Satyagraha Review – Old Wine in New Bottle


Satyagraha, broadly speaking, focuses on Anna Hazare’s movement. The audience is already aware of the nature of his struggle and is prepared for the twists and turns in the movie. However, Satyagraha manages to add its originality once in a while.

Clad in white, Dwarka Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) takes on the system. Giving him support is Manav Raghvendra (Ajay Devgn), a businessman who has his own telecom company. Also, the local leader, Arjun (Arjun Rampal) is backing Dwarka. Along with them is Dwarka’s widowed daughter-in-law, Sumitra (Amrita Rao) and a TV journalist, Yasmin Ahmed (Kareena Kapoor).

On the other side are the antagonists, basically, the political specter. Balram Singh (Manoj Bajpai), a politician does all he can to bring Dwarka down and to a great extent succeeds. Alas, his fate is also doomed. Satyagraha tries hard to entertain and enthuse the youth into changing the system, and this makes it watchable. What it fails to achieve is a consistent tone and has many rough edges.

There is a kind of deja-vu one experiences while watching Satyagraha. It is a Prakash Jha movie, and one knows his cinematic style. There is nothing new that it has to offer to the audience.

There is a lot of play on the likes of Facebook and Twitter in Satyagraha. That’s how the movement catches fire. Word of mouth is passé. One sees a lot of tweets across the screen, and that is a tad overdone.

The ending of the movie is not entirely predictable. However, it is not something that is going to hit you unexpectedly. There are moments when you get a glimmer of hope that it might be an above-average film but they are few and far between. In fact, these instances are thanks primarily due to the acting of the Amitabh Bachchan. One feels that minus his performance Satyagraha would be a below par movie from Prakash Jha.

There is the half-baked romance between Manav and Yasmin with a romantic number. You won’t remember Satyagraha for this, and in fact, the same detracted from the central theme. Frankly, there isn’t much that it would be remembered for, post its viewing. However, kudos to Prakash Jha and his team for trying hard with the kind of subject in hand but with a compelling screenplay and better acting it could have been a winner.

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