Critic reviews of

Aarakshan  (2011 - Hindi)

Aarakshan cumulative rating: 2.95 out of 52.95/5 (102 users)

Aarakshan critics rating: 2.35 out of 5 2.35/5 (16 critics)

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Aarakshan critic reviews & ratings


Young Sushant Seth (Prateik Babbar, looking perpetually dumbfounded) is a rich kid who’s just graduated from a college that his father is a trustee of. The boy wants to get into Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia’s popular mass communications programme. He’s opted for a career in the media. It’s a tough course to get into. You could question his choice of college (I had run away from that dingy school within a month of taking admissionmore

After ‘Rajneeti’, director Prakash Jha once again holds a mirror to society, taking up the issue of reservation in the education system with 'Aarakshan'. The film takes different perspectives; showing us that really, the victims of the politics of reservation are the students themselves.Yet where 'Rajneeti' was structured into a narrative based on 'The Mahabharata' and 'The Godfather', 'Aarakshan' drifts away without any anchor. It's a script stuckmore

A Prakash Jha film is talked about for more reasons than one. It provides food for thought. It sets you thinking. Be it DAMUL, MRITYUDAND, GANGAAJAL, APAHARAN or RAAJNEETI, there was enough fodder in each of those films. Besides, each of those films left an indelible impression on the minds of the viewer. So, quite naturally, the expectations from his new release AARAKSHAN are enormous. This one also tackles a rather serious social issuemore

What were the three states thinking when they banned Aarakshan? A couple of the states supposedly didn’t even watch the film. If they had, they would have quickly realised — it’s unlikely that they would have sat through the whole of it — it’s just not worth it. The ban that is. Really. How can a film change the minds of its viewers when it cannot make up its own mind? Not just on its stand on the reservation policy — it actually doesn’t have onemore

Filmmaker Prakash Jha is a breed apart. Beginning as a premier proponent of India's parallel cinema movement in the 1970s-1980s, he never chose to lose his moorings. Instead, he opted to increase the contours of his canvas by opting for a kind of cinema that combined art with mainstream, meaning with masala. Hence the importance of films like Gangajal, Apharan, Rajneeti, where you will manage to focus on some of India's burning issuesmore

Recently, a Kolkata-based newspaper got two filmmakers who had worked with Amitabh Bachchan to speak about what they preferred more -- Bachchan the actor, or Bachchan the star. Aarakshan is proof that there’s no need to choose. In the film, Bachchan puts his best ‘feet’ forward, and makes a spectacle of his role. As Prabhakar Anand, Bachchan is Aarakshan's soul. Principal Anand runs a private educational institute with an iron fist; anushasan is the key wordmore

Aarakshan (Reservation) is not about what the title suggests. It is not what the word has come to mean for college students and everybody in general today - a tussle between OBCs and the general category -- when they scramble for admissions to colleges and universities or seek jobs in the government sector, both of which have become a scarce resource in the face of an exploding population. So you see a brilliant Dalit graduate Deepak Kumarmore

Chhagan Bhujbal, Mayawati, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and many other politicians in India should really calm down. Prakash Jha's Aarakshan is definitely not against the current reservation system that benefits India's so-called backward castes. Rather Jha -- in a poor cinematic judgment has made a film which could be referred to as pro-Dalits and other backwards castes. I wish people would see Aarakshan and instead object to Jha's vision, the executionmore

Driving down to the preview theatre in the suburbs for a dekko of Prakash Jha's Aarakshan, I heard on the FM station's news break that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has banned the film for two months in her state. Wow, I thought, must be an explosive film. Driving past Prateeksha, I saw a posse of policemen guarding actor Amitabh Bachchan's corner bungalow in Juhu, in anticipation of pro- or anti- reservationists creating troublemore

The flurry of pre-release news on Aarakshan serves to strengthen my belief that the moment cinema is used as a tool to take a hard look at society and highlight the shortcomings of the nation, its leaders, and people; there is panic in the ranks of authority. The police want to screen it; state governments threaten to arrest the likes of Amitabh Bachchan the moment he sets foot on their soil; an HC stays an order on a release “anywhere in the world”more

Choose an explosive title for your movie, hire a clever PR agent and then pick up some controversies along the way. At a time, when politicians and the rest of our moral brigade are just waiting for the slightest opportunity to shout themselves hoarse if they find something or someone 'offending' their sensibilities, there couldn't have been a better way of getting a movie wanted as well as unwanted attention. When Jha made films like Mrityudandmore

In the very first scene of AARAKSHAN, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan), while giving a college interview, is made fun of because of his caste. He storms off the room, not before insulting the interviewees and the film begins on a high note. However, as the clock ticks, the graph of the film only heads South. AARAKSHAN is about Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), who has been the pillar of a private college in Bhopal for more than 30 yearsmore

While the film is supposed to be centered on the Supreme Court's 2008 verdict on the approval of additional reservations for other backward classes, it barely touches upon the topic beyond what is common knowledge. The issue and its implications are seen through the confines of the viewpoint of its principal protagonist and the narrative lacks any broader perspective on the national issue. Dr. Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan)more

After ‘Rajneeti’, where Prakash Jha showed he could glam up politics and make it box- office worthy, comes ‘Aarakshan’, on caste and reservation in the higher education system in the country, and the ills that beset it. Prabhakar Anand (Bachchan), the idealistic principal of a Bhopal college, has spent a lifetime spreading his knowledge amongst the young people he loves. This is not a man who asks what your surname ismore

An angry exchange of words erupts between newly appointed junior lecturer Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) and his mentor and college Principal Dr Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan). The former hurls a pointed question at his senior: “What is your position on reservation?” The latter responds in kind but refuses to answer. That’s perfectly in keeping with the underlying spirit of Aarakshan. Words, words, and more words… but no clear pronouncementsmore

There are two Aarakshans. One is the two-and-a-half hour film playing at some cinema halls in India. This Aarakshan, unfortunately, has been pushed past the goal post of good-bad cinema. The rising shrill voices and bans have ensured that director Prakash Jha escapes the embarrassment of acknowledging that this is one of his worst films. There are two Aarakshans. One is the two-and-a-half hour film playing at some cinema halls in Indiamore