
  • Nana Patekar as Brij Gopal/Krishna as the son of Ramnath Rai, brother of Bharti Pratap and the mentor of Prithviraj Pratap when he founded the Jana Shakti Party.
  • Katrina Kaif as Indu Pratap/Draupadi and Uttara as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh who initially loved Samar but was married to Prithviraj Pratap.
  • Arjun Rampal as Prithviraj Pratap/Bhima, Yudhishthira and Abhimanyu as the founder of Jana Shakti Party, the elder son of Chandra Pratap and the brother of Samar Pratap.
  • Manoj Bajpayee as Veerendra Pratap/Duryodhana as the Chief Minister Candidate of Rashtrawadi Party.
  • Sarah Thompson Kane as Sarah Jean Collins/Ulupi as the girlfriend of Samar Pratap when he was in the US.
  • Naseeruddin Shah as Bhaskar Sanyal/Lord Surya as a leftist leader who opposes Ramnath Rai's Government.
  • Darshan Jariwala as Ramnath Rai as the Former Chief Minister of MP, Father of Bharti Pratap and Brij Gopal.
  • Shruti Seth as Party Worker
  • Chetan Pandit as Chandra Pratap/Pandu the younger brother of Bhanu Pratap, Father of Prithviraj Pratap and Samar Pratap. He leads the party for a while as his brother suffers a heart attack.
  • Kiran Karmarkar as SP Sharma
  • Daya Shankar Pandey as Ram Charittra/Adhiratha
  • Nikhila Trikha as Bharti Pratap/Kunti as the daughter of Ramnath Rai, sister of Brij Gopal and wife of Chandra Pratap who first spent time with Bhaskar Sanyal.
  • Jahangir Khan as Bhanu Pratap/Dhritrashtra as the president of the Rashtrawadi Party and he is the brother of Chandra Pratap.
  • Vinay Apte as Babulal/Shakuni
  • Barkha Sengupta as item number "Ishq Barse"


Critical receptionEdit

Mayank Shekhar of Hindustan Times rated it 3/5 and said, "None of the actors assembled on stage let him (the director) down; right from an unusually inspired Rampal to his powerful, polar opposite Bajpayee".[7] Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India rated it 4/5 and said, "The film basically anchors its plot in two classic tales — The Mahabharata and The Godfather — to create an engrossing diatribe on India's political system where democracy may prevail, but not in its purest form."[8] Anupama Chopra of NDTV rated it 3/5 and said "Jha creates a real sense of the machinations and sordid deals that fuel politics but then hobbles it with outlandish twists and some decidedly 'filmy' moments".[9] Rajeev Masand of IBN said, "Raajneeti is thrilling and gripping for the most part, even though it does lose steam in its final act. For the superb acting, and for the exciting dramatic highs, it's a film I recommend you do not miss."[10]

Rachel Saltz of The New York Times said, "[T]he film – full of romance, intrigue and fraternal strife – is too diffuse to score political points. Or to have much impact."[11] Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times found that while it aimed "for something trenchant about thwarted destiny and ugly ambition in modern Indian democracy", it "mostly winds up with a convoluted and tonally awkward Godfather rehash, with nary a character worth rooting for" and that "Kapoor's performance is stony rather than calculating...."[12] Frank Lovece of Film Journal International said, "More pulpy than political, this Godfather-ripoff Hindi electoral drama is a candidate for oblivion in U.S. theatres. ... [I]t all eventually becomes so ridiculous and over-the-top violent that there is nobody, nobody, to root for."[5]

Internationally, the film was received negatively, receiving a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[13]

Box officeEdit

Rajneeti grossed 145.5 crore (US$21 million) worldwide and was declared a blockbuster.[3][14]

Rajneeti worldwide Collections breakdown
(Outside India)


Raajneeti recorded an opening of nearly 10 crore net on its first day.[15] It had the second highest Friday opening in India after 3 Idiots and the highest Friday opening in the first half of the year, surpassing Kites.[16][17][18] It collected 34 crore at the end of the weekend and set a record for biggest weekend in the first half of the year, surpassing Housefull.[19][20] It showed no major decline in business on Tuesday and collected Rs. 5.85 crore.[21] At the end of the first week, the film collected Rs. 54.75 crore and set a record for biggest week in the first half of the year beating Housefull.[22] Raajneeti sustained well in the second weekend and collected 16.25 crore.[23] Rajneeti nett grossed 929.3 million (US$13 million) in India with a distributor share of 487.2 million (US$7.0 million).[24] It was the tenth highest grossing Bollywood film until it was surpassed by Kick starrer Salman Khan. It was declared a blockbuster.


Overseas, the film opened to weekend business of $2.25 million.[25] In the U.S., Raajneeti played well for a limited release, noted Ray Subers of, grossing $850,244 on 124 screens its opening weekend, "which was good for first among limited releases and 11th place on the overall weekend chart." He specified that Raajneeti "became the third Bollywood movie this year to lead all limited releases in its first weekend," following My Name is Khan and Kites.[26] In Australia and New Zealand, Raajneeti surpassed the opening weekend record set by 3 Idiots.[27]

Awards and nominationsEdit

56th Filmfare Awards


17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2011



6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards


  • Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Arjun Rampal


2011 Zee Cine Awards



3rd Mirchi Music Awards


  • Male Vocalist of The Year -gopal Nathan wellington shrikrishna holdan walter
  • Upcoming Female Vocalist of The Year - antra Kapoor- ek do teen
  • Song representing Sufi tradition - "Mora Piya"
  • Best Programmer & Arranger of the Year - Amar Makwana, Mani Iyer and Sandeep Chatterjie - "Mora Piya"
  • Best Background Score of the Year - Wayne Sharpe


Raajneeti was first denied a certificate by the censor board of India for their thought that the lead character played by Katrina Kaif is inspired fully or partially from the Congress Party's chief Sonia Gandhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal's chief Rabri Devi. Director Prakash Jha dismissed this allegation, saying his only inspiration was Mahabharata, an epic from ancient India.[34] References to electronic voting machines and parts of the film suggesting that women have to compromise to get ahead in politics, crude dialogues about the Muslim community and some intimate scenes and excessive violence were removed before giving the film a U/A censor certificate.[35]


Soundtrack album by
Released14 May 2010
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music
ProducerPrakash Jha

The background score was composed by Wayne Sharpe while the soundtrack was composed by Wayne Sharpe, Pritam, Aadesh Shrivastava and Shantanu Moitra. The lyrics were penned by Irshad Kamil, Gulzar, Sameer and Swanand Kirkire. The soundtrack consists of five original songs and four remixes. It was released on 14 May 2010.

Track listEdit

Track # Song Artist(s) Composer Lyricists Duration
1 "Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si" Mohit Chauhan, Antara Mitra Pritam Irshad Kamil 04:37
2 "Mora Piya" (Male) Aadesh Shrivastava, Shashi, Rosalie Nicholson Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 05:44
3 "Mora Piya" (Female) Kavita Seth Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 04:17
4 "Ishq Barse" Pranab Biswas, Hamsika Iyer, Swanand Kirkire Shantanu Moitra Swanand Kirkire 04:36
5 "Dhan Dhan Dharti" Shankar Mahadevan Pritam Gulzar 04:41
6 "Ishq Barse Club Mix" (The Bombay Bounce Club Mix) Pronob Biswas, Hamsika Iyer, Swanand Kirkire Shantanu Moitra Swanand Kirkire 03:53
7 "Dhan Dhan Dharti Reprise" (Call of the Soil) Sonu Nigam Pritam Gulzar 04:35
8 "Mora Piya Remix” (Male) Aadesh Shrivastava, Shashi Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 04:32
9 "Mora Piya Remix” (Female) Kavita Seth Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 04:17


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  2. ^ Kotwani, Hiren (4 June 2010). "Can Raajneeti recover its Rs 60 crore investment?". The Hindustan Times. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Top Lifetime Grossers Worldwide". Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Raajneeti: Complete cast and crew details". Filmicafe Media Inc. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b Lovece, Frank. "Film Review: Raajneeti", Film Journal International, 7 June 2010
  6. ^ "Katrina Kaif is the hero in 'Rajneeti 2'". 26 June 2012.
  7. ^ Shekhar, Mayank. "Mayank Shekhar's Review: Raajneeti". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  8. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (3 June 2010). "Raajneeti". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  9. ^ Chopra, Anupama (4 June 2010). "Review: Raajneeti". NDTV. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  10. ^ Masand, Rajeev (3 February 2010). "Masand: Raajneeti is thrilling and gripping". India Broadcasting Network. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  11. ^ Saltz, Rachel. "Prakash Jha's 'Godfather,' Bhopal Version", The New York Times, 4 June 2010
  12. ^ Abele, Robert. "Movie review: 'Raajneeti'", Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2010
  13. ^ "Raajneeti (2010)".
  14. ^ "Rajneeti - A Blockbuster!". Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Raajneeti Rocks The Nation". Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  16. ^ "Top First Friday Nett Grossers". Box office India. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  17. ^ "Top Openers Delhi/UP". Box office India. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  18. ^ "India update: 'Raajneeti' collects Rs. 10.5 cr. on Friday". Bollywood hungama. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  19. ^ "Raajneeti Has Earth Shattering Weekend". Box office India. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Box Office: Raajneeti in power; opening weekend numbers skyrocket in 2010". Business of cinema. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  21. ^ "Tuesday update: 'Raajneeti' collects 5.85 cr., total 46.1 cr. Nett". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  22. ^ "Box Office: Raajneeti's opening week collections third highest after 3 Idiots, Ghajini". Business of cinema. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  23. ^ "Raajneeti Sustains Very Well Over Second Weekend". Box office India. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Raajneeti Also Scores Overseas". Box office India. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  26. ^ Subers, Ray. "Arthouse Audit: 'Raajneeti' Continues Bollywood Blitz",, 7 June 2010
  27. ^ "Australia update: 'Raajneeti' takes bigger start than '3 Idiots'". Bollywood hungama. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  28. ^ "Winners of 17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  29. ^ "Winners of 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  30. ^ "Nominations for 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  31. ^ "Winners of Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  32. ^ "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  33. ^ "Nominees - Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2010". 30 January 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  34. ^ Kumar, Anuj (27 May 2010). "Fact of the matter". The Hindu.
  35. ^ Sharma, Kartikeya (26 May 2010). "Politics over Rajneeti: Cong plays censor board". India Today. Headlines Today Bureau.

External linksEdit