A political impact Image Credit: Supplie

Raajneeti 
Cast Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpai, Katrina Kaif
Director Prakash Jha
Rating G

The Mahabharata is a majestic canvas for a Bollywood frame, so when Prakash Jha picks only bits and pieces from the epic, it's entirely forgivable, especially because he backs it up with a strong political backdrop and some extraordinary performances. From the long-haired fiery Rampal to the ruthless Bajpai, to the intriguing Nana Patekar, to the almost-Indianised Kaif, they've all managed to stand their ground.

But it's the charmingly broody Kapoor who steals the show. Jha glorifies him in numerous shots and ignores him in many others. Either way, Kapoor leaves his mark.

Barring an unknown face who plays Kapoor's mother, all are earnest in their acting. Even Jha's cameo adds an interesting touch.

The shots are crisp and well thought out, with the most striking portraying Kapoor staining a glass of water with his blood, symbolising his father's end. Jha teams with Anjum Rajabali for the screenplay and throws in some impressively powerful lines.

My only criticism is about the lazy editing. The second half drags on, while a club song props up abruptly for a few seconds, distracting the flow of the story.

But where Jha actually falters is in his inability to end the story. He prolongs the end by indulging in unnecessary gunbattle, even picking references from The Godfather. But he does deserve to be applauded for making a meaningful attempt.