May be the lack of serious impact of his previous sensible films on audience have made director Prakash Jha make Satyagraha in this manner. The movie is a very shallow drama on a deep rooted subject. The characters are easily predictable and the assembling of events is quite plastic. Only thing that will keep you interested in this movie is the performances by a few in the cast and also the anger in you to speak against our corrupt system.
The plot here has Mr. Dwarak Anand, an idealistic man reacting sharply to the district collector when the collector treated Mr Anand’s daughter in law very roughly, who was there to get the compensation offered by the state home minister for the death of her husband. This act ends up in the arrest of Mr Dwarak Anand and his son’s friend Manav begins a social campaign to release the old man with the help of his journalist friend Yasmin and also a local leader Arjun Singh. The campaign was successful and the support they gained through it makes Mr. Anand strive for something bigger and he openly challenges the government to clear all the complaints of the common man. The rift between the truth seeking activists and the greedy politicians’ gives way to a lot of drama and how it all ends up is what Satyagaraha basically talking about.
As I said, it’s the lightheartedness that makes this drama indigestible. Jha has created some extreme characters without much complexity. There isn’t any focus for the politics of the character Arjun Singh which I found quite surprising. And also the pace with which Manav transforms into a leader from an opportunistic industrialist is quite unreal. An awkward romance in the middle of this chaos was totally unconvincing and to show it through a song was even more painful. The idea is definitely inspired from the Anna Hazare movements that happened in the recent past and they have included certain portions of it like the hunger strike, political infiltrations etc. But nothing never really blossomed into a level where they could use the common man’s anger against the faulty system.
In the performance side, only two actors manage to keep you interested in this film. Amitabh Bachchan for his powerful portrayal as Dwarak Anand and the other one is Mr. Manoj Bajpai who has done a very impressive job as the cunning minister Balram Singh. Ajay Devgn and Kareena did their part convincingly. Arjun Rampal was just there to add muscle power. Amrita Rao was also good in her conventional “bahu” role.
In the making, Jha once again recreates a political scenario but this time in brisk pace. He was able to put forward his revolutionary suggestions through the movie, but the structure was too predictable that it won’t make us think about applying it. The screenplay is shoddy and the dialogs aren’t that sharp. Convincing cinematography and not so great music with intriguing lyrics. BGM occasionally creates Goosebumps.
Overall, Satyagraha is not up to that inspiring level. Considering the social commitment of the theme and some worthy performances, the rating is a generous 2.5/5. For an audience who doesn’t wish to see complications on content, a superficial Satyagraha may work positively.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended