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Raajneeti poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPrakash Jha
Produced byPrakash Jha
Written byPrakash Jha
Screenplay byAnjum Rajabali
Prakash Jha
Story byPrakash Jha
Music byWayne Sharp
Aadesh Shrivastava
Shantanu Moitra
CinematographySachin Kumar Krishnan
Edited bySantosh Mandal
Prakash Jha Productions
Walkwater Media Ltd
Distributed byUTV Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 4 June 2010 (2010-06-04)
Running time
170 minutes[1]
Budget60 crore[2]
Box office145.5 crore[3]

Raajneeti (transl. Politics), is a 2010 Indian Hindi-language political thriller film co-written, directed and produced by Prakash Jha, with a screenplay by Anjum Rajabali and Prakash Jha. The film has an ensemble cast including Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Nana Patekar, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee and Naseeruddin Shah.[4] It was originally produced by Prakash Jha Productions and distributed by UTV Motion Pictures and Walkwater Media. It was shot in Bhopal. The title translates literally as "Politics" and contextually as "Affairs of State."[5] The story draws parallels to the epic Mahabharata where shades of Arjuna (Kapoor), Karna (Devgn), Krishna (Patekar), Bhima (Rampal), Duryodhana (Bajpai), and Draupadi (Kaif) can be seen in the characters portrayed.[6]

Raajneeti was released in theatres worldwide on 4 June 2010, after some controversies regarding similarities between real-life people and the characters in the film, as well as issues about the national anthem. A sequel of Rajneeti has been confirmed by Prakash Jha.[7]


The film begins with the life of Bharti Rai, the daughter of chief minister Ramnath Rai. Influenced by leftist ideology, she rebels against her father and joins the rival party of leftist leader Bhaskar Sanyal. Bharti develops an illicit relationship with Bhaskar on a rainy night, who, guilt-ridden over taking advantage of a young woman, leaves for parts unknown, having unwittingly gotten Bharti pregnant. Upon the child's birth, he is abandoned in a boat by Brij Gopal, Bharti's 'rakhi' brother and a loyal well-wisher of the Rai and Pratap family. This leaves her devastated. Bharti is later married to Chandra Pratap, the younger brother of Bhanu Pratap. Bhanu leads the Rashtrawadi political party.

The story takes a turn when the state government collapses and Bhanu suffers a stroke. In the hospital, he hands over power to his brother Chandra. Chandra's son, Prithviraj Pratap tries to take advantage of his father's power and starts to impose his own decisions on the party, which results in a clash with his cousin, Veerendra Pratap who is already miffed by his father's decision of not handing over the power to him. Chandra also takes his son's side in a matter where Prithvi's suggestion is more promising, making Veerendra feel he's being sidelined. Prithvi rejects the nomination of a local leader Sooraj Kumar, who is chosen by the common people, but Sooraj gets Veerendra's support. Unknown to all, Sooraj is Bharti's abandoned son, who was found and brought up by the Pratap family's driver, Ram Charittra as his own son.

The younger son of Chandra, Samar Pratap, returns from America and meets his childhood friend Indu. Indu is in love with Samar and thinks he loves her too. When Chandra and Prithvi try to kick Veerendra out of his father's party, due to his growing insolence, he asks Sooraj for help. Sooraj ends up assassinating Chandra in his car, while he is returning from the airport after seeing off Samar who was returning to America. In an ensuing drama, Prithvi is arrested by police under the influence of Veerendra and put on trial for raping a party worker. Samar comes to the rescue and tricks Veerendra into dropping all charges upon his brother, promising that his brother will resign and that he will move with his family to the U.S. However, Samar does not keep his promise and he, with Prithvi, begins rallying public support. After that, Bhanu officially expels Prithvi, the latter splits from the Rashtrawadi party and contests elections under "Jana Shakti party", a new party with Gopal as his mentor and Samar as the executive. Meanwhile, Samar's American girlfriend Sarah arrives in India to meet him. To raise funds for the new party, Samar shrewdly ensures Prithvi's marriage to Indu. Though Indu had always loved Samar, Samar only thought of Indu as a friend and loved Sarah.

The circumstances get murkier with both sides trying every trick to ensure their victory in upcoming elections. Allegations and counter-allegations are made. Subsequently, Samar uncovers that the real murderers of his father are Sooraj and Veerendra, and decides to take revenge. On the other hand, Prithvi executes the former police officer, who had arrested him, and the woman worker at a farmhouse. Meanwhile, Indu slowly falls in love with Prithvi who has been nice and respectful towards her, and Prithvi admits his feelings. Sarah informs Samar that her reason for coming was to let him know of her pregnancy and they decide to return to America. Veerendra and Sooraj make a plan to assassinate Samar, on finding out that Samar was behind all the tricks. A bomb is planted in Samar's car. Prithvi goes to save Samar and Sarah, who were to be dropped off at the airport in that car. He manages to save Samar but is killed in the process with Sarah. Devastated by the loss of his brother and girlfriend, Samar decides to retaliate. He suggests Indu take the reins of the party and arranges the election campaign single-handedly.

Meanwhile, Sooraj is revealed to be the first child of Bharti, who implores him to join his younger brother Samar. Sooraj refuses to part ways with Veerendra who supported him in his time of need and has been a true friend (even if for personal motives) despite him being in a lower caste family and asks his mother to leave. Exit polls predict a victory for Indu's party. On the counting day, Samar lures Veerendra and Sooraj to an unused factory by spreading a rumour about electronic voting machines being hacked. They fall into the trap, and Veerendra gets shot by Samar and his men. Sooraj has an open opportunity to shoot Samar, but can't bring himself to do it since he knows Samar is his brother. Sooraj requests Samar to leave him and Veerendra till they reach the hospital, but Veerendra dies on the way. Gopal prompts Samar to shoot Sooraj who questions the morality of the act, but Gopal convinces him to take revenge for the destruction of his family. Samar, not aware of his relationship with Sooraj, shoots him.

The election results are declared, and Indu emerges with a majority and becomes the CM. Samar is seen asking for forgiveness and attempting reconciliation with Indu. Indu accepts Samar's apology and the two reconcile. Explaining his decision to return to America, he reflects that he always wanted to stay away from politics as politics is a game that brings out the "inner devil". Indu is revealed to be pregnant with Prithvi's child, while Samar leaves India to look after Sarah's mother and promises Indu that he will return to meet his nephew.


Raajneeti cast at press conference.


Critical reception[edit]

Mayank Shekhar of Hindustan Times rated it 3/5 and said, "None of the actors assembled on stage let him (the director) down; right from an unusually inspired Rampal to his powerful, polar opposite Bajpayee".[8] Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India rated it 4/5 and said, "The film basically anchors its plot in two classic tales — The Mahabharata and The Godfather — to create an engrossing diatribe on India's political system where democracy may prevail, but not in its purest form."[9] Anupama Chopra of NDTV rated it 3/5 and said "Jha creates a real sense of the machinations and sordid deals that fuel politics but then hobbles it with outlandish twists and some decidedly 'filmy' moments".[10] Rajeev Masand of IBN said, "Raajneeti is thrilling and gripping for the most part, even though it does lose steam in its final act. For the superb acting, and for the exciting dramatic highs, it's a film I recommend you do not miss."[11]

Rachel Saltz of The New York Times said, "The film – full of romance, intrigue and fraternal strife – is too diffuse to score political points. Or to have much impact."[12] Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times found that while it aimed "for something trenchant about thwarted destiny and ugly ambition in modern Indian democracy", it "mostly winds up with a convoluted and tonally awkward Godfather rehash, with nary a character worth rooting for" and that "Kapoor's performance is stony rather than calculating...."[13] Frank Lovece of Film Journal International said, "More pulpy than political, this Godfather-ripoff Hindi electoral drama is a candidate for oblivion in U.S. theatres. ... It all eventually becomes so ridiculous and over-the-top violent that there is nobody, nobody, to root for."[5]

Internationally, the film was received negatively, receiving a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[14]

Box office[edit]

Rajneeti grossed 145.5 crore (US$20 million) worldwide and was declared a blockbuster.[3][15]


Raajneeti recorded an opening of nearly 10 crore net on its first day.[16] It had the second highest Friday opening in India after 3 Idiots and the highest Friday opening in the first half of the year, surpassing Kites.[17][18][19] It collected 34 crore at the end of the weekend and set a record for biggest weekend in the first half of the year, surpassing Housefull.[20][21] It showed no major decline in business on Tuesday and collected Rs. 5.85 crore.[22] At the end of the first week, the film collected Rs. 54.75 crore and set a record for biggest week in the first half of the year beating Housefull.[23] Raajneeti sustained well in the second weekend and collected 16.25 crore.[24] Rajneeti nett grossed 929.3 million (US$13 million) in India with a distributor share of 487.2 million (US$6.8 million).[25] It was the tenth highest grossing Bollywood film until it was surpassed by Kick starrer Salman Khan. It was declared a blockbuster.


Overseas, the film opened to weekend business of $2.25 million.[26] In the U.S., Raajneeti played well for a limited release, noted Ray Subers of BoxOfficeMojo.com, grossing $850,244 on 124 screens its opening weekend, "which was good for first among limited releases and 11th place on the overall weekend chart." He specified that Raajneeti "became the third Bollywood movie this year to lead all limited releases in its first weekend," following My Name is Khan and Kites.[27] In Australia and New Zealand, Raajneeti surpassed the opening weekend record set by 3 Idiots.[28]

Awards and nominations[edit]

56th Filmfare Awards[edit]


17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2011[edit]



6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards[edit]


  • Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Arjun Rampal


  • Apsara Award for Best Film – Prakash Jha[32]
  • Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) – Ranbir Kapoor
  • Apsara Award for Best Lyrics – Sameer for "Mora Piya"
  • Apsara Award for Best Playback Singer (Male) – Aadesh Shrivastava for "Mora Piya"
  • Apsara Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role – Manoj Bajpai
  • Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) – Ajay Devgn
  • Apsara Award for Best Dialogue – Prakash Jha
  • Apsara Award for Best Story – Prakash Jha
  • Apsara Award for Best Screenplay – Anjum Rajabali & Prakash Jha

2011 Zee Cine Awards[edit]



3rd Mirchi Music Awards[edit]


  • Male Vocalist of The Year -Gopal Nathan wellington shrikrishna holdan Walter
  • Upcoming Female Vocalist of The Year – antra Kapoor- Ek do teen
  • Song representing Sufi tradition – "Mora Piya"
  • Best Programmer & Arranger of the Year – Amar Makwana, Mani Iyer and Sandeep Chatterjie – "Mora Piya"
  • Best Background Score of the Year – Wayne Sharpe


Raajneeti was first denied a certificate by the censor board of India for their thought that the lead character played by Katrina Kaif is inspired fully or partially by the Congress Party's chief Sonia Gandhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal's chief Rabri Devi. Director Prakash Jha dismissed this allegation, saying his only inspiration was Mahabharata, an epic from ancient India.[36] References to electronic voting machines and parts of the film suggesting that women have to compromise to get ahead in politics, crude dialogues about the Muslim community and some intimate scenes and excessive violence were removed before giving the film a U/A censor certificate.[37]


Soundtrack album by
Released14 May 2010
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music India
ProducerPrakash Jha

The score was composed by Wayne Sharpe while the soundtrack was composed by Wayne Sharpe, Pritam, Aadesh Shrivastava and Shantanu Moitra. The lyrics were written by Irshad Kamil, Gulzar, Sameer and Swanand Kirkire. The soundtrack consists of five original songs and four remixes. It was released on 14 May 2010.

Track list[edit]

Track # Song Artist(s) Composer Lyricists Duration
1 "Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si" Mohit Chauhan, Antara Mitra Pritam Irshad Kamil 04:37
2 "Mora Piya" (Male) Aadesh Shrivastava, Shashi, Rosalie Nicholson Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 05:44
3 "Mora Piya" (Female) Kavita Seth Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 04:17
4 "Ishq Barse" Pranab Biswas, Hamsika Iyer, Swanand Kirkire Shantanu Moitra Swanand Kirkire 04:36
5 "Dhan Dhan Dharti" Shankar Mahadevan Wayne Sharpe Gulzar 04:41
6 "Ishq Barse Club Mix" (The Bombay Bounce Club Mix) Pronob Biswas, Hamsika Iyer, Swanand Kirkire Shantanu Moitra Swanand Kirkire 03:53
7 "Dhan Dhan Dharti Reprise" (Call of the Soil) Sonu Nigam Wayne Sharpe Gulzar 04:35
8 "Mora Piya Remix” (Male) Aadesh Shrivastava, Shashi Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 04:32
9 "Mora Piya Remix” (Female) Kavita Seth Aadesh Shrivastava Sameer 04:17


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  2. ^ Kotwani, Hiren (4 June 2010). "Can Raajneeti recover its Rs 60 crore investment?". The Hindustan Times. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Top Lifetime Grossers Worldwide". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Raajneeti: Complete cast and crew details". Filmicafe Media Inc. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b Lovece, Frank. "Film Review: Raajneeti", Film Journal International, 7 June 2010
  6. ^ a b World, Republic. "Ranbir Kapoor's 'Raajneeti' is a modern-day retelling of Mahabharata; read to know". Republic World. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Katrina Kaif is the hero in 'Rajneeti 2'". 26 June 2012.
  8. ^ Shekhar, Mayank. "Mayank Shekhar's Review: Raajneeti". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  9. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (3 June 2010). "Raajneeti". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
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  11. ^ Masand, Rajeev (3 February 2010). "Masand: Raajneeti is thrilling and gripping". India Broadcasting Network. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  12. ^ Saltz, Rachel. "Prakash Jha's 'Godfather,' Bhopal Version", The New York Times, 4 June 2010
  13. ^ Abele, Robert. "Movie review: 'Raajneeti'", Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2010
  14. ^ "Raajneeti (2010)".
  15. ^ "Rajneeti – A Blockbuster!". Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Raajneeti Rocks The Nation". BoxofficeIndia.com. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  17. ^ "Top First Friday Nett Grossers". Box office India. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Top Openers Delhi/UP". Box office India. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
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  20. ^ "Raajneeti Has Earth Shattering Weekend". Box office India. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
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  25. ^ http://www.boxofficeindia.com/showProd.php?itemCat=318&catName=MjAxMA==
  26. ^ "Raajneeti Also Scores Overseas". Box office India. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  27. ^ Subers, Ray. "Arthouse Audit: 'Raajneeti' Continues Bollywood Blitz", BoxOfficeMojo.com, 7 June 2010
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  30. ^ "Winners of 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  31. ^ "Nominations for 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  32. ^ "Nominations for 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  33. ^ "Winners of Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  34. ^ "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  35. ^ "Nominees – Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2010". 30 January 2011. Archived from the original on 30 January 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  36. ^ Kumar, Anuj (27 May 2010). "Fact of the matter". The Hindu.
  37. ^ Sharma, Kartikeya (26 May 2010). "Politics over Rajneeti: Cong plays censor board". India Today. Headlines Today Bureau.

External links[edit]