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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
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 »
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 »
As an American (now living in America, despite my profile), I occasionally go to Indian movies to sort of clear my head and watch a story told in a completely different way than most American movies. For this purpose, Aarakshan fit the bill just fine. In the controversy over the school entry quota, there was an obvious parallel to the controversy over affirmative action quotas in the U.S.
The story did drag on and on a bit. The bad guys, particularly the vice principal, were a bit too over-the-top evil, and the noble persecuted principal stuck to his guns so firmly that at some point (specifically at the point where he sent the boys away rather than invite them to help him tutor the poor children) he went from principled to sort of stubborn and stupid.
A few other random thoughts that distracted me during the movie: The "American" accent, if that's what it was supposed to be, of the Cornell professor was truly lamentable. I laughed, I grimaced. It was awful.
In the scene where Sushant orders two coffees, it appears that the waitress delivers two glasses of milk.
The actor who played Prabhakar Anand, the university president, seemed too young for the character he played; the one who played low-caste love interest and firebrand student Deepak Kumar looked decidedly too old, especially when compared with the character of Sushant, who I assume was supposed to be the same age and who looked age-appropriate. I also found that "Deepak Kumar" looked gym-toned in a way that was attractive, but detracted from the verisimilitude of his character ... and a further distraction was that to me he bears a strong resemblance to American comedian Robin Williams!
Well, I told you these would be random comments. I did more or less enjoy watching the movie as a way to pass the afternoon, but it was no profound experience.
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