- 2 hr 44 min
Aarakshan is a 2011 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Prakash Jha. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Deepika Padukone, and Prateik Babbar. The film revolves around the controversial and sensitive issue of reservations in India's education system and explores the dynamics of caste-based discrimination in society.
The story begins with Dr. Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), the principal of a prestigious college in Bhopal, who strongly believes in meritocracy and the power of education. He mentors Deepak (Saif Ali Khan), a bright student from a lower caste, who dreams of becoming a successful civil servant. Prabhakar also takes in Sushant (Prateik Babbar), a poor but talented student, under his wing.
The plot thickens when Dr. Mithilesh Singh (Manoj Bajpayee), a local politician, demands that the college reserve seats for students from the backward communities. This leads to a clash between Prabhakar's beliefs and Mithilesh's political ambitions, creating a rift between the two.
Meanwhile, Deepak falls in love with Poorbi (Deepika Padukone), the daughter of a wealthy businessman, who opposes their relationship due to their different backgrounds. Sushant also faces his own struggles, primarily due to his financial difficulties.
The film explores various themes related to caste-based discrimination and reservation policies in India. It highlights the negative impact of such policies on the education system and society as a whole. The film also looks at the power struggle between politicians and academics, where politicians use their influence for personal gain and academic institutions struggle to maintain their autonomy.
Amitabh Bachchan delivers a powerhouse performance as Dr. Prabhakar Anand, a principled and empathetic academic. Saif Ali Khan also impresses as Deepak, a conflicted young man torn between his aspirations and the reality of his caste. Manoj Bajpayee is convincing as the cunning and opportunistic politician, Dr. Mithilesh Singh.
The film's cinematography captures the essence of Bhopal, with its vibrant colors and stunning landscapes. The background score complements the mood of the film and adds to its impact.
Overall, Aarakshan is a thought-provoking film that raises important questions about social justice, educational policies, and the impact of politics on institutions. It offers insight into the complexities of India's caste system and the challenges faced by those who strive for a fair and equitable society.
In conclusion, Aarakshan is a must-watch for anyone interested in social and political issues in India. It raises crucial questions that are relevant not just to India but to any society struggling with issues of inequality and discrimination.
Aarakshan is a 2011 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 44 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2.