Politics has always been described as a dirty game, and when dynastic political families are involved, it gets even nastier as kin turn on kin in Raajneeti.
But while the basic plot of Raajneeti is indeed the wheeling and dealing that goes on as allegiances, loyalties and even family trust change rapidly for the expediency of power, there are also several tales of human drama, love and intrigue told along the way by director Prakash Jha.
Prithvi Pratap (Arjun Rampal) is the heir to a third generation political dynasty, but he allows emotions to constantly rule his head, not even letting murder stand in his way.
His cousin Veerendra (Manoj Bajpayee) is as determined to rule as well, and when things get out of hand, Arjun’s younger brother Samar (Ranbir Kapoor) has to give up his studies and girlfriend in America to take charge of the family political ambitions.
There is also Indu (Katrina Kaif), daughter of a millionaire financier of the political party who ends up married to Prithvi while she actually loves Samar; Brij Gopal, who has manipulated the party fortunes for a lifetime; and Sooraj Kumar, the ambitious young Dalit, who wants to seek political office to better the lot of his community but becomes an unwitting pawn in the large political game.
Together, the loves and lives of all these characters, as they get entangled in the power struggles, dirt and gore of politics, makes for a compelling movie for those who love serious cinema. Raajneeti definitely sets a new trend for Indian cinema, with surprises, twists and turns galore as nothing is what the viewer would expect as coming next. Even the cast are in roles which show a good and a dark side to every one of them. While all do their roles well, Ranbir is the surprise in the package, showing a maturity well beyond his years that is sure to get him a Best Actor nomination this year, while Katrina, sans the glamorous make-up, hairdo and costumes, also excels. Raajneeti is now showing on all Bollywood circuits nationwide.