A decision by India's supreme court tests a man's friendships and loyalty.

Director:

Reviews
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Satyagraha I (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A corporate go-getter sees his priorities shift when a personal tragedy brings him face-to-face with political corruption.

Director: Prakash Jha
Stars: Kareena Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Nandu a fighter helps Pinky blind girl in fulfilling her dream but will she ever know that the reason of losing her eyesight was Nandu?

Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Stars: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Deepika Padukone, Vijay Adhav
Break Ke Baad (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Childhood friends Abhay and Aaliya experience plenty of obstacles in their paths as they find their way in the world and back to each other.

Director: Danish Aslam
Stars: Deepika Padukone, Lillete Dubey, Imran Khan
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Deprived of playing football by oppressive British, children decide to join a group of freedom fighters.

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Stars: Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sikander Kher
Dum Maaro Dum (2011)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A corrupt police officer is entrusted the task of apprehending drug-dealers.

Director: Rohan Sippy
Stars: Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Bipasha Basu
Cocktail (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A love triangle between a guy and two girls, who are best friends but the complete opposite of one another.

Director: Homi Adajania
Stars: Deepika Padukone, Tina Desai, Saif Ali Khan
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A much abused loner achieves success, and even wins the heart of his gorgeous co-worker, after getting early morning mysterious phone calls from someone.

Director: Vijay Lalwani
Stars: Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Ram Kapoor
Race 2 (2013)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Ranvir treads through the world of the Indian mafia in Turkey as he looks to avenge the death of his lover and partner in crime.

Directors: Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla, Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla
Stars: Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor, John Abraham
Raajneeti (2010)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When the American-educated scion of a powerful Indian family returns to the subcontinent, his first taste of power starts him down a corrupt path.

Director: Prakash Jha
Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar
Love Aaj Kal (2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An old-fashioned romantic tells his personal love story to a modern man who has just broken up with his girlfriend. Has love really ever changed?

Director: Imtiaz Ali
Stars: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Rishi Kapoor
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

It's a story about Raj Sharma who meets three young women at different stages in his life: Mahi, a small-town girl from Punjab; Radhika , an aspiring model in Mumbai; and Gayatri, a non-resident Indian student in Australia. He runs from one conquest to another only to crash into true love.

Director: Siddharth Anand
Stars: Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Minissha Lamba
Chakravyuh (2012)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On the request of his friend Kabir, SP Adil Sends him to the Naxal group as an informer. When Kabir finds the truth he becomes one of their gang leader.

Director: Prakash Jha
Stars: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpayee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Prabhakar Anand
...
Deepak Kumar
...
Mithilesh Singh (as Manoj Bajpai)
...
Poorvi
Prateik ...
Sushant Seth
Tanvi Azmi ...
Kavita P. Anand
...
Mantri Baburao
Darshan Jariwala ...
Anirudh Chaudhary
Yashpal Sharma ...
Shambhu Yadav
...
Police Inspector
Rajeev Verma ...
Damodar
S.M. Zaheer ...
Retired Professor
Chetan Pandit
Vinay Apte ...
Neta Bhishamber
Anita Kanwar ...
Mrs. Kantaprasad
Edit

Storyline

Following the Mandal Commission report and the Supreme Court of India's decision to maintain a 27 percent reservation for Dalits and lower/backward castes, right-winged political parties organize protests. The Principal of Shakuntala Thakral Mahavidyalal, a non-government college which is exempt from this mandate, gets in the limelight when it's Principal, Prabhakar Anand, endorses the decision - much to the ire of the trustees as well as the newly appointed Vice-Principal Mithilesh Singh, who has invested Rs.1200 Crores in private coaching classes. Prabhakar refuses to change his stand and ends up tendering his resignation, taking his family, consisting of his wife, Kavita and daughter, Poorbi, to live near Shambhu Yadav's Tabela after they find their family home being taken over by Mithilesh's coaching classes. Attempts to evict Mithilesh's staff will be in vain and will not only end up alienating the family from everyone but Prabhakar will also be summoned and possibly arrested for... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Бронирование  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$342,801 (USA) (12 August 2011)

Gross:

$342,801 (USA) (12 August 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie landed in controversy before it released, the Dalilts (a lower Hindu caste) had found some of the dialog offensive and had protested to either remove these dialogs or they would stop the film from releasing. Prakash Jha took his stand and defended that the film has no intention to offend any caste, and subsequently got the film released with some changes to the script. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie Deepak Kumar and Mithilesh Singh are shown carrying BlackBerry 9800 Torch mobile phones. The movie is set in 2008 whereas the phone was launched in 2010. See more »

Quotes

Prabhakar Anand: Q.E.D. stands for "Quite Easily Done."
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Aarakshan
29 August 2011 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Prakash Jha had been responsible for hard hitting films that deal with issues involving society and politics, and last year's Raajneeti was one of those ensemble pieces that struck very close to home. This year with Aarakshan he takes on the caste system in India, one in which many would like not to admit exist, but nonetheless taken other forms such as discrimination, charity, and reservation, depending on which side of the equation one is found standing at.

At first it may seem somewhat logical, where in the context of an education system that Aarakshan is set in, that seats get put aside for the less privilege so that they would get help in the form of a leg up in the educational circle. After all, education is always considered as one of the prime levelers and route out of the poverty circle. Alas any system created by man is always subjected to abuse, and through the narrative we get to experience the various viewpoints held by those disadvantaged by society, those with the silver spoon in their mouths, and those found sidelined by the conditions put forth, especially when good intentions get misread, misinterpreted and exploited.

Aarakshan also touches upon corruption gets set into the education system, where grades do not always matter in admission to a well known institution, but also dependent on how well heeled, or greasy, one's network is. It's rather typical and almost expected that those in power tend to influence and sway opportunities for their friends and family, where nepotism and cronyism rear their ugly heads, and I fear the day should it materialize over here. Already we're seeing reports of how one has to volunteer time and sometimes material in a nice way, in other to secure a passage to good schools, where a parent's celebrity status is notwithstanding nor a guarantee of a shoo-in despite hours put in to perform various chores for the school. It's highly competitive true, but somehow this leaves behind a very bad aftertaste where it's no longer ballot or merit, but what you can do on a consistent basis to warrant a place.

Then there's the notion of how tuition centres spring up left, right and centre in order to take advantage, and make a profit from, the entire educational system which is extremely grade dependent, where a single mark would mean to make, or to break. It's always interesting to see how education is treated as a lucrative business, and how this eventually saps all fun out of learning for acquiring knowledge, but to turn it into nothing more than regurgitation for a piece of paper, where teachers find it advantageous and a conflict of interest arising from doing the minimum in school so that students have to seek external help, and lo and behold, the same instructors become available for hire outside of the school system.

As always with Prakash Jha assembled an ensemble cast to discuss all these issues in his 164 minute film, where we have Big B Amitabh Bachchan playing Professor Prabhakar Anand, the principal of a famous college who is an idealist, with a good heart toward those who are underprivileged, opening his home for free tuition to needy students. Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone reunite from Love Aaj Kaal to play lovers again, this time the former as Deepak Kumar, the Professor's protégé coming from a lower societal standing, and the latter as the Professor's daughter Poorbi, who is also wooed by Sushant Seth (Prateik Babbar) from the privileged class.

Aarakshan cannot be more schizophrenic though with its tale of two halves, the first which tackles all the caste based issues and in depth discussion of the reservation system in education, where Sushant finds himself ousted from a place in the school because of reservation, and an entire tirade takes place between Sushant and Deepak, who also despised it since his view is that there's no need for charity to be given, and prefers a system of merit instead. Things blow out of proportion especially when the entry of a scheming vice principal Mithilesh Singh (Manoj Bajpai) being the villain you'd love to hate, a shady, dubious character who's the puppet of the education minister and his posse hell bent on ousting and destroying Prabhakar Anand, and found a way to do so through the squabbling Sushant and Deepak.

The second half is where things get a little bit more personal with the Professor trying to get back at those behind his ousting, and the dealing with more micro issues rather than the broad based ones inserted into the first half. In a way we see how fire got to fight with fire, with a fight back with the community against greedy capitalism, and with something I think most can identify with, where our charity gets taken advantage of by those whom we offer help to. This segment allowed plenty of Amitabh Bachchan to show why he's one of the greatest actors of his generation, where the likes of Saif Ali Khan, Prateik Babbar and even Deepika Padukone getting left in his shadow. It became a little bit predictable and melodramatic toward the finale, at times convenient as well with the last minute introduction of a deus ex machina type character to set everything back on an even keel.

While 3 Idiots touched on the education system as well from the students perspective laced with a generous dose of comedy, Aarakshan is the more serious in tone counterpart taking a cold hard look at the system from the educator's point of view with a critique on societal prejudices. It may not be perfect, but it addresses what it set out to and left the door wide open to provoke a response. Recommended!


1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Aarakshan (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?