Raajneeti (English: 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, Nana Patekar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee and Naseeruddin Shah in the lead roles. 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." 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.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Prakash Jha|
|Produced by||Prakash Jha|
|Written by||Prakash Jha|
|Story by||Prakash Jha|
|Cinematography||Sachin Kumar Krishnan|
|Edited by||Santosh Mandal|
Prakash Jha Productions
Walkwater Media Ltd
|Distributed by||UTV Motion Pictures|
|Budget||₹60 crore (US$8.7 million)|
₹145.50 crore (US$21 million)|
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. A sequel of Rajneeti has been confirmed by Prakash Jha.
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, 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 brother. This leaves her devastated. Bharti later marries 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 Veerendra Pratap (Manoj Bajpayee). Chandra also takes his son's side, sidelining Veerendra. When Prithvi rejects the nomination of a local leader, Sooraj Kumar (Ajay Devgan), who is chosen by the common people, gets Veerendra's support. Unknown to all, Sooraj is Bharti's abandoned son, who was found and brought up by Pratap's family driver, Ram Charittar.
The younger son of Chandra, Samar Pratap (Ranbir Kapoor), returns from America and meets his childhood friend Indu (Katrina Kaif). Indu loves Samar and thinks he loves her too. When Chandra and Prithvi try to kick Veerendra out of his father's party, he asks Sooraj for help. Sooraj ends up assassinating Chandra in his car, while he is returning from the airport after seeing off his younger son, Samar. 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 see the situation. 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. Veerendra again seeks help from Sooraj and Sooraj makes a plan to assassinate Samar, being aware 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 at the airport in that car. He manages to save Samar but is killed while trying to save Sarah in vain. 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 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 shoots Sooraj.
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 settle there.
- Ajay Devgan as Sooraj Kumar /Karna
- Ranbir Kapoor as Samar Pratap /Arjuna
- Nana Patekar as Brij Gopal /Krishna
- Katrina Kaif as Indu Pratap /Draupadi and Uttara
- Arjun Rampal as Prithviraj Pratap /Yudhishtira, Bhima and Abhimanyu
- Manoj Bajpayee as Veerendra Pratap /Duryodhana
- Sarah Thompson Kane as Sarah Jean Collins
- Naseeruddin Shah as Bhaskar Sanyal /Lord Surya
- Darshan Jariwala as Ramnath Rai
- Shruti Seth as Party Worker
- Chetan Pandit as Chandra Pratap /Pandu
- Kiran Karmarkar as SP Sharma
- Daya Shankar Pandey as Ram Charittar /Adhiratha
- Nikhila Trikha as Bharti Pratap /Kunti
- Jahangir Khan as Bhanu Pratap /Dhritrashtra
- Vinay Apte as Babulal
- Barkha Sengupta as item number "Ishq Barse"
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". 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." 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". 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."
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." 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...." 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."
Rajneeti grossed ₹1,431.1 million (US$21 million) worldwide and was declared a blockbuster.
|Territory||Nett Collections (After Entertainment tax)|
|India||₹929.3 million (US$14 million)|
₹487.2 million (US$7.1 million)
₹313.2 million (US$4.6 million)
|US$3 million(₹18.86 crore)|
|US$1,514,558 (United States)|
|Worldwide||₹1,431.1 million (US$21 million)|
Raajneeti recorded an opening of nearly ₹ 10 crore net on its first day. 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. 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. It showed no major decline in business on Tuesday and collected Rs. 5.85 crore. 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. Raajneeti sustained well in the second weekend and collected ₹ 16.25 crore. Rajneeti nett grossed ₹929.3 million (US$14 million) in India with a distributor share of ₹487.2 million (US$7.1 million). 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. In the U.S., Raajneeti played well for a limited release, noted Ray Subers of BoxOfficeMojo.com, 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. In Australia and New Zealand, Raajneeti surpassed the opening weekend record set by 3 Idiots.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Ranbir Kapoor
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Arjun Rampal
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Manoj Bajpai
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Nana Patekar
- 17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2011
- Best Actress (Popular Choice) – Katrina Kaif
- Best Screenplay – Prakash Jha, Anjum Rajabali
- Best Background Music – Wayne Sharp
- 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards
- Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Arjun Rampal
- Apsara Award for Best Film – Prakash Jha
- Apsara Award for Best Lyrics – Sameer for "Mora Piya"
- Apsara Award for Best Playback Singer (Male) – Aadesh Shrivastava for "Mora Piya"
- Apsara Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role – Manoj Bajpai
- Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) – Ajay Devgn and Arjun Rampal(won)
- Apsara Award for Best Dialogue – Prakash Jha
- Apsara Award for Best Story – Prakash Jha
- Apsara Award for Best Screenplay – Anjum Rajabali & Prakash Jha
- Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) – Ranbir Kapoor
- Best Actor – Ranbir Kapoor
- Zee Cine Award for Best Actor – Female – Katrina Kaif
- Best Film
- Best Director – Prakash Jha
- Best Female Playback Singer – Antara Mitra for "Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si"
- Best Lyricist – Sameer for "Mora Piya"
- Best Supporting Actor – Nana Patekar
- Best Actor in a Negative Role – Manoj Bajpai
- Best Story – Prakash Jha
- Best Cinematography – Sachin Kumar Krishnan
- Best Editing – Santosh Mandal
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. 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.
|Soundtrack album by Pritam, Aadesh Shrivastava, Shantanu Moitra, Wayne Sharpe|
|Released||14 May 2010|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
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.
|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, Sachin Pandit and Shashi||Aadesh Shrivastava||Sameer||04:32|
|9||"Mora Piya Remix” (Female)||Kavita Seth||Aadesh Shrivastava||Sameer||04:17|
Prakash Jha has begun work on Rajneeti 2 but not strictly as a sequel. Sources originally reported that this second Rajneeti could be inspired by Anna Hazare's 'India Against Corruption' campaign and incorporate Satyagraha within the storyline or that it might be an adaptation of the Tamil film Ko. Jha has applied for remake rights, and is considering Ranbir Kapoor as the protagonist. In July 2012, it was announced that Katrina Kaif would have the role of a prime minister of India and that the project was expected to begin filming in late 2014 for a 2015 release.
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