Watched the movie Aarakshan yesterday, first day, last show in a packed movie theater sitting in the second row . I think since the movie was banned in few states in India added the incentive of watching it here in South Africa.
The movie started with a promising opening, showing a glimpse of education system in India, how the reservation era and supreme court decision on reservation divided the masses along the communal lines rather than bringing equity in the society. The movie clearly shows the anxiety of both the sections of society specially the youth who is caught between the politics of reservation and most importantly the teachers who can not be partial about a particular section but are always viewed with suspicion. The initial one hour of the movie was quite entertaining although there is nothing in the movie which you will find new or unheard but the acting of Mr Batchan is captivating to say the least. Some the dialogues in the movie regarding reservation were actually harsh but realistic and I was surprised that they were not scissored by the sensor board.
After the initial one hour, the movie digressed and focused on the role of coaching institutes in education system and also on the personal rivalry between a good teacher (Mr Bachhhan) and a bad teacher (Mr Bajpai) . It just took the main topic of Aarakshan for a toss and looked to me as a major flaw in the movie. The timings of songs was really bad and they all seemed to be just inserted in the movie and made little sense with the story line. The characters were too strong either very good or very bad which also looked to be the traditional bollywood way of story telling and this aspect also could have been depicted much better by Mr Jha.
Overall I can say people can go out of the theaters after the first one hour if they have got other important work to do, to make best use of their time or can just remain seated if there is nothing more interesting to do.