Like his previous films Gangajal and Apaharan, Jha raises pertinent issues plaguing the society over the years and throws open the moot question: should there be reservation to uplift the backward classes or should a person’s merit be the basis for education and employment.
Amitabh Bachchan as Dr. Prabhakar Anand
The inflexible idealist - he stood tall as the most revered teacher in the state. Until one day, when he finds himself in the eye of the storm he set off. Which now threatens to destroy him... and everything he has stood for?
Saif Ali Khan as Deepak Kumar
The rebellious underdog, who found a guardian angel in Prabhakar Anand. And love, with his daughter. But, when fate took a dramatic turn, it was he who struck the first blow against his own mentor.
Deepika Padukone as Poorbi Anand
The devoted daughter, who stoically suffered every hurt that Prabhakar's brittle idealism, threw her way. Until one day, when the dam of her frustration burst and even she walked out on him.
Prateik Babbar as Sushant Seth
The spoilt brat, whose lively friendship with Deepak and Poorbi cut across all social barriers. But, when the caste-storm struck, best friends turned into bitter foes.
Manoj Bajpai as Mithilesh Singh
The malicious adversary, who is a brilliant teacher himself. And a man without scruples. He waits patiently like a coiled rattlesnake until Prabhakar is off-guard. Then strikes - hard. With a low blow.
Aarakshan is the story of Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), the legendary idealistic principal of a college that he has single-handedly turned into the state's best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) who will do anything for his Sir. It is the story of Deepak's love for Prabhakar's daughter, Poorbi (Deepika Padukone), of his friendship with Sushant (Prateik). It is the story of their love, their lively friendship, their zest for life, and of their dreams for the future.
Centered on one of the most controversial issues of recent years, with the Supreme Court's order on reservations, the story suddenly becomes a rollercoaster ride of high drama, conflict, and rebellion, which tests their love and friendship for one another, and their loyalty to Prabhakar Anand.
Aarakshan has music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and lyrics by Prasoon Joshi. Background music is by Wayne Sharp and choreography is by Jayesh Pradhan.
The film’s screenplay is written by Prakash Jha and Anjum Rajabali.