From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 34, Dated 27 Aug 2011
CULTURE & SOCIETY
No Reservations. Literally
Khan is an angsty Dalit despite non-Dalit guru (and college principal)
Bachchan's years of sacrifice and tutelage. Padukone is Bachchan's
daughter. Babbar is their friend and the son of a college trustee.
Bajpai is a devious upper caste professor who bends rules to run his
expensive private coaching classes despite college's strict policies.
And then there's the circus. So when the Mandal verdict meteor shakes
the status quo, Bachchan and his family have to pay for his ideals.
Then? Then he makes a comeback that beats every "Aao padhein" public
service message. Ever.
By Mona J
Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali
Khan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar, Manoj Bajpai
Aarakshan Score -7
The first half is about devious evictions. The second half is about
free tuitions. Wait, wasn't this supposed to be a controversial film
-3 Because The Forced Romance In The Plot comes in the form of two
songs picturised on Khan and Padukone, which (and minus three for
that) just decide to show up randomly.
-3 Because Act I is filled with spinelessly good people who obviously
were going to kick the man when he's down.
+4 Because Some Of The Big B-Bajpai Initial Scenes are powerful s**t.
Plus three for a tacky yet powerful-in-thought celebrations right
after the Mandal verdict.
-4 To Chhote Nawab because sirji, if you're a Dalit you should leave
the nawab at home. Plus four because *sigh* Saifu... Don't ever let go
of that moustache!
-5 For The Old Spice Theme Type music for the intense sequences. And
other random background tracks that include a Sarod version of
Vaishnav Jan. Worst. Score. Ever.
-9 Because The Dialogue Writer Watched One Too Many Vox Pop Segments
on TV news. How many soundbytes does it take to change a light bulb?
+10 To Hema Malini's Framebombing (a la photobombing). Her omnipresent
portrait's penetrating eyes keep us distracted from the bad dialogue.
+3 Because The Story Actually Has Potential Plus three for a
predictable but good we-build-up-our-heroes- to-tear-them-down
-2 Because This Is Every 'Angry <Insert-adjective> Man' Big B Movie ever made.
-10 Because Who Needs A Good Story when three hours into it, we can
always use a Deus Ex to solve issues of national importance.
+5 To Hema Malini's Greying, Graceful And Predictable Cameo as someone
as rich as Kokilaben and as powerful as Soniaji.
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