This weekend, treat yourself to a politically light-hearted, insightful yet amusing drama that is bound to leave you overwhelmed, opinionated and of course, fully entertained! What a way to start the new year, indeed!
Rating – 3 / 5
Sitting somewhere on the fence between honest and politically correct, director Vijay Ratnakar Gutte’s ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’, based on the same-titled book by Sanjaya Baru, is simply a tremendous attempt at giving an insightful unsubtle perspective into the Indian political world during the time of Dr. Manmohan Singh and as a result, proves to be a complete eye-opener (especially for the politically unaware). The real dilemma, though, is whether to perceive this film as a real-life “true story” or merely a point of view by someone who experienced it all so closely.
Through the eyes of Mr. Sanjaya Baru, The Accidental Prime Minister focuses on the star-crossed bittersweet relationship between former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh (Anupam Kher) and Sanjaya Baru (Akshaye Khanna), a journalist who eventually serves as Dr. Singh’s media advisor. The film intelligently covers Dr. Singh’s entire reign as PM, from how he happened to gain the position right up till the point where his entire career simply became collateral damage in a family feud. Presenting as more of a drama than a documentary, the movie emphasizes mainly on the hardships faced by Baru while trying to handle Dr. Singh’s public image.
Mahabharat mein do families thi, India mein toh ek hi hai!”
Unexpectedly tremendous performaces by the two protagonists – Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna! Kher’s incredibly persuasive acting invites you to step into his shoes as PM Dr. Manmohan Singh and oh-so gracefully induces a whole new level of empathy for his soft-spoken, naïve yet intellectually alert character. Akshaye Khanna too brilliantly moulds into his role as journalist Sanjaya Baru as well as an excellent narrator, who keeps your eyes pinned to the screen (and how!).
The film’s strength lied in its ability to abate Indian politics (which, as we all know, is a separate ballgame altogether!), making it digestible and almost relatable for any audience. A breezy script with a lack of intensity and over-complication is exactly what a politics-inspired Indian cinema needs, that too topped up with actors who strive to own their characters – it’s a win-win! However, the weak point, according to me, was the absence of those much-desired ‘wow moments’ that would not only keep you up pondering all night but would surely blow your minds away…
My pro-tip for this drama-llama would be to watch closely, gain some perspective but at the same time, treat the film for the viewpoint that it is and not let the narrative convince you to question the facts.
Got your own reviews and ratings of The Accidental Prime Minister? Let me know in the comments section below and follow @thecinesurgeon on Instagram!