Evils of education

Evils of education

Evils of education

Root of the matter: Amitabh Bachchan in Aarakshan

By now, Aarakshan must have put in place all the tongues it set wagging during the week. After all, Prakash Jha’s fodder is “private commercial coaching”. On reservation, he is just chewing the cud. Whatever the subject, the movie makes an impact.

The first half has more Mandal Commission talk with Amitabh Bachchan (principal of a prestigious institution) giving a piece of his mind to his bright and Dalit protege, Saif Ali Khan. There are sparks as the two debate the controversial 27 per cent. But the fire is soon doused by Deepika Padukone (Bachchan’s now-coy-now-firebrand daughter), who tackles boyfriend Saif’s “underprivileged” outbursts.

Like Jha’s previous works, Aarakshan too is a fight against the evil. And Manoj Bajpayee dutifully flaunts his claws and horns. Any other actor would have looked silly as a hysterical villain in a weird wig.

The black sheep of Bachchan’s college, Bajpayee mints money with his tuition centres. Bachchan objects and Bajpayee is ready with his knives and a bribed bunch of politicians and cops.

It’s a well-cast movie, but in the end, Aarakshan belongs to Bachchan. The actor lives his role as the dedicated guruji who wakes up at 3 am to help his students with their maths lessons. Hema Malini makes an impressive appearance in the climax, after spending hours on the wall as a beautiful portrait.

Aarakshan may be the weak link on Jha’s filmography, but it doesn’t disappoint.