I just finished watching Rajneeti. I am told it is inspired by the Mahabharata. I could deduce a few subtle references to the epic too, notwithstanding my rather limited knowledge of Hindu mythology. All very well. The problem arises when you try to replicate the sexual habits of 3000 year old just-emigrated-from-Central-Asia nomads in the 21st century. The consequences are quite horrifying.
There are three pregnancies in the movie (of the munh kaala karna type). The Mother, Soon to be daughter in law and the Widowed Daughter in law. Mother gets knocked up by Bhaskar Sanyal ( Subtle reference to somebody famous-think think!) (Bhagwaan samaan maanti thi main unhein (!!)). Soon to be daughter in law breaks the news in dramatic fashion (Yes I am pregnant..Wow! Sweetheart thats terrific..No No I am leaving). Widowed Daughter in law takes the cake however.
“Tumhaare bhaiyya apna ansh chhod gaye hain hamaare paas”
Ansh? Yes! ANSH! Reminded me of the immortal “Yeh dansh tujhe hamesha chubhega Basanti” from Mahaguru Kanti Shah’s Shaadi Basanti Ki Honeymoon Gabbar Ka. On a more disturbing note it probably referred to Arjun ‘Rock On‘ Rampal leaving his guitar or so in her…house.
Take a bow Prakash Jha! If Gangaajal had “Saala backward jaat se…” and “Aankh dikhata hai…”, if Apaharan had “Jaan de sakte hain…le bhi sakte hain”; Rajneeti has this: Tumhaare Bhaiyya apna ansh chhod gaye hain hamare paas…
For more such gems, including nuggets of political wisdom like “Musalmaan ek musht vote karte hain“–Exactly the sort of insight that has taken Prakash Jha to two successive political defeats, do watch Rajneeti. It is Aatank hi Aatank meets BR Chopra. The result is truly a Mahabharat.