I have not seen a better first half than that of 'Rajneeti' in ages. The movie till the intermission showed a lot of promise and raised the expectations from the second half. But in the second half the story-writer/director ran out of ideas and started killing the characters just to pave the way for the most suitable future chief minister of the state. I think it would have been better if 'Rajneeti' was based on underworld because the killings (in the name of gang-war) would have fitted well with the story. None of the characters (including the aspiring CMs and party workers) showed any concern for the state or the country, while throughout the movie 'Vande Mataram' played in the background.
The main story of the movie is borrowed from Mario Puzo's Godfather and the Mahabharata. There are also some minor resemblances to the life of the Gandhis (Rajiv, Sanjay, Soniya) and the movie 'Viraasat' (or the original 'Thevar Magan'). The worst scene of the movie is the one when the mother (like Kunti of Mahabharata) meets her illegitimate son (Karna) and asks him to come back to the family he belongs to. Highly cliched. By the time this situation arises in the movie, the audience (which is not dumb) has understood that they are watching a revamped version of the epic. It would have been a challenging task for the director to modify this scene by using some creative imagination. So, instead of that he used the usual "tum mere jyeshtha putra ho, beta" (Ok, nobody uses this language now) and "ghar aa jao, beta" and "gaddi sambhal lo, beta". Disappointing.
There is this main character in the movie who is a part of the political family but does not share the interest in politics and instead is a researcher planning to become a professor. He gets involved in the whole ganda rajneeti because of the sudden turn of events and ends up killing a bunch of people. Then finally in the end when apparently everything is fine, he is shown leaving for US of A. Before leaving the country for good he says that politics brings out the animal in people and he is basically not bad. Waah!!! Very conveniently after making a fool of the whole police department (am i expecting a lot from the police?) he leaves the country. And who drives him to the airport? The poor driver who was also the father of one of the people this man killed. I was almost expecting one more murder on the way to the airport. But I guess that does not happen.
Ok I tried a lot but cannot resist writing here that I was talking about Ranbir Kapoor. :)
Jokes apart, he has acted really well in the movie. Actually one should watch Rajneeti just for the acting. All of them Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal (who speaks in a faintly Bihari accent when everybody else speaks like a UP-waala), Ajay Devgan, Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif (quite tolerable in this movie) have done a good job. Please don't go to the theaters expecting to watch Naseeruddin Shah. Apart from what is shown in the trailers he is there in just one more scene. He plays the role of Surya Devta which was essential for the existence of Karna.
In the end I wish Arjun Rampal's character was more positive. The kind of gunda language he uses in the movie doesn't suit him at all. He is better suited for gentlemanly kind of roles. And he is the perfect eye candy. :)