First things first. Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor have never looked this stunning before. Rampal did look extremely sexy in the first half of 'Rock On', but he's a class act as the mature kurta clad politician in 'Raajneeti'. His acting is pretty good too. He's come a long way since his 'Pyar Ishq Mohabbat' and 'Deewanapan' days. He's done a neat job in this.
Ranbir on the other hand is a replica of the Michael Corleone of my most favourite movie 'The Godfather' or the Shankar Nagre of 'Sarkar'. The quiet manipulating brother who plots in the background to help his brother rise to power. He has done a great job and looks splendid. His clothes, the charm he oozes and the peace on his face even when he's bombing someone is a pleasure to watch. But how someone pursuing a Ph.D in 'The underlying violence of Victorian Poetry' knows the A-Z of politics is quite mind boggling. Both he and Rampal look like real brothers and the chemistry they share is way beyond all the 'Ram-Lakhan's' and 'Karan Arjun's'. Its modern, chic, and practical.
Now coming to the movie I wouldn't say much. Its good. Its supposed to be the modern day adaptation of the 'Mahabharat' and yes, you can see that only if you know that. But the major portion of the movie is inspired by 'The Godfather'. For those who have not read or seen 'The Godfather', this movie will be extremely entertaining. Since I turn out to be a huge fan of Don Vito Corleone, the movie was extremely predictable for me. I knew how the scenes would turn out and what would happen next. Worst thing was it happened the same way. I would have loved to see some original script here. Leaving this part and some additional bollywood drama (where a mom tries to re-unite with her lost 'jest-putr'), the movie is good. Not as much as I had expected, but worth a one-time watch.
Katrina's presence is felt only in the last 15 minutes of the movie. She looks astonishing in her Indian avatar with the bindi but alas, her acting(if she could) disappoints big time. Her accent is not explained in the movie. Her much hyped speech only lasts for like 3 minutes and its looks badly rehearsed. Poor girl, she must have spent sleepless nights mugging this one up.
Ajay Devgn is good, but I wish he had much to do in this movie. His brotherly love during the climax shootout was totally unnecessary. One person who was extremely good in the movie is Nana Patekar. That man is splendid. His smile, his occasional dialogues are a delight to watch. He is one hell of an under rated actor. I liked his performance in 'Shakti' too.
The major disappointing part of the movie was the fact that the women folk are used as pawns in the family politics. They have nothing major to do other than conceive the very first time they sleep with their men. Naseeruddin Shah is way too virile for his age in the movie. Katrina's change in love from one brother to another can put any Ekta Kapoor soap to shame.
The movie does follow the Mahabharat norm where Rampal is the hot headed Bhim, Ranbir the cold manipulative Arjun, Manoj Bajpai (who has the weirdest of moustaches I've seen) as the villain Duryodhan, Ajay as the jest-putr Karan and Nana as the background advisor Krishna. And yeah Kartina was draupadi apparently but I don't know how that was supposed to fit. Since the movie was promoted as Mahabharat, you can figure out the characters if you are willing to break your head and analyse. If the Mahabharat issue was never mentioned, there is no way you could connect the two.
The movie comes together well but would have been better if it was cut short by about 30 minutes and had less ma-beta drama involved.