Boasting of a huge star cast and a director known for making issue based movies, Aarakshan is definitely one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year. Directed by Prakash Jha, this Amitabh Bachchan – Saif Ali Khan – Deepika Padukone starrer saw the launch of its first look at Novotel Hotel, Mumbai on 9th June. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Prateik Babbar, director Prakash Jha, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, script writer Anjum Rajabali and producer Firoz Nadiadwala were present at the launch. Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone were in London for a shoot and could not make it to the event.
After a 10 minute trailer, Prakash Jha unveiled the poster for the movie which was decided upon by fans from a contest on social media channels. Asking his cast and crew members to stamp on the poster and declare their ‘reservation’, he himself stamped on both sides of Big B’s image declaring that now he has reserved him two times (he jokingly asked one of his crew members not to stamp Deepika’s face!). Prakash Jha, who referred to Amitabh as ‘bhaiya’, said that Mr. Bachchan had not done any issue based movies in his 40-year career and Aarakshan would be his first. He says he learned a lot from Big B and stated that he was a delight to work with.
The movie is based on the Indian education system, particularly on the topic of reservation but Jha said that his intention behind making the movie was not to give a solution to the problem but mainly to put forth his views. “Reservation is a wide and complex issue. I am not making a statement for or against it through my film. I am only trying to explore it in a story form. Audiences are very intelligent and they can find solution themselves,” he said, adding that he was not inspired by the Mandal Commission. Jha also thanked Manmohan Shetty for being there for him from the start of his career.
Prasoon, who narrated a few lines from one of his songs, said that it was Jha’s research which helped him write songs that justified the nature of the movie and also thanked him for helping him debut as a music composer through one song. Writer Anjum Rajabali, who also worked with Jha on Rajneeti, said that they indeed did have conflicts but then these things happen where creativity comes into picture.
Looking cute in a black tee, Prateik seemed a bit nervous in the presence of Big B and said that he was greatly humbled to work with both Bachchan and Jha.
Obviously the star of the event was Mr. Bachchan himself who didn’t disappoint with his answers. Speaking in crisp and shudh Hindi, he refused to give his stance on the topic of reservation as he wanted to avoid any controversies. Tricky questions were smoothly passed on to Jha and silly ones easily avoided. Bachchan plays a strict disciplinarian who doesn’t believe in casteism, but feels that reservations do help the weaker sections of the society to progress. Slowly though he realizes that he may just have to take a stance and won’t be able to take the middle path. Answering a question, he said that his character of a principal in Aarakshan was different from that in Mohabbatein for the simple reason that while Aarakshan is a serious issue based movie, the latter was a romantic love story! Praising Jha, he said “I’d wanted to work with Prakash Jha since quite some time but for certain reasons, it never happened. Prakash Jha has to be complemented for a well-organized and disciplined shooting schedule even though we were filming a very difficult subject.” Having been to tuitions but not coaching classes, he said that he took tuitions for his B.Sc final year Maths subject after failing in it. Coincidently he plays a Maths Professor in the movie too!
The movie is slated to release on 12th August.
Here is the trailer of the film!
Here are our EXCLUSIVE pictures from the event!