Movie Review: Satyagraha

Satyagraha brings together urban stories of corruption from history -Chauri Chaura, Mandal as well as Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Andolan. Bachchan plays a retired and idealistic teacher Dwarka Anand. Manav (Ajay Devgn) is his engineer son Akhilesh’s friend – an ambitious capitalist. Both friends are really close, and one day Akhilesh dies. Minister Balram Singh (Bajpai) announces compensation, but Akhilesh’s wife Sumitra (Rao) cannot get that despite daily applications to government babus. One thing leads to another and an angry Dwarka slaps an arrogant official and gets imprisoned. The influence of social media is depicted, as Manav starts a campaign to free him by roping in social activist Arjun Singh (Rampal) and journalist Yasmin (Kapoor). The ‘satyagraha’ escalates, leaving politicians panicky about it. 

Movie Review: Satyagraha

Needless to say, each actor added to the movie in their own signature styles. Recall Devgn in ‘Yuva’, Amitabh in ‘Sarkar’ and Bajpai in a glittering, malevolent avatar. The movie’s philosophy is voiced in one of Bachchan’s dialogues – “Janta sarkaar ki malik hai. Malik nirdesh deta hai. Maang nahin karta.” How do you do that? Symbolic protest? Violent revolt? Or a longer, harder route? 

Dealing with this very question, ‘Satyagraha’ takes ahead this movie in a manner more philosophical than action-oriented. Prasoon Joshi adds color to the movie with his lyrics and all in all, ‘Satyagraha’ strips corruption bare to show the audience its filthy body from tip to toe. No short-cuts to a solution, but not pessimistic future either – Satyagraha is a movie that shows the road ahead for what it is.

Casts and credits:

  • Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Arjun Rampal
  • Producers: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Prakash Jha, Ronnie Screwvala
  • Directors: Prakash Jha
  • Music Director: Harris Jayaraj
  • Additional informations:
  • Country: India
  • Language: Hindi
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: Friday, 30th of August 2013
  • Runtime: 152 min

Synopsis:

Satyagraha reflects the revolution of the middle class against a corrupt and unfair system that leaves it with no option but to form an impulsive movement to challenge the status quo. It is the story of a dynamic and determined young man (Ajay Devgn) who is poised to take the elevator of corporate success, when a personal heartbreak exposes him to the shocking outcomes of corruption in this country. Joining his hands with an idealistic old man (Amitabh Bachchan), he sets fire to people’s protest that soon rises into a massive movement with a national importance, and fighting with evil politicians, who have decided to crush and shame him. However, when aam janta’s raw and uncontrolled anger is unleashed, the unintentional penalty could be horrific by itself.

In short, the movie deals with the movement of the middle-class to re-negotiate democracy. It’s the story of a man (Amitabh Bachchan) who is a firm believer of Gandhian principles, an ambitious entrepreneur (Ajay Devgn) who represents the modern India shining philosophy, a social activist (Arjun Rampal) who aims to become a politician, a bold brave and courageous political journalist (Kareena Kapoor), and a clever and cunning politician (Manoj Bajpai) who uses every means to break the system.

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