The wait for a high-octane, all-engrossing drama just became longer. But that doesn't mean we don't have a decent watch in hand with Raajneeti. The setup is certainly complex and intriguing, and there are a couple of sly and conniving twists, no doubt. Yet depth is still missing, almost as if introducing the characters and their connections was an end in itself, and not merely the beginning nor the means to get there.
Given that the characters are based on Mahabharat, it would take real skill to make them uninteresting. In fact, if you focus only on that angle, you'll see even more curious amalgamations. It's best to leave these aside and just watch the film for what it is. Despite so much potential for complexity, the lack of details along with the creativity-challenged treatment of the situations can give you the heebie-jeebies. Some of the scenes, like the one in which a sundry woman gets pregnant, clearly didn't belong here. Nor do the on-the-face references to the mythological epic. It also would have helped to keep the Corleones, Gandhis, and Thackerays at bay. As glaring as they are, they only serve as distractions.
With the various connections and cross-connections, the film deserved a lot more in terms of flow from one sub-plot to another. Instead we get a "my turn-my turn" shout out by the characters whenever they were made missing-in-action for a bit. Prithvi's (Arjun Rampal) sudden eccentricity was almost meant to say that Arjun's otherwise wooden facial muscles can be chiseled into another form. Yet the usually plastic face of Katrina Kaif wasn't in this film, at least not in some parts, though all of you are going to see is a surreal vision of the diva in a sari.
This almost three-hour affair doesn't slacken, but doesn't keep you waiting for the next move either. Because somehow there's a foregone conclusion, given the epic characters the film is based on.
Excerpted from Wogma